"Unimóvil" to provide health screening, education and convenient access to dental and mental health services
Innovative initiative to increase health care access and health education in the Rio Grande Valley is funded through a nearly $3 million grant from United Health Foundation
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) School of Medicine and United Health Foundation introduced "Unimóvil" today at a dedication ceremony.
UTRGV Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. Havidán Rodriguez; UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas CEO Don Langer; and other UTRGV, United Health Foundation and community leaders unveiled the new mobile health clinic, which medical professionals will use to serve community residents.
Unimóvil will provide primary care services including diagnosis and treatment of common dental and mental health conditions, as well as health screenings including: oral health with fluoride varnish, HIV, depression with phq9, Duke wellness screen, BMI evaluation, domestic violence screen, vision, hearing, lipid profile, liver function tests, HgA1C, and women's health screen.
Unimóvil's commissioning was made possible through a $2.88 million grant by United Health Foundation in January 2015 that established the university's Center for Colonia Integrated Care (CCIC) to help improve access to primary and preventive health care services..
"Access to quality primary and preventive care is essential for people to maintain good health and quality of life," said Dr. Francisco Fernandez, professor of psychiatry, neurology and neuroscience, UTRGV School of Medicine. "Unimóvil can help remove some barriers to health care, such as transportation, child care and work obligations that often put even routine checkups at risk. It brings health care closer to where people live and work."
The 45-foot-long clinic is staffed by health care providers and furnished with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.
Unimóvil is expected to provide services to up to 4,500 Rio Grande Valley residents annually.
According to America's Health Rankings Spotlight: Prevention, Hispanic adults are not receiving as many key clinical preventive health services – including immunizations, cholesterol checks and colorectal cancer screenings – as non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black adults.
The report also indicates Hispanic adults are less likely than non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black adults to visit a dedicated health care provider. Dedicated health care providers can help adults navigate the complex health care system and enable their patients to receive care that can prevent, detect and manage disease or other existing conditions. Barriers to health care – including lack of transportation, child care or work obligations; financial constraints; and a general lack of knowledge of available services and care providers – are just some of the challenges people face when trying to access vital preventive care services
"One of the ways we help build healthier communities is by partnering with local organizations to make it easier for people to access health care services," said Don Langer, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas. "Unimóvil will be on the front lines of care, delivering the health care provider and vital services to our neighbors who need them most."
"Unimóvil will help expand access to health care for thousands of Texans in the Rio Grande Valley each year," said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. "Building a better Texas begins with building healthier families, and I am proud that UTRGV and United Health Foundation have joined forces to provide convenient health care services to the residents of the Rio Grande Valley."
For more information about Unimóvil's upcoming visits, call 956-296-1700.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 in a historic move that combined the resources and assets of UT Brownsville and UT Pan American and, for the first time, made it possible for residents of the Rio Grande Valley to benefit from the Permanent University Fund. UTRGV enrolled its first class in fall 2015. The institution also is home to The UTRGV School of Medicine, which in June 2016 welcomed its first cohort of 55 medical students. One of only a few medical schools to be established in the country in several decades, the UTRGV School of Medicine is designed to transform medical education and research, train a new generation of physicians in integrative and personalized care, and impact the health and well-being of the entire Valley. The School of Medicine aims to become a national model for innovation and continuous improvement in medical education, research, and healthcare delivery. Learn more about UTRGV and the School of Medicine online at www.utrgv.edu
Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health Foundation has committed more than $285 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at www.unitedhealthfoundation.org or follow @UHGGives on Twitter or Facebook.com/UHGGives.
The UTRGV School of Medicine and United Health Foundation unveiled “Unimóvil,” a mobile medical health clinic that will provide up to 4,500 Rio Grande Valley residents annually with primary care services. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)
Attendees toured Unimóvil following its unveiling ceremony on July 14. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)