KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The engine is loud but the care is greater. Cherokee Health Systems (CHS) takes its 38-foot mobile clinic on the road across East Tennessee to reach those who don’t have access to the brick and mortar facilities.
“Our mission is to provide access to care to patients throughout Tennessee. We serve rural eastern Tennessee from the mountaintop town in Clearfield, all the way to Memphis. We serve about 70,000 Tennesseans annually through our 22 clinics and our one clinic on wheels or mobile clinic,” said Dr. Suzanne Bailey, chief operating officer at Cherokee Health Systems.
WATE toured the mobile unit which showcases everything offered at a doctor’s visit in a regular building.
“So the patient walks on the bus and is greeted by either me or the provider at this desk. We do a COVID screening and ask them if they would like a vaccine or a booster shot today,” said Julianna Gregory, a registered nurse who treats patients in the mobile clinic.
They provide COVID vaccinations and testing, flu shots, general wellness checkups, and infectious disease education and treatment.
“When they’re in here, the provider tries to really encompass everything the patient needs just because the population we serve is very transient,” she said.
With two treatment rooms and in-person and virtual providers, Cherokee hopes to improve the quality of life for so many struggling to make it to the doctor’s office.
“Access to healthcare is a basic human right and it is so important that we are responsive to community needs,” Bailey said. “We have lots of community partners who have helped us identify underserved populations, underserved communities, and we have worked to be responsive to that like at the zoo today.”
CHS promotes wellness by partnering with community agencies like KARM and Volunteer Ministry Center to reach vulnerable populations.
According to CHS, the CHS Mobile Clinic serves those who have limited or no access to care, regardless of their ability to pay for services.
The mobile clinic team hosts multiple events each month. Click here to view upcoming mobile events. To partner with CHS and host the mobile clinic, call 865-310-2102.
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