FARGO — It's bigger than most moving trucks, and Monday, Sept. 13, crews at Custom Graphics started to vinyl wrap Family HealthCare's new mobile medical clinic.
Inside, the 40-foot long mobile clinic has space for dentists and physicians to do exams, immunizations and procedures.
"We need to meet the patients where they are at because of some of the limitations they have to get to us at times," said Family HealthCare dentist Dr. Matthew Eaton.
Within a couple of weeks, the mobile clinic will likely reach underserved sections of the Fargo-Moorhead metro to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations and dental care. About 75% of the patients at Family HealthCare are underserved, and there were 60,000 visits to the center in 2020.
"We saw there was a need three years ago, and that need is apparent today, especially those communities we are trying to serve, the underserved, the homeless populations," said Family HealthCare Administrative Project Coordinator Kory Wolden.
The clinic on wheels cost around $450,000. Grants from the Otto Bremer Trust, private and public, city and federal made the mobile clinic possible. For the thousands of people Family HealthCare downtown sees every year, this is a game-changer.
"With this mobile unit, we can meet patients where the services are needed," Eaton said.
Besides visiting schools and neighborhoods, Family HealthCare will likely branch out to nearby rural communities, bringing dental and medical care to patients who often feel they have few options for access to care.