COLUMBIA, S.C. — Starting this month, Prisma Health is helping fill the healthcare hole in rural communities such as Eastover, Rembert, Ridgeway and Swansea thanks to a $200,000 grant from the South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare.
"What our mobile units will do is really act as urgent care centers on wheels," said Stacey McPhail of Prisma Health.
McPhail tells News 19 the unit will be at alternating rural sites every Saturday. The unit will return to service locations each month. Anyone can seek care, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.
"We want people to come see one of our nurse practitioners get their health care needs met, and then hopefully connect to a primary care facility so that they can receive ongoing care," said McPhail.
McPhail added the clinic will also connect residents with nutritious food, transportation, and mental health services.
"It is so important not only to take care of the healthcare needs of, of our residents, or in our patients, but also to take care of those social and emotional needs," said McPhail.
“Whenever we hear an ambulance, we know that somebody's dead or someone's on the way to the hospital in critical need and just think that’s gonna take the next 30 to 35 minutes to get there," said Eastover resident Yvonne Hall.
Hall has lived in Eastover for her entire life. She said the nearest hospital is more than 20 miles away. Though there are two urgent care clinics in town, they are not always available.
"I can think of so many instances where people need immediate health care or just someone to tell them about symptoms they’re having," said Hall.
Hall said they are not always accessible either. She has driven countless neighbors, so they can receive care.
"Someone down the street might call me and say, can you take me?,” said Hall.
Hall believes the clinic is a big win for her community.
"All I can say is we need it, desperately," said Hall. "We need it in this area and I’m sure many lives will be saved."
The Mobile Health Clinic schedule for May:
Time: 9 a.m.- noon (all dates)
- Saturday, May 14: Swansea Center- 197 N. Lawrence St., Swansea 29160
- Saturday, May 21: Mt. Psigah Baptist Church- 2092 Longtown Rd., Ridgeway 29130
- Saturday, May 28: Union Baptist Church of Rembert- 5840 Spring Hill Rd,, Rembert 29128