Last Thursday, MCC’s Institute for Workforce Innovation was invited to celebrate a partnership with the Kansas City Veterans Association Medical Center, a partnership that could have a far-reaching impact on veterans in the region.
Over 100 people gathered at the flagpole in front of the VA Medical Center on 48th and Linwood last Thursday for the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of the Mobile Medical Unit, a mobile health facility designed to serve veterans who live in rural communities. The Mobile Medical Unit is one of only two such programs in the country to increase accessibility to veterans, some of whom drive as much as two hours to reach a primary care VA site.
The new mobile unit, a $600,000 vehicle that is currently being housed at MCC-Blue River while I.W.I. instructors train the VA’s registered nurses and administrative staff to get their Class B licenses, will bring a fully equipped primary care unit, including teleretinal screening, laboratory and limited pharmacy to veterans living in Trenton, Carrollton and Bolivar, Missouri. It can also provide emergency services during time of disasters.
The program was envisioned by nurse practitioner and current I.W.I. student Christine Lightfoot, who was inspired by disabled veterans, as well as by her stepson who is currently serving in Japan.
“The veterans need us out there,” said Lightfoot. “And we’ll be able to see thousands.”
Eventually, she hopes to see the Mobile Medical Unit provide mental health and specialty services as well. Mobile medical unit staff should complete skills training for Class B licensure to drive the vehicle within the next two weeks.