Serving Children in Need: Results from the UNTHSC Pediatric Mobile Clinic
Chiapa-Scifres, Ana MS, MPH
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Objective To evaluate the activities of the UNTHSC Pediatric Mobile Clinic (PMC) from May 2014 to January 2016. The primary goal is to describe the population served and the types of health services offered, and to present future directions. Background Barriers to health care include cost, lack of transportation and lack of health insurance.1,2 Texas has about 1 million uninsured children, 62% of which are Medicaid eligible. Of these, 75,824 reside in Tarrant County.3,4 Mobile clinics have been found to reach more people who experience barriers in accessing health care services.2 The UNTHSC PMC was set up to provide clinical services and health education to Fort Worth neighborhoods with the greatest need for health services, and to provide preventive, screening, treatment and referral services as needed. Targeted neighborhoods in Fort Worth include Como, Morningside, North Side and Stop Six. Methods Data for this project was collected as part of the daily and weekly logs of the PMC. Data from May 2014 to January 2016 was analyzed and included the number and types of medical visits, number of vaccines administered and health screenings performed. Results were analyzed by age group, gender, race/ethnicity and neighborhood visited. Results From May 2014 to January 2016, the PMC had 259 site visits to schools and organizations in Fort Worth neighborhoods, with Morningside and North Side being the most visited. In total, there were 2788 child visits. Participants were 52% female, 70% Hispanic and 22% Black/African American. Total number of clinics, including site visits and health fairs, were 27 in Fiscal Year (FY) 1 (June – August 2014), 151 in FY 2 (September 2014 – August 2015) and 81 in FY 3 so far (September 2015 – January 2016). Services provided included vaccinations (31%), well child exams (24%), acute/episodic care (23%), medical screenings (20%), dental screenings (1%) and vision screenings. The PMC administered 584, 1493 and 846 vaccines in the first, second and third fiscal years respectively, totaling about 3000 vaccines administered. The PMC also provides case management encounters to families, and there were 147, 747 and 223 case management encounters in the first, second and third fiscal years respectively. Conclusions The PMC has since its onset provided valuable health services to children and families, just like other mobile clinics across the United States. It thus provides a solution to the barriers in accessing clinical and preventive health services faced by Fort Worth communities with the greatest need, including a high proportion of minority populations.