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Published on July 20, 2021

Cone Health Mobile Health Program Making Exceptional Care More Accessible

Four new Mobile Health units will bring urgent care and other services right to where patients are.

GREENSBORO – A trip to the doctor’s office comes with its fair share of challenges for Iris Scales – first and foremost is the question of transportation.

Scales recently needed to see a doctor for her high blood pressure. Instead of navigating the city bus system to find the care she needed, that care came right to her neighborhood. Scales boarded Cone Health’s new Mobile Medicine Unit, a 42-foot motor coach, to get treatment.

“The doctor was so good to me,” Scales said. “This service is so special, and the bus is really nice.”

The Mobile Medicine bus is one of the four vehicles that make up the Cone Health Mobile Health Program, which aims to bring Cone Health’s award-winning care into the community for easier access to treatment, diagnosis, education and support. The fleet includes the Mobile Medicine bus, a Mobile Screening unit, Mobile Cancer Services unit, and a Cone Health Transportation Services unit.

The fleet was officially introduced to the community in an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 20 at MedCenter High Point. Cone Health and local leaders gathered to learn more about each vehicle and take tours of the fleet that will make care even more convenient and accessible to people in the Piedmont Triad. 

"We’re honored to be able to serve the community we love so much in this new way," said Dr. Olu Jegede, area medical director, Cone Health Medical Group, to the audience. "Having support from the community and donors not only makes this work possible, it also affirms that our effort is meaningful."

Dr. Patrick Wright, medical director for Cone Health Mobile Medicine, oversees operations on the bus and works with three other medical professionals to treat anyone who comes on board – even without insurance or an appointment.

“This is all about access – taking care to where people live, where they work, where they play, where they work out, where they are sheltered if they are homeless,” Wright said. “That’s what this is about is being right here with you and providing that access in a very equitable manner.”

The Mobile Medicine bus – essentially an urgent care on wheels – is wheelchair-accessible and equipped with two exam rooms, a private screening room and a testing lab to provide a wide variety of services. People can be screened for a variety of cancer types at the Mobile Mammography unit, which aims to detect cancer early and improve outcomes for all patients, regardless of transportation barriers.

“If we can get to the Mobile Mammography unit to your primary care doctor’s office or to your church or your community, then we’re able to provide access to the care you need,” said Dr. Matthew Manning, Cone Health’s chief of oncology. “It’s critically important.”

The Mobile Screening unit provides the community with convenient access to blood pressure and blood sugar screenings, annual wellness visits, flu shots and patient education, and the Cone Health Transportation Services unit offers patients rides to their Cone Health appointments.

Each unit is tasked with making medical care accessible for people in Greensboro and surrounding areas.

“We know there are vulnerable populations that can’t get to a doctor,” said Dr. Martin Portillo, president and senior vice president, ambulatory services, Cone Health Medical Group. “So, we’re going to bring the services to them so they can get the quality of care that we provide in our medical office buildings. We’re bringing that to the community.”

As it brings care to underserved communities across the Piedmont, stories like Scales’ are what continue to drive the staff of Cone Health’s Mobile Health Program.

“I love this service from Moses Cone,” Scales said. “I really couldn’t ask for more.”

For more information about the Cone Health Mobile Health Program, including a schedule for each Mobile Health unit, visit the Cone Health Mobile Health website here.