Los Angeles County on Friday, Oct. 14, launched a fleet of mobile medical clinics to make daily stops at encampments throughout the county to address urgent health and social needs among people experiencing homelessness.
Each Housing for Health mobile medical unit is equipped with full-service exam rooms to provide primary care, such as vaccines and medications; urgent care procedures such as wound care, ultrasounds, and blood work; and woman-focused care such as cervical cancer screening, diagnosis for sexually transmitted diseases, obstetrics, and prenatal care.
Other services include day-of lab results, behavioral health care, psychiatry, enhanced care management, field-based medically assisted treatment and care transition. The clinics are staffed by a team of doctors, mental health professionals, nurses, substance use counselors and social workers. A passenger van is also assigned to each mobile medical truck to assist in bringing unhoused people to specialty care centers, shelters, clinics or other programs where follow-up health care or social services can be provided.
“While efforts continue to expand our shelters and provide more affordable housing, we must first take care of people where they live — under bridges, in alleyways and urban encampments,” county Supervisor Hilda L. Solis said in a statement.
“This is a necessary strategy to save lives and build trust among a highly vulnerable population,” Solis said. “Mobile medical units are a major leap forward in our efforts to reverse the mortality rates among our homeless population, reduce preventable hospital visits and direct cost-efficient medical care where it’s urgently needed.”
The mobile clinic program was designed to fill health care gaps identified during the county’s emergency response to protect homeless individuals from COVID-19. While deployed doing COVID-19 outreach and vaccinations, clinicians and outreach workers gathered data about encampments throughout the county. Housing for Health leaders mapped out mobile clinic routes based on needs identified through those surveys.
“Our COVID response efforts, which included more than 70% of our homeless population being vaccinated, clearly showed us just how successful we can be with direct outreach, focused and coordinated medical care and compassion,” said Sarah Mahin, director of Housing for Health. “These mobile clinics will continue our ability to provide consistent, low-barrier trauma- informed care that is comprehensive, responsive and patient-centered.”
6 comments for "LA County launches mobile medical clinics for homeless"
Help don't shoot says
This is a much better response to the homeless situation than what Rex has suggested his residents do.
IT’S GREAT T BE HOMELESS HERE..!
I have questions says
I wonder if any citizen in LA County can receive free medical care at one of these mobile clinics or are they strictly providing this free service to the unhoused? Ms. Solis stated “we must first take care of people where they live” but what about the people who are housed and struggling to pay for medical care? Also, where is the funding for all of this coming from? What services to the tax paying, housed individuals, will be removed to care for the unhoused? Will they be raising taxes for it?
I would love to see a follow up article!
Tim Scott says
Between Medi-Cal and My Health LA someone who can’t afford health care can get all the services these mobile clinics provide. They just have to be able to get to the providers. The people who are homeless also generally have very limited access to transportation, which is the main reason for these mobile clinics.
On costs, yes mobile clinics have operating costs, and they are paid for “by the government,” which we all pay into, even the homeless. There are plenty of countries where those of sufficient means maintain isolation compounds where they can shelter and be completely isolated from the disease ridden poor, but this isn’t one of them so keeping all of the population healthy benefits everyone, and the majority of the population is generally supportive of this commonly held expense.
Frank Rizzo says
You said the homeless pay into it alluding that they pay taxes lmao!
Tim Scott says
They pay into the government, yes. No matter how poor someone is they are not exempt from sales tax, as an easy example that even you can understand.