DAP Health’s Mobile Testing team began the rollout this week of its new and ongoing program to bring healthcare, counseling and help with life essentials to people in parts of the Coachella Valley where barriers to healthcare are known to be the most challenging.
Regardless of the reason, avoiding care is hazardous to health and well-being, and DAP Health is meeting increased isolation by getting behind the wheel.
After almost two years of planning and help from a grant from Direct Relief and Pfizer last winter, the Mobile Testing team will now administer treatments for STIs, on-the-spot counseling and rapid antiretroviral treatments for HIV. The van also has video conference capabilities so that patients can consult with DAP doctors, and intakes for social services can be done from inside the van.
In the first day, 12 patients were seen for vital testing and treatment, and the opportunity for ongoing care by becoming a patient at DAP Health. The van’s new capability is helping to destigmatize sexuality with a quicker and more discrete way of intimate medical care.
STI rates remain the highest they have been for California in three decades, and many in the Coachella Valley continue facing new barriers to care and treatment as COVID continues.
DAP Health’s Mobile Testing is a gateway to DAP Health’s main campus. The health center offers medical and mental healthcare by skilled clinicians who understand that asking questions and listening to patients is essential for giving them the best care possible.
“To increase health equity, DAP Health is bringing services to patients who face barriers with traditional healthcare settings,” said C.J. Tobe, director of Community Health. “We help them where they are in their journey of life to address their needs and co-create a plan.”
Some of the life essentials being offered during visits to the DAP Health’s Mobile Testing Van are:
- Supplying food cards to people who test for HIV and STIs.
- Providing protein bars and Gatorade to our homeless neighbors, specifically to those are who being released from the county program after leaving the hospital or prison system.
- Delivering food and essential items to people who are unable to shop due to health illness.
- Providing a way to get to and from medical appointments and pharmacies with Lyft rides or gas cards or bus passes.
- Cutting isolation by providing TracFones to access community resources and their care team at DAP Health.
- One-on-one guidance for using the TracFone as a videoconferencing device for Virtual Visits with DAP Health doctors.
Accessing Medi-Cal and Insurance
- Assistance with health insurance or Medi-Cal (including through Covered California), medication programs and other programs that reduce out–of–pocket expenses.
- Culturally competent education literature in hard copy and digital to distribute to community members.
- Instruction for HIV / STI prevention
- PrEP / PEP, PrEP 2-1-1, and Doxy for PrEP
- Free condoms / lube
Health Equity and DAP Health
DAP Health works to improve social determinants that affect people’s health outcomes, all of which have been compounded by the pandemic — these include food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to health care.