Providence ‘Mission in Motion’ clinic to frequent CL

By SUE RYAN

News staff writer

September 13, 2006

Cascade Locks will have a new medical clinic visiting twice a week beginning in October.

Maria Castro, of Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital’s project manager for the clinic, spoke to the City Council Monday night about the facility’s “Mission in Motion.”

“As part of our mission, we have every biennium done a research project in the community,” she said. “One of the largest concerns is access to health care.”

Castro said the Mission in Motion 35-foot RV will deliver mobile health care to citizens around Hood River County. The van is slated to be in Cascade Locks on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the city hall.

She said the planners chose to be in Cascade Locks twice weekly in part because of the many people who live there who are in the hospital’s target group of serving the uninsured.

“Our mission will be to provide primary care — as long as they don’t have insurance — and education,” she said.

Castro emphasized the mobile clinic will be very proactive in educating people about their health. The van will be staffed by a physician, a medical assistant, and a medical assistant/driver. She said the program will have limits as they will not carry any painkillers or prescription drugs or money.

“We won’t do it because it’s a big risk,” she said.

The services will also be limited in scope as the two-exam room van won’t have radiology and some other services. Castro said in some cases if someone is critically injured or very ill, the van staff will stabilize that person and have them transported.

Councilor Cindy Mitchell asked what happened to the original plan to be located at Cascade Locks School. Castro said that because they could not be in the school until after 3:30 p.m., when students were finished, they would have to split their time between the school and city hall. They decided to stick with one place after getting feedback from the town’s Action Team.

She also said while they don’t plan to ask if people have insurance, they will be relying on an honor system that people who come for services are uninsured. The program is not run on a grant and is intended to continue as the community needs it. Currently there is no doctor, clinic, or pharmacy in the town.

The van will also tour other parts of Hood River County including Parkdale, Odell, and Pine Grove. The final schedule is still being set.

Providence will hold an open house and dedication for the van from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 18 at the front entrance of the hospital.

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