For more than a year, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine has been treating residents in remote areas by bringing a clinic to them.
The School of Medicine’s faculty, medical students, medical residents and other UTRGV-affiliated healthcare providers travel with Unimóvil, a 40-foot-long medical mobile clinic, to offer care to patients who live in low socioeconomic and remote areas of the Valley called colonias.
United Health Foundation (UHF) awarded the School of Medicine in January 2015 a three-year, $2.88 million grant to establish the Center for Colonia Integrated Care Program: VIDAS (Valley Interprofessional Development And Services) to build an integrated, interprofessional collaborative that will create a sustainable model for healthcare delivery to the most vulnerable members of the community.
As a part of that grant, the School of Medicine purchased the Unimóvil clinic to deliver healthcare to underserved communities. Unimóvil also provides another opportunity for medical students, medical residents and students in the College of Health Affairs to train and serve their community.
The clinic, which includes two examination rooms, a laboratory and restroom and has state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, travels to more than a half-dozen communities throughout the Valley each week, offering screenings, exams, vaccines and other healthcare needs patients have.
Since it began operations in summer 2016, Unimóvil has traveled about 12,500 miles and has provided care to more than 2,000 patients.
In September 2017, a team of healthcare providers with the School of Medicine traveled with Unimóvil to Houston to provide care to almost 100 patients affected by Hurricane Harvey.