Texas accounts for 10% of the nation’s annual births, and health indicators, including missed first trimester prenatal care and pre-pregnancy obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, suggest important opportunities for improving pregnancy outcomes.
The Healthy Mujeres project was developed through a state-community-academic collaboration that sought to implement evidence-based models to address community priorities and reduce disparities in pregnancy outcomes in Texas. The Unimóvil provides prenatal and preventive care, including pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, cervical cancer screening, and long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), to un- and under-insured women in the Rio Grande Valley, including women residing in hard-to-reach areas like colonias (i.e., rural unincorporated communities along the Texas-Mexico border).
Mobile health units (MHUs) are medically equipped vans staffed with clinical providers who can provide basic primary care services to communities that have the poorest access to health services, and are intended to provide short-term solutions while patients find a permanent medical home and provider. The MHU model has been shown to be effective in reaching vulnerable populations, through increasing accessibility of services in communities of need and providing flexibility in adapting services based on the changing needs of the target community.
The UniMovil is staffed by two obstetrician-gynecologists, a family nurse practitioner focused on women's health, a medical assistant, and two community health workers. Patient surveys and monthly service utilization data inform the mobile healthcare model to be responsive to community needs. Future work includes expanding capacity to deliver needed services, addressing barriers to care, and planning for sustainability to meet the needs of vulnerable women in the Texas Rio Grande Valley.
For more information contact Dr. Divya Patel at firstname.lastname@example.org.