County gets new mobile health clinic

PUBLISHED: June 28, 2022

Clatsop County has a new tool to make it easier to access vaccines, testing, and other basic health services for residents across the county.

The county’s public health department recently took delivery of a mobile health clinic. The vehicle will allow staff to better deliver services to people where they live and work, without the need to reserve space in remote areas.

Funding for the $160,000 purchase came from an Oregon Health Authority grant for COVID-related programs and services. The 2021 Ford, which includes separate examination and blood collection spaces, was purchased from an Ohio company that had previously leased it from Columbia University in New York, and refitted for public health.

The acquisition of a mobile clinic is a long-standing objective of the department. “We are a large county and public health is dedicated to meeting and serving people where they are. This van can help make that happen,” said Lisa McLean, Nurse Manager and Clinic Supervisor.

The van will initially be used to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations to county communities in place of the drive-thru clinic previously offered by public health at Camp Rilea. Schedules for vaccine awareness events will be announced soon.

The department plans to expand student immunization services with the arrival of the next school year, as well as offering other vaccines and testing for communicable diseases.

The new mobile clinic is part of the department’s mission to broaden access to services, particularly through partnerships with other entities. These include the dental service van operated by Medical Teams International of Portland, which has made multiple visits to Clatsop County to provide not only dental care, but also COVID-related services. The department has also partnered with the Jewell School District on a new school health center, which is expected to go into full operation this fall.

“Public Health has been recognized for how it has leveraged community COVID partnerships to provide equitable access to testing and vaccination,” said Acting Director of Public Health Margo Lalich. “The mobile clinic will increase this capacity.”

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