The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. recently unveiled its new mobile clinic for the residents of Saipan, ready to offer services such as well-child check-ups; well-woman check-ups; adult routine check-ups; family planning services; testing and counseling for sexually-transmitted diseases; vaccinations; population health services including mental health services; and referrals to other health, financial, and social services.
The state-of-the-art mobile health bus will operate on a walk-in only basis at scheduled locations.
“Our mobile clinic is an extension of our outpatient services and is meant as a connection to address gaps in accessing health care at CHCC,” said chief of Clinical Services Halina Palacios. “We are liaisons between patients and providers to ensure that the community is receiving access to health care from the CHCC.”
CHCC worked with the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. in 2021 to put together an application to procure a mobile clinic. With financial support awarded from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and NMHC, the CHCC Mobile Clinic expands CHCC’s services to address health care access disparities among the CNMI and to work toward improved health outcomes.
“NMHC took care of all the financial and procurement processes, while CHCC communicated directly with the vendor on the build specifications,” said Palacios. “It took over a year to build the unit from scratch, especially with delays due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, but we are excited to go out into the community and offer medical services.”
CHCC intends to meet patients’ ongoing needs to address factors that affect their health outcomes, such as transportation, food and housing, health education, and other social assistance. Unmanaged chronic diseases can lead to worse symptoms, disorders, and even death when coupled with COVID-19.
Long-term plans include offering dental services, as well as evaluating the effort on Saipan to support funding requests for similar implementations on Rota and Tinian. (CHCC)