Wayne State University and Wayne Health, its affiliated physician practice group, have received a $900,000 grant from Bank of America to strengthen the Wayne Health Mobile Unit (WHMU) program.
This innovative fleet of health delivery vehicles was established in partnership with Ford X in April 2020 to deliver COVID-19 testing, education and vaccinations to underserved populations in Detroit. The support from Bank of America will provide two fully outfitted electric vehicles from Ford Motor Company that will bring preventative health care to Detroit workers in an environmentally sustainable way.
The new electric Ford Transit vehicles will make regular site visits to an estimated 16 to 20 small- and medium-sized businesses in Detroit through partnerships between Wayne Health, the businesses and their health insurance providers — offering comprehensive or preventive health care services to thousands of workers. Each mobile unit will function as a mobile clinical setting with an examination and consultation area and a telehealth component. The funding from Bank of America will support the purchase of the vehicles, along with three years of personnel, medical supplies and vehicle maintenance.
“Providing access to high-quality, preventative care means local businesses can retain and attract top talent while creating lasting connections with employees,” said Matt Elliott, president of Bank of America Michigan. “This new initiative builds on Bank of America’s long partnership with Wayne State University by helping to reshape health care delivery in Detroit for thousands of workers. This is especially important since we know small and medium-sized companies are the growth engines of our economy, and their success is everyone’s reward.”
“We are helping businesses help their workers and with these new electric vehicles, we are doing so with a small environmental impact,” said Phillip Levy, M.D., M.P.H., project lead for the WHMU program as well as Wayne State’s assistant vice president for translational science and Wayne Health’s chief innovation officer. “Healthier workers mean healthier businesses, which translates to greater economic health for the Detroit region. We are grateful to Bank of America for helping us move from crisis response to destination care, and for giving these businesses the capacity to offer high-quality, affordable health care for their workers.”
A pilot program, which provided more than half of the employees at Detroit Chassis with health screening and pathways to health care, illustrated the potential impact of this initiative. In addition to free health screenings, COVID-19 testing, and vaccines, each of the WHMUs will provide preventive health care services, medication management for chronic conditions, health and patient education resources, and primary care physician and social service referrals.
Each vehicle will have a four-person staff that will include registered nurses, medical/research assistants, and patient and family health advocates. In addition, each is upfitted with two in-vehicle telehealth areas, one of which is ADA compliant, enabling ready, remote access to physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists as needed.
“This model is transformative, with significant potential to grow,” Levy said. “As we add more partner businesses, mobile units and sites, we will continue to build a new health care workforce and a new health care paradigm that brings affordable and accessible options to people where they live, work or play.”
Source: Bank of America