What Is the Johnston Health Mobile Outreach Unit?
The past two years revealed a need for many things in the health care industry – more supplies, more hands, and more accessibility. With demand for all these things a little closer to home here in Johnston County, Dr. Eric Janis, Cardiologist and Chairman of the Board, along with his colleagues at the Johnston Health Foundation, came together and asked the question: What more can we do for our community?
This launched the idea of a Mobile Outreach Unit bus that could reach Johnstonians all over the county and potentially beyond Johnston County in the future. The Johnston Health Foundation pitched in by creating the End of Year Giving campaign in December 2020 to fundraise for this bus. By the end of the month, not only were enough funds raised to acquire it, but there was also an additional $75,000 used to start the Community Outreach Fund.
The Community Outreach Fund is designed to support the bus as it travels throughout the community. In addition to the bus, it funds free heart health screenings in the community, which includes a full lipid panel, blood pressure screening, and education.
The bus is fully outfitted with two multipurpose exam rooms that resemble the look and feel of your usual doctor’s office. These exam rooms are intended not only for health screenings, but will also allow for services that meet the socio-economic needs of the community. A few of the other features on the bus include:
- Wheelchair lift
- Waiting area/lab-draw area
- Fully functional bathroom
- Lab area with a medical-grade fridge, a vaccine-housing area, and other supplies
Where Has It Gone?
The bus deployed on its first assignment in September 2021 to Benson Health, hosting a monoclonal antibody clinic. Since then, it has been in the field administering flu vaccines, COVID vaccines, and blood pressure screenings at the Bright Leaf Flea Market, State Employees’ Credit Union, and a COVID-19 clinic in partnership with UNC Health and La Semilla, a Spanish faith-based grassroots organization.
The bus will also support Wellness Works, a complimentary corporate employee health program designed to help care for the health care needs of employers, their employees, and employees’ families. The bus visits businesses to provide health screenings and other needs, such as biometric screening, blood pressure screenings, and COVID and flu vaccines. By serving corporate partners, Wellness Works serves the greater Johnston County community.
Where Is It Going?
With the support of the Johnston Health Foundation and The Duke Endowment, we’ll be launching a free acute care clinic for uninsured residents of Johnston County through our Mobile Outreach Unit. Initially, it will operate three days per month with a goal to increase availability gradually over the next two years. By doing so, we hope to decrease avoidable emergency department visits and improve access to care by overcoming financial and transportation barriers.
How Do I Support the Mobile Outreach Unit?
You can support the Mobile Outreach Unit by donating to the Johnston Health Foundation’s Community Outreach Fund.
If you’re interested in bringing it to your business or organization, please email email@example.com.
Special Thank You to Our Donors
This Mobile Outreach Unit would not be possible without the help and generous contributions of various donors, such as First Citizens Bank, Dr. Eric Janis, and the Johnston Health community. Thank you for your generosity and support throughout the life of this vital community project.