Unveiling Health on Wheels

For 10 years, it’s been called “The Van,” but now the homeless in Memphis are calling it “The Bus.” Others call it an answer to prayers.

Last week Baptist and Christ Community Health Services officials unveiled a new mobile health care clinic that will enhance their ability to care for the homeless.

“Our mobile clinic was having problems staying mobile, and without being able to travel four days a week to homeless shelters, it was becoming more and more difficult to help those we serve,” Jan Taylor, the program director of Baptist Operation Outreach in partnership with Christ Community Health Services, said. “Our van is now a mobile clinic bus with two large patient rooms and more storage to provide the care our patients need.”

Last year Baptist Operation Outreach had more than 3,000 patient visits, providing primary care across the city in the mobile clinic.

“The face of the homeless is changing, and it’s our job year-round to help those living on our streets become healthier and find permanent housing,” Stephen Reynolds, CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care, said. “Giving primary care to the homeless is our signature cause at Baptist.”

At the event unveiling the new mobile clinic bus in Court Square, Mayor A C Wharton thanked Baptist Memorial Health Care and Christ Community Health Services for their work serving the homeless.

The Baptist Operation Outreach mobile clinic is a partnership between Baptist and Christ Community Health Services and provides free acute and primary health care, information on disease prevention, and guidance and a medical home to thousands of Memphians without permanent housing. All services are free and are provided with respect and confidentiality. It is Baptist’s signature community outreach program.