Mobile clinics have been selected as one of three best practices in Massachusetts because they are so successful in promoting healthy behaviors and managing chronic illness. The Family Van, and other mobile health clinics have proven that we are low cost and that our positive and preventative approach can be part of solving our nation’s healthcare dilemma.
We have a vision
We know that this best practice should be a more integral part of the healthcare system. The time has come to recognize the value of this model of care. Every day, we complement and coordinate our counseling and screening services with our partners at community health centers and hospitals. When the Family Van goes directly in to areas where the need is greatest, we break down barriers to care and improve the health of Boston’s most vulnerable residents. This mobile health clinic model for providing cost-effective, preventative health care to hard-to reach populations has been proven and at the Family Van, we know there are opportunities ahead to broaden our impact.
We are leading the way in research and advocacy
The Family Van and Mobile Health Map™, the national research collaborative of mobile clinics led by the Family Van team, are poised to change the landscape of health care. Our research has shown that mobile health clinics provide important health services to some of the most vulnerable populations across the country. Mobile health clinics reach over six million people each year and research has proven that the services provided produce good health outcomes. Here are a few of our current projects:
- Using the Family Van as a field laboratory to gather information and insight, we are studying how the care delivered on a mobile unit is different and why our team seems to be so effective in changing lives.
- Partnering with The Institute for Health Care Improvement (IHI), we are developing strategies to leverage the mobile model in order to achieve three objectives ; better health, better care, lower cost.
- We have partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to measure the impact of mobile health clinics in the context of the overall health of the communities they serve.
We can change health for the better... and we need to do more of it
We can increase our impact on individual and community health and well-being by:
Adding evening or weekend hours would allow us to reach more clients, especially high-risk youth. Increasing the hours of operation would expand our impact while benefiting our bottom line. Spreading our fixed costs over a larger patient population would further decrease our per-patient costs.
Expansion to additional sites will allow us to reach hundreds of new clients each year, bringing much needed preventative health care services and health counseling to more medically underserved families. There are many people eager to have us work in their communities.
By expanding our research we can continue to develop critical evidence about the impact of mobile health clinics. This data will help us know how to best meet new challenges and how to expand our potential in healthcare innovation. We are confident that mobile clinics have proven their ability to address some of the most intractable problems faced by marginalized populations.
Please help us build on our history of service, impact and innovation by supporting our programming and research.
"I am always struck by how much people seem to enjoy visiting the Van.
The majority of folks come on with a smile, ready to joke around with their new friends on the Van, proudly reporting their weight loss or sheepishly admitting that they still can't resist that extra bit of salt.
It’s a far cry from the dread I always feel getting my annual physical at the doctor’s office.
The welcoming environment of the van lacks the intimidating feel that one gets from the traditional medical establishment. I think it is one of the reasons why community-based health programs like the Van are so important."
- Volunteer -