Ohio Northern University to establish community mobile health clinic to provide health care in Hardin County
The Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy has been awarded a Health Resources and Services Administration grant to establish a multidisciplinary rural mobile clinic to provide health care for residents of Hardin County, Ohio.
The grant, totaling, $572,973 over three years, will fund an innovative model that will employ a community mobile clinic using a multidisciplinary team of ONU faculty and students and interdisciplinary health care specialists under the supervision of licensed professionals to deliver educational outreach and health care services.
The goals of the community clinic are to increase access to care, improve health knowledge, improve health outcomes and connect patients to primary medical homes whenever possible. The clinic is expected to be in operation by fall 2015.
Steven J. Martin, dean of the ONU Raabe College of Pharmacy, said, “We are enthusiastic about this project and confident this will be benefit the health of Hardin County. Community needs assessment has shown that Hardin County has several gaps in health care that we can provide. Because ONU is committed to assisting the community, we worked with county health organizations to establish this new resource to assist residents who might not otherwise receive the medical attention they need.”
Martin added, “We are optimistic that this project will help improve health in the county, in part through the dedication of the ONU faculty, staff and students. We have dynamic students who are excited about contributing to the community in positive ways and helping residents get the health care services they need, as well as gaining some valuable hands-on experience that will enrich their education.”
The plans call for the clinic to travel two or three times weekly to various locations throughout rural Hardin County, using churches, schools and other community gathering places.
Health care services that will be routinely provided by the mobile clinic are preventative health education (including nutrition, exercise, tobacco cessation, disease prevention and health risk reduction), reconciliation of medications, and medication therapy management focused on people who suffer from chronic medical conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, asthma, COPD and behavioral health disorders.
Additional services will include immunizations for children and adults as well as health screenings and risk assessments, including assessing BMI, cholesterol, blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, blood pressure, skin lesions, and risks of breast, cervical and colorectal cancers.
Four key health care organizations in Hardin County will work together on this project. Ohio Northern University will serve as the lead agency, providing student health professionals and licensed supervision, and the Kenton Community Health Center will act as referral agency for primary medical home and childhood vaccinations. The Kenton-Hardin Health Department role will act as a referral agency for primary medical home and childhood vaccinations, and Hardin Memorial Hospital will serve as referral agency for invasive diagnostics and screenings and specialty and acute medical care.