On Sept. 28, UnitedHealth Group (UHG) joined the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) – a United Health Foundation grant partner – in Edinburgh, Texas, for a dedication ceremony of its mobile medical clinic. “Unimóvil” was made possible through a three-year, $2.88 million United Health Foundation grant in 2014. Through its recent integration with the school’s family medicine department, the mobile medical clinic will now be able to expand its service area from two colonias to ten colonias throughout south Texas. Since it began operations in July 2016, the Unimóvil has traveled 9,000 miles and has provided care to more than 2,000 patients.
During the dedication ceremony, UnitedHealthcare of Texas CEO Dave Milich presented a plaque to the UTRGV School of Medicine recognizing its partnership with UHG. Milich also highlighted the school’s recent response to Hurricane Harvey. UHG and a team of UTRGV doctors, nurses, faculty and staff collaborated to bring the Unimóvil to Houston to provide culturally competent care to individuals affected by the storm.
On July 14, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) School of Medicine and United Health Foundation introduced “Unimóvil,” a mobile health clinic that will provide Rio Grande Valley residents health screening, education and convenient access to dental and mental health services.
Unimóvil’s services include primary care and diagnosis and treatment of common dental and mental health conditions, as well as health screenings including: oral health with fluoride varnish, HIV, depression with phq9, Duke wellness screen, BMI evaluation, domestic violence screen, vision, hearing, lipid profile, liver function tests, HgA1C, and women’s health screen.
“One of the ways we help build healthier communities is by partnering with local organizations to make it easier for people to access health care services,” said Don Langer, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas. “Unimóvil will be on the front lines of care, delivering the health care provider and vital services to our neighbors who need them most.”
Unimóvil’s commissioning was made possible through a $2.88 million grant by United Health Foundation in January 2015 that established the university’s Center for Colonia Integrated Care (CCIC) to help improve access to primary and preventive health care services.
The 45-foot-long clinic is staffed by health care providers and furnished with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.
Unimóvil is expected to provide services to up to 4,500 Rio Grande Valley residents annually.
According to the recently released America’s Health Rankings Spotlight: Prevention, Hispanic adults are not receiving as many key clinical preventive health services – such as immunizations, cholesterol checks or colorectal cancer screenings – as non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black adults.
To address the issue, United Health Foundation and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) School of Medicine hosted a symposium on May 11 to discuss procedures and policies for improving access to care for the Hispanic community.
The symposium brought together experts from national and local health organizations to discuss disparities in the use of key clinical preventive services, explore their potential causes, and identify solutions for improving Hispanics’ access to and use of preventive care, and ultimately community health.
This event and others are part of a larger initiative launched in 2015 by UTRGV’s School of Medicine through a $2.8 million grant by United Health Foundation to support increased health care access and education in Valley colonias. Specifically, the partnership is helping build a sustainable model for health care delivery to the most vulnerable members of the community.