Mobile Health Assessment Unit improves area healthcare


Alan Robinson, director of outreach in NIU’s College of Health and Human Sciences, received the DCP/SAFE Certificate of Achievement Tuesday, Oct. 30, and went on to say that it really belonged to the college’s Mobile Health Assessment Unit.

The Mobile Health Assessment Unit is a trailer that travels around the tri-county area with certified health care professionals from NIU’s Tri-County Community Health Center and helps people without transportation get medical help. It has recently visited Dixon, Mendota, Ottowa and Streator and also Kishwaukee Hospital.

The trailer has also been able to give last-minute physicals and vaccines to schoolchildren. About 43 sudents took advantage of the services this past August and in 2006. Bette Chilton, director of personal health services for the DeKalb County Health Department, said that she refers clients to the trailer if they are unable to treat them because of the low amount of appointments available.

Cherry Felton, a nurse at NIU’s Tri-County Clinic, has been working as a nurse on the trailer and said, “the trailer helps to spread the word about Tri-County and the acceptance of Medicaid.” Many people are not aware of the services being offered and the fact that Tri-County is the only rural clinic that accepts Medicaid.

The trailer also largely affects families where English is a second language because there are employees who can interact with the hispanic population. Costs and language barriers caused many to forgo much-needed health care.

The services provided by the trailer and the Tri-County Clinic are coming at a critical time where there is a great need for them.