Health pioneers Augusto Ortiz, MD, and his wife, Martha Ortiz, were the founders of the Mobile Health Program and its mobile clinic to "support a range of health programs in rural and underserved areas of Arizona including along the U.S.-Mexico border, and within and in proximity to Native American Reservations and tribal units in Arizona." The Mobile Health Program has a wide range of programs and projects which work to bring health care and preventive medicine to Arizonans who need it the most.
MHP Programs and Projects
The Mobile Health Program provides a variety of services and programs throughout southern Arizona. These include:
- The Mobile Clinic, which is a doctor's office and clinic on wheels
- Pre-natal and Birth Care to Expectant Mothers
- Diabetes Education
- Retinotherapy Services
The Mobile Health Clinic
A specially outfitted truck provides examination rooms, laboratory services, and special medical tests to those in remote areas with little or no medical facilities, to patients who do not have the resources to travel to obtain care.
Prenatal and Birth Care
Providing health services to expectant mothers is vital for the health of the unborn child as well as the mother. Many medical conditions encountered during pregnancy which can prove to be serious or even fatal to a mother or baby may be easily managed if proper care, medication, and nutrition are administered early enough. In rural and some urban areas of Arizona, however, prenatal care is either not available or is too expensive for low-income mothers to afford, particularly those without adequate health insurance.
The Mobile Healh Program provides affordable prenatal care and birth care to about 400 women each year who otherwise would not be able to afford or obtain it. The communities served include Amado, Summit View, Littletown, and South Park, Arizona.
Native American, Hispanic, and lower income people have a higher incidence of diabetes due to genetics and diet. Diabetes education helps prevent the disease in those who do not have it, and helps those diagnosed with the disease to live with it in optimal health.
Patients suffering from diabetes are vulnerable to problems with the retina in the eye, which can cause blindness. Retinotherapy services are provided to Douglas, Marana, and El Rio.
These Mobile Health Program projects provide hands-on learning experiences and opportunities to student interns, volunteers, and non-student volunteers. All learn about at-risk communities, health disparities within hard-to-reach communities, and how a lack of health care affects many Americans. Health disparities are inequalities in health care caused by lack of income, living in remote and hard-to-reach communities, lack of insurance, and other factors due to race, gender, culture, or religious beliefs.