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The Family Van

Our Impact

Mr. Santos sharing laughs on the van with Rainelle 

The Family Van creates healthy communities and reduces health disparities through preventive care and education. We work in Boston neighborhoods with the highest prevalence of preventable disease, avoidable hospitalizations, and emergency-department visits, reaching individuals who might otherwise not access health care. We provide holistic support to help our clients address complex health needs.

Our services include:

  • clinical screenings/monitoring (including blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol)
  • screenings for barriers to health (including insurance status and food-service requirements)
  • educational counseling (including nutrition, health insurance, and diabetes)

This work changes lives:

  • In 2010, one in three of the 2,322 clients we served discovered through a Van screening that they had previously undiagnosed high blood pressure, blood sugar, or total cholesterol, or abnormal/suspect glaucoma results. Van staff provided these clients with health information, referrals, and support in accessing care for and managing their conditions. 
  • Fifty-percent of our regular clients who had a health issue when they first came to the Van had controlled the condition by subsequent visits.
  • In 2010, one in four clients required improvements in their access to health services. Van staff provided referrals to help ensure that the clients received the care they need.


Keeping Costs Down
The services provided by the Family Van—and the hundreds of other mobile health clinics across the country—save money as well as lives. According to research conducted by MobileHealthMap, every dollar spent on mobile health interventions saves an estimated $21, based on the value of quality-life-years saved through prevention and avoided emergency-department visits.
Training Future Leaders
Part of the mission of the Family Van is to train the next generation of culturally competent and diverse health professionals. In 2010, we trained 75 medical students, of whom one-third were underrepresented minorities.


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