Mobile clinic seeks to meet medical needs in rural Robeson County

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"Mobile clinic seeks to meet medical needs in rural Robeson County." Fayetteville Observer (2011) 10 Feb 2011.


It's not a typical doctor's office, but it provides the same services as one. It has wheels and a steering wheel, but it offers much needed medical attention in Robeson County.

Many residents of Robeson County have a hard time finding a primary care doctor. Emergency rooms are overcrowded with people who use it as their primary care doctor. It has been a long-standing problem in Robeson County, which has been designated as a medically underserved area by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The new 40-foot-long bus, the Southeastern Mobile Medical Clinic, has been a great relief to people like Roderick Locklear, who uses the clinic as a primary care doctor for his cholesterol and blood pressure conditions.

The mobile bus started serving residents last week, but progress has been slowed because of an accident involving the primary doctor, Physician Assistant Brandy Norris. The doctor was struck by a car when he was picking up trash on NC 72. The bus is expected to be fully operational by February 14th, 2010.

"The idea for the bus arose in 2009, after a series of community meetings emphasized the need for more rural health care services," said Sissy Grantham, director of Southeastern Regional Medical Center Foundation. The foundation was able to get a two-year $500,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation.

The bus was first a pediatric mobile bus, but has been refitted for adult patients.

The mobile medical attention is not free. It offers medical help to those with insurance and helps those without to obtain Medicaid if eligible, or helps them use the hospital's indigent-care program.

"I think this is a neat idea - to bring health care to the people," Locklear said. "The need is there. There's a substantial need out there."

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