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  • Last modified 229 days ago (April 20, 2022)

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Forget house calls; clinic now making town calls

Staff writer

A medical clinic on wheels parked Thursday in Peabody’s high school parking lot to provide service in a community that no longer has a medical clinic.

Newton-based Health Ministries Clinic, with two clinics in Newton and a third in Halstead, began a mobile medical service for outlying towns this month.

Thursday’s visit was the first several scheduled stops for the town. The mobile clinic will return April 28. After that, visits are planned every other week. The clinic ran from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The Winnebago RV has two examining rooms and a laboratory inside.

Chris Allen, outreach coordinator for HMC, said two outreach mobile clinics were offered in January to test the service.

The goal is to offer mobile services twice a month in Peabody. Mobile clinics will be offered in various communities five days a week — morning and afternoon.

“In May, we have all but three days of the month scheduled,” Allen said. “The mobile clinic will be out five days a week. So far, the response we’re getting is that people are thrilled with it.”

The clinic provides acute care, COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, blood pressure checks and the like.

Allen said services were offered on a first-come, first-serve basis, with no appointments needed.

Anyone needing service is welcome.

“Just because we’re in Peabody doesn’t mean only Peabody people can come,” she said.

Peabody was the first community she called when she was getting towns lined up for clinic visits.

The mobile medical clinic was at Goessel April 13. Florence is on Allen’s list of towns to contact about future visits.

“Once we get afternoons figured out, we’ll start doing mornings,” she said.

Health Ministries Clinic is a not-for-profit federally qualified health center that provides medical, dental, and behavioral health services to patients of all ages.

Its medical clinics offer non-emergency primary care, chronic disease management, pre-employment physicals, well-woman exams, immunizations, laboratory services, diagnostic imaging, and pediatric care.

Dental services, provided in a separate clinic, include general dentistry, dental emergencies, exams and X-rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions, root canals, and crowns.

Behavioral health services are offered to patients already established as medical or dental patients. The services include assessments, brief therapy, lifestyle change, and psychiatric medication consultations. If patients need ongoing therapy, the clinic will refer the patient to a different agency.

Prescription assistance is available to qualified patients. The organization operates a pharmacy as well.

Services are provided regardless of income or insurance coverage. A sliding fee scale is available for patients with income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.

Most major private insurances as well as Medicaid and Medicare are accepted.

HMC has 11 physicians, 10 nurse practitioners, one physician’s assistant, three social workers, five dental service providers, and three pharmacy staff members.

Last modified April 20, 2022

 

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