We know that social determinants of healthcare like income level and access to quality providers can create health disparities in communities across New York State. For Long Island, this problem was heightened by the ongoing pandemic, which left many low-income and older adults without jobs and struggling with their health.
To address health inequities and better serve Long Islanders most in need, Catholic Health created a patient-centered health care system that meets residents where they are — in their homes and in their communities. Catholic Health’s integrated health care system spans six hospitals, thousands of physician practices, numerous multispecialty offices, imaging facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, rehabilitation centers, home health services, and hospice care.
To reach more underserved Long Islanders, Catholic Health added a second 38-foot community health and outreach screening vehicle. This one primarily serves the residents of Suffolk County and complements the Nassau County vehicle. Both focused on serving those who are low-income, uninsured, publicly insured, and those who may be ineligible for insurance due to their immigration status.
Medical screenings and tests can identify health risks early, and so increasing access to health screenings is critical to breaking down the barriers that prevent people from receiving the care they need.
Blessing led by Most Reverend Robert J. Coyle, Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre. Also present, Reverend Antony Asir, Pastor, St. Thomas More Parish, Hauppauge.
Funded by a $577,000 grant from the Foundation, the Suffolk bus is run by outreach nurses who provide a series of screenings on blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol, and glucose levels, as well as patient education and referrals to care as needed. For Suffolk County residents who need essential health care but are struggling financially, lack insurance due to their immigration status, or have limited access to transit, the community outreach bus provides them with free, life-saving care.
The pandemic has demonstrated the immense need to expand basic health services to communities that most need them. Through innovative solutions, like the community outreach bus, vulnerable populations can receive direct access to vital health screenings and education.
To stay updated on the upcoming locations of the Community Health Bus, please visit Catholic Health’s event page.