Mobile Clinics: A Proactive Public Health Strategy

August 1, 2014

by Jared Kebbell

Mobile health clinics are becoming an increasingly important part of the American health care system. They represent a move toward a more proactive public health strategy, seeking to bring care to those in need and the uninsured rather than waiting for them to seek it themselves in expensive emergency rooms.

To many providers, mobile clinics offer the potential for reduced costs and greater access to health care for poor or otherwise underserved patients. In light of the increasing prevalence of mobile health clinics, what role do they play in American health care today, and what are some of the limitations of this new delivery model?

Governor’s Wellmobile: A public-private partnership in Maryland

One prominent example of  the mobile health clinic movement is the Governor’s Wellmobile in Maryland, a public-private partnership initiative between the state government and the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON). According to the Wellmobile website, this program was created in 1994 to “… provide primary and preventive health care services to geographically underserved communities and uninsured individuals across the state.…” A secondary goal was to provide training opportunities for students from UMSON by allowing them the chance to interact with and treat underserved patients in a real-world setting.


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