April 19, 2023
The Rockbridge Area Health Center recently took delivery of two state-of-the-art mobile health care units – one for medical and one for dental – as the health center continues to respond to the community’s evolving health care needs.
By opening its doors throughout the area, the units will expand access to affordable health care services throughout Rockbridge, especially in the outlying remote communities.
Last spring, RAHC began working with several community partners, such as the Rockbridge Baths Community Organization, Goshen Town Council and Rockbridge County Public Schools to better understand the challenges the communities face when addressing access to various health care services.
“Community partnerships and support are very important to the success of projects such as this. Having mobile medical and dental clinics optimizes the delivery of health care services,” said Suzanne Sheridan, RAHC CEO. “It is a key element to improving access to care in the more isolated parts of the Rockbridge area.”
Staffed by RAHC providers and assistants, each mobile unit includes two private and fully equipped exam rooms, offers wheelchair access, and can provide interpretation and translation services when needed. Both have been customized with state-of-the-art components and the key equipment necessary to provide high-quality primary medical and dental care that can accommodate different needs at various sites.
“The mobile health units are a new tool offering the health center an agile and flexible platform to respond to the community’s health care needs, providing high impact and affordable health care in the more remote
and rural areas of our community,” said Dr. Michael Henry, MD, RAHC medical director.
Services provided by the mobile medical unit includes preventive/wellness health services, screenings, immunizations, chronic disease management, acute/sick care, women’s healthcare, pediatric services, and substance use disorder treatment. The unit is also equipped with a medical lab for providing routine lab testing for patients receiving care.
“Each day, we care for patients who have difficulties getting to RAHC’s medical and dental locations. Consequently, they cannot receive the amount of care to meet their health needs,” added Henry. “The mobile health units address both the need for health care and one of the greatest barriers to care in the area, transportation. The units tackle these important issues by providing care where it is needed – closer to the patient’s residence.”
The mobile dental unit will provide access to oral health care. Services include dental exams, x-rays using panoramic imaging, cleanings, dental sealants, fillings, extractions, and education.
“The mobile dental unit allows us to provide comprehensive dental services to all areas of our community, especially where barriers make it more difficult for people to receive care,” said Dr. Stuart Fargiano, DMD, director of RAHC dental services.
The mobile dental unit is currently scheduled to provide services for adults and children at the Rockbridge Baths Firehouse on May 9 and 10. Dental appointments will begin at 9 a.m. and can be made by calling (540) 464-8700, ext. 7195.
The mobile medical unit is scheduled to provide kindergarten physicals and immunizations, as well as Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations for children 5-11 years of age for those interested in the parking lots at the following locations from 9:20 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.:
May 16 – Mountain View Elementary;
May 17 – Fairfield Elementary School;
May 18 – Natural Bridge Elementary School.
Medical appointments for these three dates can be made by calling (540) 464-8700, ext. 7110.
Appointments are encouraged for all scheduled clinics. Parents or legal guardians must be present for appointments made for those under 18 years of age.
Additional dates for scheduled mobile medical and dental community clinics, as well as information about RAHC’s medical, dental, and behavioral health services can be found on RAHC’s website at www.rockahc.org, or by calling (540) 464-8700.