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Mobile Urgent Care Providing Medical Care to Needy Columbus Residents
COLUMBUS (Lu Ann Stoia/Ken Hines) -- An inner-city charity is partnering with Mount Carmel Health to offer free medical care to those in need.
Stowe Mission volunteers feed hundreds of people each month in their Columbus soup kitchen, and have now added health care to their menu via the Mobile Medical Coach.
The coach is an urgent care on wheels in which doctors and nurses provide convenient, free, on-site care to the uninsured and under-served.
The vehicle visits nine sites throughout the Columbus area on weekdays, and has served approximately 14,000 patients. The coach visits Stowe Mission on the first and third Mondays of each month.
A lot of people, in trying to meet their needs, are bounced all over town, kinda like a ping pong ball," Stowe Mission Director Michael Brooks said. "We are a kind of one-stop shop for basic medical care and hunger needs -- and if they have spiritual needs, we are here for that too."
Debra, a homeless woman who has visited the soup kitchen and mobile clinic, said the mission has restored her faith in people.
To know people are willing to give back feels good, because where I am at that doesnt happen a lot. People are mean, she said.
Several factors contribute to poor medical care received by many low-income central Ohioans, according to mobile clinic manager Ladonya Brady, including a lack of knowledge about Columbus health offerings.
"Often they go without services they need because they don't know where to go, other than the ER," Brady said.
Brady does not expect the October opening of Obamacare exchanges to result in a significant decrease in the coach's visitors.