Healthcare becomes more agile as providers reuse Covid vaccination vans for new needs.
President Joe Biden signed a bill this week – dubbed the MOBILE Healthcare Act – of Meaning. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), which would allow federally licensed health centers funded by Medicare and Medicaid to offer mobile health care clinics.
Mobile clinics have taken off since the start of the pandemic, with 40% growth since 2019, according National Association of Community Health Centers. They have often been used as Covid-19 vaccination sites, rolling around neighborhoods to reach people where they live.
Advocates of mobile health clinics see them as a way to expand access to health care for people who may be hard to reach.
“[It will benefit] underserved communities, rural communities, but sometimes there are also people who just can’t get out that easily,” Rosen said. future impulse. “The awareness that we’re going to be able to do with this flexibility that this bill gives to community health centers…it’s going to be life changing.”
As vaccination campaigns against Covid-19 dwindle, mobile clinics are reorienting themselves and new uses for mobile clinics are emerging:
- A South Carolina organization transformed its fleet into primary care and behavioral health mobile clinics, said Elizabeth Wallace, executive director of the Mobile Healthcare Association.
- And internationally, the Dutch conglomerate Philips uses mobile clinics in India which were once used to increase the bed capacity of intensive care units to bridge urban and rural divides.
Proponents argue that clinics build confidence if performed correctly. It requires getting involved early and often, integrating into the community and partnering with organizations, Wallace said.
Getting a steady stream of federal funding will help.
“The expansion of mobile clinics in [federally qualified health centers] really is just the beginning,” said Mollie Williams of Harvard Medical School, executive director of Family Van, a provider of mobile clinics, and Mobile Health Map, which provides data analysis for mobile clinics.
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Today on our Pulse check podcast, Krista Mahr chats with Grace Scullion about the Biden administration’s Covid vaccine messaging strategy and whether it’s working. Also, William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, on the limitations of the CDC.
A vaccine against deadly hemorrhagic fever Ebola, which is currently spreading in Uganda, would be a major breakthrough.
The United States has a candidate and is waiting for the World Health Organization and Ugandan officials to approve a clinical trial in the central African country.
“We’re ready to go,” said Karin Bok, acting deputy director of pandemic preparedness and emergency response at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Vaccine Research Center.
The candidate vaccine, developed by the Center for Vaccine Research, is considered the most advanced in testing after completing Phase I clinical trials. The vaccine, based on a chimpanzee adenovirus, has been licensed to Sabin Vaccine Institute, a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC that promotes vaccine development.
NIAID has 100 vial doses and 7,000 bulk doses, Bok said, adding that Sabin had more.
“Right now we have, between Sabin and NIAID, enough doses to respond,” she said.
Vaccines and treatments for Ebola have been successfully developed for the Zaire strain of the disease, which caused a massive outbreak in West Africa between 2014 and 2016 and more recent outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
But at this stage, there is no vaccine against the Sudanese strain.
Civil service candidates have a great incentive to reach the maximum number of potential voters with their messages.
But a September report from the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, which connects people who are blind or visually impaired to support services, found that the websites of the 14 candidates it reviewed had a lot to do with reaching people with disabilities.
The report found:
- None of the websites complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Whether the ADA applies to websites is the subject of ongoing litigation.
- None of the applicants had an accessibility statement with contact information, including an email address and phone number that users can use for assistance.
- Applicant websites did not allow users to easily adjust font color and size.
Miami Lighthouse reviewed sites for gubernatorial and Senate candidates in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, New York and Pennsylvania. Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams had the most accessible site, while Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Mehmet Oz had the least.
Miami Lighthouse CEO Virginia Jacko said small fixes could make these sites accessible, such as adding a widget that allows contrast changes to help people with visual impairments.
Sites can also fail for people with hearing loss if they don’t provide captions for videos, or for people with dexterity issues if links aren’t easy to click.
The number of people involved is significant. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 12 millions Americans over 40 are visually impaired, while 37.5 million have hearing loss.
Jacko noticed that website donation pages were more likely to be accessed than those detailing political positions. “Isn’t that interesting? she asked.
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