Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii (HMHB) has a launched a new mobile clinic to provide health and social services to Oahu's most vulnerable moms, expectant mothers and babies.
In December, AlohaCare awarded a $35,000 grant to HMHB to convert a 22-foot passenger van into the Mana Mobile Clinic. It previously had been using the van to deliver food during the pandemic.
"The vision of the Mana Mama Mobile Clinic, it was always there," Sunny Chen, executive director of HMHB, says. "We always wanted a clinical arm and we wanted to fill the gaps in the community by being where our clients are."
HMHB is known for its programs that provide cribs for children and organizing new parent support groups.
The new mobile clinic will bring clinical services outside of a hospital or office setting. It will be staffed by a family nurse practitioner, certified midwives and other specialists. It has the capacity to serve 25-30 patients a week.
"The idea is that we wrap around moms and baby and do the reproductive health, prenatal care, postpartum care and fill the gaps in the community when maybe our community health center partners cannot get to a mom," Chen says. "They may have transportation issues, there are too many kids at home and maybe the father is deployed - whatever the social situation may be, the community health center partners will call us and we'll go over there and we will be able to do the service."
The van also has refrigerators and freezers to store vaccines. Chen says it could be mobilized for the current COVID vaccine distribution across the state.
If a client is uninsured or underinsured, funding will be provided by the state Department of Health.
AlohaCare says it will continue to award Access to Care grants to nonprofits in the near future.
"We feel like there's an obligation on our end to make sure that those nonprofits are able to continue to do the work that they do today," Francois Culley-Trotman, CEO of AlohaCare, says. "We see it as a critical part of our recovery and will continue to do that as we move forward."