GARRETT – St. Martin’s Healthcare is expanding its services through the creation and use of a mobile health care clinic, now in the early stages of development through a generous gift from Steel Dynamics Inc.
Transportation is one of the biggest hurdles local nonprofits have struggled with in recent years. San Martin’s Healthcare recognizes that 80% of cancellations or missed appointments in the last two years related to the lack of access to reliable transport or the lack of finances to maintain the vehicle.
Appointment times are scheduled by patients with the intention of a time that is convenient for the patient. Missed appointments cause a failure in care or patients who lack prescribed medications, while also taking away the availability of someone who needs health care services, according to St. Martin’s executive director, Tammy Stafford.
With the increase in patient visits, the clinic also noticed that the need for health care services was apparent in LaGrange and Steuben counties as well. With these counties being further away from the clinic, the need for transportation assistance increased immensely. The research revealed that 47% of patients who sought care at St. Martin’s health care drove 26 to 94 miles each way for care.
With a growing importance for a clinic to be in the communities served, many brick and mortar sites would not be an effective solution. Thus was born the idea of a Mobile Health Clinic.
“St. Martin’s Healthcare has a clear mission to provide health care to improve the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being of the community,” said Stafford. “The mobile clinic provides a way to increase access to health care for more uninsured or underinsured individuals and families.”
The conversion of a 37-foot RV unit by Mission Mobile Medical in Greensboro, North Carolina is expected to be completed and delivered by April 2023.
The renovated unit will include two exam rooms — one at each end — with storage and space for practitioners to provide care. Satellite capabilities are planned to avoid disruption and promote efficiency while accessing electronic health records. Chair units that will serve as an examination table or a dental chair will be used. The center of the unit will house refrigeration for medications, lab tests, a bathroom, more storage for supplies and a reception area for patient intake and waiting.
The initial services planned will be similar to those of the inpatient clinic: laboratory tests, access to electronic health records, mental health integration, specialist referrals and medical assistance. Provisions during construction prepare the unit for the addition of dental services in the future.
“The first year will be a big learning curve as St. Martin’s Health Care focuses on meeting the needs in each community, as well as determining places that are easily accessible for patients,” Stafford said. “We want to have a schedule that communities and patients can depend on.”
She stressed that the mobile clinic is not intended to replace the location at 1350 S. Randolph St. in Garrett, but is designed to strengthen and add access to care in outlying communities.
The clinic’s goal is to raise $560,000 from grants and community-wide support to fund the purchase of a mobile clinic unit, initial medical equipment, a diagnostic laboratory facility, program implementation and dental equipment for the future plans to offer mobile dental services. .
There are many ways the community can support the mobile clinic program. Donations and pledges can be made by mail or in person at St. Martin’s Healthcare, 1359 S. Randolph St., Garrett, IN 46738. You can also choose a secure gift online through their website, smhcin.org.
St. Martin’s Healthcare welcomes opportunities to speak at churches, clubs and events. People can contact Marissalee at 357-0077 to schedule a speaker.
St. Martin’s Healthcare is a free clinic that has served the uninsured for 17 years, opening in October 2005. Since that time, the clinic has expanded programs to include vision and mental health counseling in addition to primary medical care. and dental supported by voluntary health. care providers and staff.
The clinic is open 35 hours a week and now serves DeKalb, Noble, Steuben and LaGrange counties. Those who are underinsured with high deductibles and co-payments may also be eligible for care. Appointments can be made by calling 357-0077, and same-day appointments are available.
St. Martin’s Health Care receives no federal or state dollars and is funded solely by grants, foundations, donations from individuals, businesses, churches and civic organizations, two annual fundraisers – a tea held in February and a golf benefit in August – and the proceeds from Curiosity. Shop.
Founded nearly 30 years ago, today Steel Dynamics is one of the largest and most diversified domestic steel producers and metal recyclers in the country, with facilities located throughout the United States and Mexico. Steel Dynamics’ steel products are produced by the company’s Flat Roll Group.
Now comprising five locations, the original facility is in Butler. With a combined flat roll steel shipping capacity of approximately 8.4 million tons per year, including its many value-added coating lines, the SDI Flat Roll Group offers one of the broadest lines of flat rolled products available in the industry. Carbon steel sheets are produced in narrow widths from 38 inches to 76 inches, and in thicknesses ranging from 3/4 inch to 0.010 inch.
“The confidence that the founders of our company initially placed in the employees of the Butler Division, now 1,000 strong, leads the team to regularly exceed expectations,” company officials said. “They continue to break records while always looking for new ways to innovate how to do work safer, with higher quality and with a lower carbon footprint. The same spirit is present among the 11,000 dedicated employees at SDI.