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Meeting People Where They Are with Mobile Health

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

On April 16th, 2024, in celebration of CCC’s Mobile Health program and our new custom-made vans, we hosted an official launch party in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Joined by Medical Teams International, The Standard, Trillium Community Health Plan, Oregon Health Authority, Multnomah County’s Joint Office of Homeless Services, and Mission Mobile Medical, we were thrilled to celebrate bringing new care options and services to people for whom traditional brick-and-mortar is literally a bridge too far.


“What I want you to hear  is collaborative partnership. This is what this is. These vans say Central City Concern, but this is a collaboration that is going to impact the lives of literally thousands of our community members in the next several years.

– Dr. Andy Mendenhall, President and CEO of Central City Concern

Meeting People Where They Are

In 2023, CCC launched the Mobile Health program, aligning with our Strategic Plan’s objective to meet people where they are. People experiencing homelessness are constantly on the move, posing challenges to traditional “brick-and-mortar” service delivery.  

Mobile Health addresses the need to improve health equity and access to care by delivering culturally responsive, trauma-informed and patient-centered care to the unhoused population.

We’ve partnered with Medical Teams International (MTI) to move the front door of traditional health care, making it easier to offer services in a mobile setting. CCC will now offer a range of expanded primary care which includes behavioral health care, improving access to services and housing resources, while MTI is offering dental services.

In early 2024, our two large, custom-made vans arrived, allowing our teams to directly provide wound care, physical exams, infectious disease screening, vaccinations, and medications.

“The care of the whole person is essential.”

– Mike Goodwin, Interim CEO of Medical Teams International

Closing the Gap 

We recognize the importance of providing accessible medical services by removing barriers like financial, cultural, or logistical obstacles that might otherwise prevent individuals from receiving necessary care.  

To design the Mobile Health program thoughtfully, we utilized multiple data sources and insights from street medicine teams nationwide. Two prominent themes stood clear: trust is imperative and access barriers need to be broken. 

Building Trust 

The population CCC serves often expresses distrust of traditional health care models, that’s why we begin our Mobile Health patients’ care journey with outreach to establish trust. We meet people where they are, using trauma-informed language, providing resources, answering questions, and distributing survival items. We engage with patients in a way that considers their past and current traumas, ensuring they feel safe and supported throughout their medical care journey.

Accessibility is Key 

Once trust is established, our team can offer a range of health services directly in our highly equipped Mobile Health vans. Our ongoing objective is to use this trust to integrate patients into CCC’s brick-and-mortar health services locations. Meeting patients with the same provider they encountered in the field holds immense value. Thus, a significant program strategy involves using the same providers from CCC’s health services so that patients can receive ongoing care at our brick-and-mortar clinic.

As the Mobile Health program expands, we will continue data collection, tracking, and visualization to better understand overall impact, progress over time and by location. This will aid us in meeting our targets effectively and adapting the program to the evolving needs of those we serve.

One Journey – Three Levels of Service 

CCC operates two teams, each staffed with a combination of roles including a Primary Care Provider (Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, or Naturopathic Doctor), behavioral health specialist, and a community health outreach worker. The teams visit Temporary Assistance Shelter Sites (TASS), sanctioned encampments and congregate shelter sites, unsanctioned encampments and locations where unsheltered community members are located, and service hubs like day centers, food/meal resource sites, and community events. 

In consideration of the barriers both observed and reported, we provide three levels of service not necessarily as standalone services but as part of a larger journey in establishing or rebuilding trust.

Learn more about the Mobile Health program!

Learn More

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