Despite close proximity to the most comprehensive health sciences campus in the country, many central Ohioans have issues that keep them from seeking regular care, from reluctance to schedule health checkups to lack of transportation.
It is with these individuals in mind that Ohio State maintains a series of mobile healthcare units, proving needed access to optometry, mammography, osteopathic and dentistry services.
Access to dental care is the number one unmet health care need for Ohio’s children, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Ohio State’s College of Dentistry created the Dental H.O.M.E. Coach (Health Outreach Mobile Experience) to provide dental care to more than 2,000 students in the Columbus Public Schools each year. The coach is part of the College’s OHIO Project, which gives fourth-year dental students experience providing care to underserved populations.
Vision disorders are the leading handicap of childhood and the fourth most common disability in the United States. The Ohio State College of Optometry’s VIP Van (Vision in Preschoolers), provides comprehensive eye exams to Ohio preschoolers using the best performing vision screening tests found during a six-year clinical study of more than 4,000 3-to-5-year-olds. The College also operates two BuckEYE vans, providing vision screenings and comprehensive eye exams to more than 3,000 students and 200 home-bound patients annually.
Ohio State’s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute operates a mammography van that provides screenings to central Ohio businesses by appointment. The Medical Center also operates a mobile unit that performs bone density to calculate the risk of bone fracture due to osteoporosis.
“I was surprised that the test was not long, about 30 minutes,” says Leola Campbell, who received a bone scan from the mobile unit. “The doctor did an excellent job of explaining my results and his recommendations were easy to understand. I would use this service again.”