Columbus, OH,
15:07 PM

OhioHealth unveils doctors’ offices on wheels

Huntington Bank and OhioHealth partner to bring needed medical services to underserved neighborhoods

COLUMBUS, Ohio – This month, OhioHealth will begin delivering primary care services to residents of the Hilltop and surrounding areas through a mobile medical clinic called Wellness on Wheels Primary Care.

The Wellness on Wheels vehicle has been in use for over 20 years providing pre-natal care to pregnant women and girls with its staff of OB/GYNS and prenatal experts. Now, its role will be expanded.

On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m., OhioHealth family medicine resident physicians, faculty physicians, nurses, a community health worker and driver will travel to the Hilltop YMCA in the 54-foot mobile unit to provide primary care.

The clinic can see any adult patient for a comprehensive set of primary care services including:

  • Annual physicals and wellness examinations
  • Preventive health, including screenings and immunizations
  • Management of chronic health conditions (including diabetes, high blood pressure and others)
  • Evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of medical concerns

Patients will also have access to referrals for community resources for substance abuse prevention and treatment

There are two patient exam rooms located within the mobile unit.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate this new service at the Hilltop YMCA, located at 2879 Valleyview Drive, Columbus, at 10 a.m. on January 26. The media is invited to attend.

Area of Need for Primary Care

This neighborhood was identified as an area of need for this pilot program due to a lack of primary care physicians; an overuse of emergency departments for lower-acuity visits; and because there is a trusted partner in the YMCA, which community members are already using for other services.

“We are thrilled to have found this creative way to eliminate barriers to crucial primary care services,” said Doug Knutson, MD, a family medicine physician and OhioHealth’s system vice president of academic affairs and chief academic officer. “When people don’t have easy access to primary care, they are more likely to use local emergency departments as their health care source. That’s inefficient and expensive. We believe that providing a medical home in this community will enable our patients to get excellent primary care, conveniently, and in an appropriate setting.”

Improving the health of those we serve

This program was made possible thanks to a nearly $1-million grant from Huntington Bank. In addition to providing medical care on the mobile medical clinic, OhioHealth will be investing in excess of $500,000 into the community for this pilot program.

“Thanks to the support of community partners like Huntington Bank and the YMCA of Central Ohio, we will deliver care to some of the most vulnerable patients in our community,” said Karen Morrison, president, OhioHealth Foundation and senior VP of external affairs. “Our goal in this pilot program is to impact health outcomes among these patients, while advancing our mission to improve the health of those we serve.”

“OhioHealth is a not-for-profit healthcare organization that has a charitable mission to provide a high level of healthcare for anyone, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Zach M. Klein, president, Columbus City Council. “The Wellness on Wheels mobile unit is a great example of this and will bring critical primary care services directly to a population in need of them. We are appreciative to see two strong community organizations in OhioHealth and Huntington Bank working together to improve the health of residents in the Hilltop.”

Last year, OhioHealth provided $278.7 million in charity care and other community benefit programs through initiatives like the Wellness on Wheels.

In addition to ongoing community benefit programs, OhioHealth has committed to investing $7.3 million over the next five years in community-based health and wellness programs including prenatal care and women’s health services; health literacy; primary care; substance abuse prevention and treatment services.