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The mission of the Mobile Health Program is to empower underserved communities by developing sustainable systems that increase access to health promotion, disease prevention and health care services.
Mobile Health Program Service Provision
Through education and training, health promotion, disease prevention, and community development efforts, the MHP addresses these core functions and direct health services:
- To inform, educate, and empower people about health issues
- To develop policies and procedures that support individual and community health efforts
- To link people to needed personal health services
- To assure the provision of health care when otherwise not available
The program employs an integrated process of:
- Setting priorities
- Regional and community planning
- Developing strategies to offer a continuum of services while building community capacity
- Taking direct action
- Measuring success
The Mobile Health Program (MHP) was established in 1976 as part of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Health pioneers Augusto Ortiz, MD, and his wife, Martha Ortiz, were the founders of the Mobile Health Program and its mobile clinic. The Ortiz Endowment was established in 2000 by Dr. Andy Nichols, to serve as a permanent sponsorship fund for the Mobile Health Program at the University of Arizona. At the time, the Mobile Health Program was part of the Rural Health Office. In 2001 the Rural Health Office and the Mobile Health Program moved to the College of Public Health. It has since been moved to the College of Medicine Department of Family and Community Medicine. The program has evolved and expanded over the years based on requests from needy areas and the availability of funding.
Who We Serve
Each year the Mobile Health Program provides patient services to about 2,400 persons in southern Arizona where little or no health care services are available. No one is turned away regardless of ability to pay for services. The Program primarily provides services to the medically underserved or uninsured people of southern Arizona. The program provides basic wellness and preventive care for people with acute and chronic conditions. The MHP also has the capacity to do diabetes education via telemedicine and diabetic retinopathy screening using a non mydriatic camera. This program uses state-of-the-art technology, including telemedicine to provide blindness prevention services to uninsured people with diabetes. Since 2003, approximately 225 uninsured women have received prenatal care for the whole family in an innovative Group Prenatal Care project; this is a cost-effective way to provide excellent prenatal care to women and their babies who might otherwise receive none. In collaboration with Family Medicine residents and faculty from the UA College of Medicine, the MHP staff provides prenatal care, counseling and prenatal and postpartum health education. Pregnant mothers will deliver at the Banner University Medical Center.
Where We Serve
Each project or program serves specific areas of southern Arizona, from rural areas to low income urban areas. The communities served include, the Old Nogales Highway Colonia or Summit View, and underserved communities within the city of Tucson including Littletown, Elvira, and Banks Elementary.
Who We Are
The Mobile Health Program consists of paid staff, undergraduate and graduate health professions students from Pima Community College and the UA, including residents and medical students from the CUP (Commitment to Underserved Peoples) program, and non-student volunteers from the community who generously give of their time.
Community Health Workers are professional employees who provide health promotion, education, and wellness services directly to members of the community. The Community Health Worker (CHW)/Promotora training program, which the MHP helped to establish in 1994, involves people from the community who are trained as lay health workers. They increase the community’s health and wellbeing through advocacy; information and referrals, and teach community members how to navigate the health and human services system. They provide an essential link to underserved patients in rural or lower-income urban areas. They can be paid employees or volunteers who:
- Provide outreach and culturally appropriate health education and information
- Build bridges between communities and the health and social service systems
- Assure that patients or clients obtain the services that they need
MHP paid staff consists of the following staff members:
- Nicole Person-Rennell, MD, MPH, Medical Director
- Ron Sorensen, MS, MA, Program Director
- Alicia Dinsmore, MA, Program Coordinator
- Elizabeth 'Kyle' Meehan, MD, Prenatal Provider
- Krista Sunderman, MD, Prenatal Provider
- Adrianna Virgen, Medical Assistant
- Viridiana Johnson, Education Coordinator
- Greg Loring, Driver
655 N Alvernon, Suite 160D
Tucson, AZ 85719
To make an appointment, call: (520) 771-5570 (se habla español)
Fax: (520) 626-9086
To collaborate with our program, please call our administrative office at (520) 621-0088