DENVER (CBS4)– Denver Health has a brand-new tool to reduce barriers when it comes to COVID-19 testing in underserved communities. It’s called the Mobile Health Center, and it’s delivering help on wheels.
Nurse Practitioner Ashley Shurley gave CBS4’s Mekialaya White a first-hand look at how it all works.
“We have a refrigerator for our lab specimens and a refrigerator for our vaccines,” she explained, with a quick tour of the interior. “And there will be an exam table that lowers to the ground, along with a wheelchair lift.”
She and her four medical assistants have been busy at work for the past two weeks, with a stream of cars driving up to the health center to receive testing.
“We’re so excited,” Shurley said. “This summer, Denver Health Foundation applied for grant through the Anschutz Foundation which laid the groundwork to support the cost, as well as staffing and maintenance and fueling for three years.”
The goal of the Mobile Health Center is to provide accessible, inclusive testing amid a high demand for services. And it’s working.
“Focusing on those neighborhoods that have higher case rates but lower testing rates, so they’re not getting the testing access that they need,” Shurley said. “This is a neighborhood and area where a lot of our refugee population lives. It’s hugely important. I mean, people experience transportation barriers, language barriers, having to take time off work so a mobile health center is a proven way to reduce those barriers.”
Shurley hopes it’s a tool that can bring hope during these tiring times as well, “Pandemic fatigue is real. It’s nice to have things that kind of lift us back up, new tools.”
For now, the Mobile Health Center is centralized in Lowry, but it will be hitting the road in the coming weeks. Patients seeking an appointment will need to schedule an appointment beforehand.