Mobile unit to bring healthcare to Carteret County rural communities

Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 7:56 PM EDT
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CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -A new mobile integrated care unit will soon make it easier for people who live beyond city limits to access healthcare.

“This is one of those opportunities that comes along maybe once in a career,” said Trillium Resources Chief Operating Officer, Cindy Ehlers.

With grant money from the state of North Carolina, Trillium Health Resources partnered with Port Health to provide the unit for the Down East community.

“It’s a great thing to do this especially in my part of the county, it’s a long county,” said the Chairman of the Carteret County board of commissioners, Ed Wheatly.

Parked in Otway or Sea Level, the unit will cut travel time significantly for those who go to appointments in Morehead City.

“I think transportation has always been limited here, especially with transportation and substance abuse, maybe they don’t have their drivers license,” said Port Health Services Supervisor, Amanda Styron.

Staff within the unit will provide counseling services, medication management services and assessment, while using tele-medicine equipment if needed.

“If people need to see a physician, or a PA, or a nurse practitioner. They’ll be able to chime in VIA video,” said Port Health CEO, Tom Savidge.

For the time being, Styron and a Certified Medical Assistant will run the office on wheels.

“I’m going to be doing the intakes and setting them up for appointments and setting them with a doctor or tele-health if they need it and do the assessments to get them enrolled in the services and I’ll have my CMA,” said Styron.

Providers hope, once it is parked, patients will come. “One of the things we do know if people have access to substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment they’re more likely to get engaged and get the help they need,” Savidge said.

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