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Hampton Roads Community News

STOP’s Mobile Telehealth Clinic Will Aid Rural Communities

By Leonard E. Colvin
Chief Reporter
New Journal and Guide

After months of planning and fundraising. STOP Inc. is preparing to launch its Mobile Telehealth Clinic (MTC) to address healthcare inequalities in the rural areas of Western Tidewater, Southampton County, and small enclaves such as the City of Franklin and portions of Isle of Wight.

Funding from the Bank of America Foundation and other donors are supporting STOP Inc.’s efforts to expand and enhance collaboration and partnership opportunities that benefit of low-income rural communities.

Christian Joyner, STOP Inc.’s Vice President of Health and Wellness, told the GUIDE that as soon as the agency can complete the recruiting of key personnel, such as a driver with a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) and medical volunteers, the 40-foot-long single axle truck outfitted with two examination rooms, a waiting room, and space for equipment will be on the road.

The MTC initially will provide services to address mental health, substance, and opioid use disorders. Long-term dental care will be provided by the MTC staff when funding can be attained.

The MTC also will assist with COVID vaccination efforts. However, providing these services will only be possible with the help of volunteers. Some opportunities include general volunteers who are interested in administrative volunteer positions; virtual volunteers who will work with STOP Inc.’s partner, Blakey Weaver, providing mental health services and telemedicine from the mobile unit; and skills-based volunteers including counselors, doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, LPNs, and medical assistants.

Joyner shared that the agency is seeking funding for a part-time licensed physician to provide continuity and allow the use of physician assistants and nurse practitioners more readily. Health literacy, transportation, and lack of affordable care are a few of the top barriers impacting low to moderate-income families.

In line with its mission, STOP Inc. is addressing conditions of poverty that directly relate to Employment, Education, Housing and Health.

Over half of the people served will be female and/or Black and 100% of the people served will be low to moderate-income.

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Joyner said STOP, Inc. needs exceptional members of the healthcare community and general community at large to help serve those that need it most.

To become a volunteer or learn more about the MTC, contact Christian Joyner at cjoyner@stopinc.org.

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