Mercy is rolling out a new way for patients of all ages to access convenient, local health care. Mercy Mobile Health, a $650,000 motor coach, is part of a $1 million investment to reach underserved and rural communities, and provide easy access for diagnostics testing.
The 40-foot long, eight-foot wide unit will travel hundreds of miles, offering a myriad of services from mammography to cardiovascular screenings, to point-of-care testing that will provide patients with immediate results. Mercy Mobile Health will also offer convenient access for corporate wellness with screenings and education, as well as charity care services.
“I once heard one of our providers say, ‘sometimes it’s easier for people to see the doctor when you bring the doctor to them.’ Well, here we come,” said Eric Pianalto, Mercy Northwest Arkansas Hospital president.
The mobile health coach is equipped with a full-size mammography unit and a station for blood draws, glucose screenings and other procedures. Two slides allow the unit to expand three feet in width on either side to offer patients comfort and privacy.
Mercy’s vision to bring the mobile unit to NWA was officially launched with the generous $75,000 donation from top corporate sponsor General Mills. The health care provider then introduced the concept to the community at its annual charity ball raising another $76,000. Walmart and Tyson solidified the mobile unit’s future by adding $50,000 each.
“We simply can’t thank General Mills enough for giving us that initial donation,” Clark Ellison, regional vice president for the Mercy Foundation said. “It brought a lot of excitement internally, and then with the support from Tyson, Walmart and of course our faithful Charity Ball donors, it all came together nicely.”
"We’re very excited to see this Mobile Health Unit come to life,” said Adam Dill, Walmart team lead at General Mills. “At General Mills, we believe in nourishing the lives of the communities in which we live; this health unit helps us achieve our mission by giving all communities in Northwest Arkansas the chance to receive convenient, high-quality healthcare."
Mercy Mobile Health began seeing patients in June and future stops from corporate offices to local nonprofits and schools are under way. Brightly painted and carrying Mercy’s signature logo of the Mercy crosses, NWA will see Mercy Mobile Health and Mercy providers advancing care and serving across its local communities.