Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center has a new “Family Health Connection” mobile van to help Prince William residents in need.
Megan Clay, the Director of Partnership Development for Sentara, said that the van provides health services for low-income and uninsured individuals in eastern Prince William County, particularly in the Woodbridge and Dale City area.
“The first mobile van began in 1996 in Dumfries. And then we added a second van in 1999…so this van [service] has been operating for 18 years,” said Clay.
The van provides preventative health services, including physicals, exams, cancer screenings, pregnancy tests, and referrals.
“We provide primary care services…sick visits, chronic care management. We have a lot of patients with diabetes, hypertension, asthma. We’re able to do well-women visits and we’re able to get medications at a low cost for our patients as well. If patients need specialists, we help to coordinate those services as well,” said Clay.
Their mobile van has a varied schedule, so that it can accommodate their patient’s schedules. The van saw more than 1,000 patients last year, and had 9,000 total encounters with patients, according to Clay.
“Sentara has chosen to invest in this, because they think they see our good outcomes. We are keeping people out of the emergency room, so although we don’t make money, we do keep people out of the emergency rooms, which can be very costly for those without insurance,” said Clay.
In order to become eligible for the van’s services, individuals need to go through an intake process with a Sentara financial counselor and make sure they live in the area and are medically appropriate for the van’s services.
The Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center Auxiliary does fundraisers throughout the year to fund projects like this to assist the hospital. Potomac Health Foundation also provide funds to operate the van.
“This is the third van that the hospital auxilians has purchased for the Family Health Connection, so they have been lifetime partners with us. I approached the auxilians about a year ago and asked them if they would be interested in helping to fund another van, and they were really excited,” said Clay.