Hudson Headwaters serves communities from Moreau to the Canadian border, said Jane Hooper, community relations manager for the organization. The network has brick and mortar clinics, “but many places throughout the Adirondacks are underserved,” she said. “Mobile is a good way for us to work with those communities.”
Staff at Hudson Headwaters worked with Farber Specialty Vehicles, a medical unit manufacturer in Columbus, Ohio, to design the vans. The unit that will debut in Salem took more than nine months to build and cost $400,000, Hooper said.
The van is roughly the size of a school bus, 38 feet long and up to 21 feet wide, with plenty of headroom, Hooper said.
“It really does feel very spacious,” Hooper said.
It has two entrances, one with a wheelchair lift; two exam rooms; a registration area; a point-of-care testing area; a lab draw station and a bathroom. There’s a small waiting area so that people who arrive on foot or are dropped off don’t have to stay outside until they’re called.
A virtual tour of the interior can be viewed at www.hhhn.org/mobilehealth.
The COVID pandemic struck during the planning and construction but didn’t delay the project, Hooper said.
“So many things changed over the past year, but this helped us focus our efforts,” she said. “So many people in our area needed health care.” Additional support came from Stewart’s/Dake Family, The Himoff Family and CDPHP, she said.