By Michael Guglielmo, Director of Parish Integration, ArchCare
Photographed by Laurie Szostak
Imagine being an uninsured agricultural worker and risking losing your job by leaving work to see a doctor. Or perhaps you’re a senior on a limited income who can’t drive, and you live in an area without public transportation but need regular attention for a chronic health problem like diabetes. You may even reside in a community with few or no doctors at all, which is entirely possible in more-rural areas.
Fortunately, the medical landscape is changing for members of underserved populations like these across the Hudson Valley. A new mobile health center sponsored by the Archdiocese of New York and staffed and operated by HRHCare Community Health is deliver- ing quality care to people right where they are, regard- less of their ability to pay.
The 33-foot mobile health center was paid for by grants from the healthcare ministry of the Archdiocese of New York, known as ArchCare, and the Hearst Foundation. Since hitting the road in May, the clinic on wheels has made regular stops at farms, community agencies, religious congregations and other locations, providing everything from basic health screenings to
primary care for illnesses, injuries and chronic health challenges. That its two private examination rooms are constantly in use is clear testimony to the critical need the Arch- Care/HRHCare partnership is filling in communities across the Hudson Valley.
“As a health ministry, we saw far too many people being forced to forego essential medical services because they are poor, had no transportation or couldn’t leave work without jeopardiz- ing their livelihoods,” said Scott LaRue, president and CEO of ArchCare. “Our goal is to enable people of all faiths and financial means to access the care they deserve and often desperately need.”
ArchCare and the archdiocese have a rich history of filling society’s unmet health-care needs, and they serve the Hudson Valley through ArchCare at Ferncliff Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Rhinebeck.
Greater access to care is a particular godsend for workers in the black-dirt agricultural region of Orange County, where New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan formally unveiled and blessed the mobile health center in late June at HRHCare’s Health Center in Goshen.
Editor-in-Chief Laurie Szostak was invited to be a part of this memorable day. “It was a privilege and a honor to meet Cardinal Timothy Dolan and witness the blessing of this mobile care unit. Knowing that Hudson Valley farmers now have a place to go get health care if they need it, is great. In a world filled with negativity, this is just what we need in the Hudson Valley,” said Laurie Szostak.
“For more than 40 years, HRHCare has been working to ensure that underserved communities throughout the Hudson Valley had a place to go to receive quality care. This new mobile health center is part of our growing effort to not only give people a place to go for health care, but also to bring quality care as close to home as possible,” said Anne Kauffman Nolon, MPH, president and CEO of HRHCare. “We are so proud to partner with ArchCare in making sure that New Yorkers can receive health care, whether they come to us or we come to them.”
Find a schedule of the Center’s upcoming stops at www.hrhcare.org/mobilehealth or call 1-844-HRH-CARE (1.844.474.2273). █