Many patients served by St. Clare Health Mission lack transportation for their medical appointments.
St. Clare, with the help of area Rotarians, has taken a major step to address the problem with wheels of its own.
Rotarians, St. Clare volunteers and supporters, mobile medical clinic donors and community members gathered Thursday at Riverside Park to celebrate the introduction of a new mobile clinic.
St. Clare Medical Mission executive director Jason Larson described the mobile unit as a “full-scale, full-service family medicine unit” with two examination rooms.
“It has all the bells and whistles of your typical examination office,” Larson said.
Ten local and four international Rotary Clubs, along with several community donors, came together to raise over $330,000 for the mobile clinic. Larson said it will deliver family practice clinical services, preventive care, flu vaccines, youth sports physicals, lab draws, mental health and pharmacy services to adults and children without health insurance.
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Larson said the mission is grateful for Rotary’s support.
“Area Rotary clubs came together wanting to do something truly incredible for our communities,” he said. “They worked with partners and asked a handful of nonprofits to present ideas on what they could accomplish if they had the infusion of funding.”
Larson said the mobile unit will allow the mission to better serve rural or unsheltered patients who often let medical issues such as diabetes, hypertension and chronic-use injuries go untreated.
He said 55% of the mission’s patients are Hispanic, many of whom work in the agricultural sector. The unit will serve both La Crosse County and adjacent rural counties.
Larson wants patients to know “there is a place for you in the community, and here are the resources.”
“This has been a dream and a goal of the board,” Larson said. “The way we’re going to be able to served rural pockets is so exciting. We know the need is out there, and it’s sizable.”
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La Crosse Tribune reporter Steve Rundio can be reached at email@example.com.
"The way we're going to be able to served rural pockets is so exciting. We know the need is out there, and it's sizable."
Jason Larson, St. Clare Medical Mission executive director