Sentara mobile care vehicle launches in Petersburg

The clinic aims to expand healthcare access by offering primary care and behavioral health services
The Sentara Mobile Care vehicle can see patients for primary care and behavioral health services.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 5:40 PM EDT
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PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - Outside the Petersburg Public Library, Sentara leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate a new mobile care vehicle that aims to expand healthcare access in Petersburg.

“It really is an opportunity for us to bring care to individuals that otherwise may not get access to care easily in this community,” said Dennis Matheis, president and chief executive officer of Sentara.

Sentara Mobile Care Vehicle
Sentara Mobile Care Vehicle(Source;WWBT | WWBT)

Inside the van are two exam rooms where Medicaid members, as well as those who are uninsured and underinsured, can get primary care.

“It really is just about getting people the care they need where they need it and when they need it,” Matheis said.

In addition, Matheis said the vehicle would also offer social support and behavioral health services.

“We’ll have counselors available for different periods of time on the van and, again, think of it as an opportunity to meet with somebody, assess their needs and help them get plugged in,” he said.

Sentara Mobile Care Vehicle
Sentara Mobile Care Vehicle(Source;WWBT | WWBT)

On top of addressing medical needs, Matheis said the vehicle will build a bridge for community resources to fill critical needs in the area.

“Whether that be food insecurity, access to healthy food, home insecurity, and so this van is also a convener for our team members to actually help people connect with other community partners to solve those other needs as well,” Matheis said.

This is the fourth mobile care vehicle to launch in Virginia under the Sentara Community Care program. In the months ahead, Sentara team members will also explore ways to offer women’s health services as part of their overall goal to expand healthcare access in the area.

“The notion is let’s make care more accessible to people, especially those that perhaps are having trouble getting access to other sources of healthcare,” he said.

Matheis also said there are plans to roll out two more mobile care vehicles in Virginia this year.

The Sentara Mobile Care vehicle in Petersburg will offer scheduled services at the following locations:

  • Petersburg Public Library: 201 W. Washington St., Petersburg, VA 23803; Thursdays, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Hope Center: 827 Commerce St., Petersburg, VA 23804; Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.