Sussex County residents take in new mobile health clinic and it’s life changing resources
SEAFORD, Del.- TidalHealth Nanticoke is getting $350,000 in federal funding that will help keep Delawareans healthy by addressing health disparities in under-resourced communities within Western Sussex County including Georgetown, Millsboro, Selbyville, Laurel, Seaford, Delmar, Blades Bethel and Bridgeville.
“We’ve been waiting on this cause for a time I couldn’t get to the doctors appointments, even when you made transportation they couldn’t pick you up because something got in the way; but now someone has heard our voice,” Laverne Whitmire, a resident at Meadow Bridge Apartments in Seaford, said.
TidalHealth will use this funding towards outfitting a mobile health clinic, to provide health screenings, multidisciplinary health services, education and outreach in community-based settings. “It’s going to be staffed with a registered nurse and a community health worker who will be able to do preventive health screenings such as take peoples A1C’s, find out their cholesterol, flu shots, COVID shots, but also health education,” Kat Rodgers, Director of Community Health Initiatives for TidalHealth said.
This announcement is something that made resident Whitmire emotional. “You don’t even know what you have started here, this is going to be such a tremendous out pouring of love,” Whitmire said.
But, she’s not the only one feeling this way. “It’s a big responsibility,” Penny Short, Tidal Health Nanticoke President, said. “We are ready and willing to be there for all of you.”
Rodgers said this idea came about when they started to do community vaccination clinics during the pandemic. “What we saw is that people had a lot of barriers to accessing all healthcare and people didn’t know they had diabetes or hypertension,” Rodgers said. “And, so once the pandemic sort of got under control that caused us to say, well what can we do differently? How can we provide healthcare and access differently?”
So, now with these new resources rolling in residents like Whitmire said she feels understood. “Once you know who we are and what we stand for and what we have in need of, then every need can be met,” Whitmire said.
Meanwhile, lawmakers are happy to see how federal dollars are making a difference in communities. “Having a mobile van like this to be able to go to people it will be far more cost effective, it will keep people out of the emergency room, people will be healthier, we’ll do it for less money,” Senator Tom Carper said.
“The bottom-line is we have been talking many years about health outcomes and seeing us improve them, but what we are doing now is being creative, being nimble, and saying you know what we are going to meet you where you are,” Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester said.
We’re told the hope is to have the mobile health clinic on the road sometime within the next few months, but they need to get it fully equipped and operational before that can happen.
The Community Project Funding was a part of a bipartisan, year-long process in which Representative Blunt Rochester’s office received over 150 applications.