|Health clinic a success|
by By Lindsey Jackson · October 10, 2012
The University of Iowa mobile health clinic held from 9-11:30 a.m. on Saturday in the West Liberty Middle School gym was visited by 15 community members who all sought free health check-ups. Lauren Levy, a Counseling Psychology Doctoral Student at the University of Iowa, said this was a normal turn out.
“We take people on a first come, first serve basis,” Levy said. “Some people were waiting for an hour.”
A staff of four University of Iowa medical students, overseen by two full-time doctors were able to provide patients with free vital checks such as height, weight, blood pressure and blood work. Patients also met with medical students up to 30 minutes in order to get free physicals and medical attention they might not have otherwise received.
“We began the mobile clinic in West Liberty last year because multiple community members from West Liberty let us know there are a lot of unhealthy or uninsured individuals in the area,” Levy said.
Levy said the clinic likes to target people who are uninsured or underinsured but will not turn down someone with insurance. She also stressed that because different symptoms or problems can interact, it is important for each person to have a primary care physican or medical home, which is a doctor who keeps up-to-date on a patient’s health, family history and vaccinations. “We are out there because there are quite a lot of people who are not insured and getting sufficient medial care,” said Levy. “We think we can help with that and have had a lot of positive feedback.”
The mobile clinic is funded by donations from the University of Iowa, the Iowa City Free Medical Clinic and West Liberty Merick Foundation. It operates by students, doctors and West Liberty School employees volunteering their time.
Volunteering at the most recent clinic was Lisa Lavadie-Gome, M.D., of Mercy Services West Liberty. Dr. Gomez was a student at the University of Iowa who participated in past mobile clinics. A staff member of Mercy Services West Liberty said they are trying to do what is best for the community. Mercy Services West Liberty also provides care to low-income or uninsured residents.
This was the mobile clinic’s sixth visit to West Liberty. In August the clinic had a larger turn out due to back-to-school physicals. The clinic will be in West Liberty again on Oct. 27 and Dec. 1.