By TYLER MASK
As mentioned in Sunday’s paper, Texas Health Resources’ Mobile Health Unit is making a stop in Mineral Wells today. The unit will provide services such as digital mammograms, well-woman exams and colon cancer screenings with screening times available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Our Wellness for Life mobile health units come to people where they live and work, offering the community easy accessibility to health screenings and early detection services,” Texas Health Resources Community Relations Specialist Judy McAnally said. “It’s staffed by family nurse practitioners, registered nurses and other health professionals. Medical oversight is provided by a board-certified physician on the Texas Health Fort Worth medical staff.
“We are trying to reach those who previously have had trouble accessing care,” McAnally said. “Our goals are to increase awareness of cancer prevention and promote the benefits of cancer screenings to hopefully save lives.”
Shortly after the article appeared, Palo Pinto General Hospital began receiving calls from people asking if their mobile clinic was going away.
“There were some citizens that had seen the article about THR’s wellness screening bus coming to the community and had questioned staff at the hospital saying, ‘Hey, is the PPGH Mobile Clinic going away,’” PPGH CEO Harris Brooks said.
PPGH staff reassured those with concerns that PPGH’s Bridge to Health Mobile Clinic is here to stay.
“Everything that [THR] mentioned is readily available in this area,” BHMC Supervisor Tonya Crnkovic said. “We don’t do the actual mammograms here, but we give patients orders and they can take it to the hospital and get their mammogram done.”
“Colon cancer screenings, PSA, prostate screenings, we can send them to have it done,” BHMC Nurse/Driver Renona Dixon, LVN, said.
“Our clinic is not just a screening clinic, it’s a full-service clinic – basically the equivalent of a primary care physician,” Brooks said. “It is a mobile primary care on wheels that services our rural areas.”
BHMC is 11 years old and has evolved into a very successful rural clinic, Crnkovic and Brooks said. According to Brooks, he has had calls from throughout Texas and other states asking him about BHMC. It was born out of a federal grant and has turned into a self-sustaining entity.
Beyond Dixon and Crnkovic, BHMC is staffed by Family Nurse Practitioner Colleen Hendrix, MS, NP-C and overseen by Medical Director Ed Evans, D.O.
A key word in describing BHMC is “rural.” Texas recognizes it as the first rural, mobile health clinic in the state Brooks said.
“We are a rural health clinic,” Dixon said. “In order to do that, we have to accommodate the population that is not able to just go to a family physician or is not able to get out to the hospital. Our goal, or [the] benefit of having us, is that we go to the places where it’s more easily accessible to the community.”
To add to the rural spirit, community is another key word that describes PPGH’s vision.
From babies four months and older to senior citizens, BHMC offers a variety of services including:
• Treatment for chronic and acute illnesses.
• Complete physical exams:
Texas Healthy Step physicals.
• Women’s Health Service.
• Diagnostic testing.
• Follow-up and referrals.
• Diabetic screening.
• Hypertension screening.
• Depression screening.
• PSA and cholesterol screening.
For BHMC hours of operation and locations, visit www.ppgh.com/clinics.htm. For more information, contact the hospital at 940-325-7891 or mobile at 940-745-0484.