Mobile unit offers public health ‘on the go’ in Canadian County

1,298 COVID vaccines, tests administered since January

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Maggie Jackson

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A mobile health unit offers public health “on the go” across Canadian County.

The Oklahoma State Health Department’s fifth-wheel trailer is typically out three to four days a week, according to Canadian County Health Department (CCHD) Interim Regional Director Maggie Jackson.

“Our goal is to meet people where they are, and bring services to be as accessible as possible,” Jackson said. “We offer all of our public health services.

“Our trailer is going to all eight counties in our district. And we’ve been in Canadian County a lot! We had over 30 mobile events this spring in Canadian County.”

Just since January, the health department has administered 1,298 COVID vaccines and tests through this mobile outreach.

The mobile health unit, an extension of the local health department, is utilized to connect people to health services in under-resourced areas.

The unit is designed to be a basic medical clinic.

“We have a team of nurses who are excited to ‘get out on the road’,” Jackson shared. “They go all over.

“We have a new nurse practitioner who is supporting our efforts with sports physicals. She also provides primary health care services and health screenings at certain mobile events.”

Canadian County has health department offices at 1023 Vandament Ave. in Yukon and 100 Rock Island Ave. in El Reno.

For any Canadian County resident unable to visit either the Yukon or El Reno CCHD office, the mobile unit offers a convenient way to access health and referral services.

The Canadian County Health Department is utilizing its mobile health unit to connect people to health services in under-resourced areas. (Photo provided)

The mobile health unit will help people with:

  • Family planning services
  • COVID-19 testing
  • Immunizations/vaccines
  • The Oklahoma WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program
  • Child and adolescent health visits
  • Material and prenatal care
  • Communicable disease control

Health department personnel also connect clients who visit the mobile health unit with resources to address their needs – everything from housing and food assistance to health literacy and transportation services.

“We’re looking forward to offering free health physicals for our youth,” Jackson said. “When we have an opening, we’re booking those throughout the summer with our school districts.”

Jackson oversees the state health department’s District 2, which covers Canadian, Garfield, Logan, Blaine, Kingfisher, Grant, Major, and Alfalfa counties.

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BUSY WEEK

This week, the mobile health unit is out at events Monday through Saturday – with three of those in Yukon, El Reno and Mustang.

“We have worked with all kinds of partners – businesses, schools, city governments, churches, and community gatherings,” Jackson said.

The state health department bought these trailers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The units were initially used in Canadian and other District 2 counties for COVID response – vaccines and testing – starting in late April 2021.

“That’s how we got started,” Jackson noted. “This was a long-term dream to be able to bring services, especially to people in communities where transportation is a barrier for accessing care.”

Some 2,718 Canadian County clients were served by the mobile team in 2021.

And since this January, 577 services have been provided through mobile outreach.

For more information about the mobile health unit, call (405) 212-8425.

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