Maury Regional Health reflects on mobile medical unit’s first year of operation


COLUMBIA, Tenn. — Maury Regional Health’s (MRH) mobile medical unit celebrated its first year of operation in February 2019 with more than 7,500 encounters with at-risk and underserved patients across southern Middle Tennessee.

The mobile medical unit, which is easy to spot in the community with its bright colors and epic size, offers general and routine health screenings, such as checking blood pressure and body mass index (BMI), in addition to administering flu vaccines and providing education, outreach and preventative services.

“The mobile medical unit further revolutionizes the already extraordinary health care services the Maury Regional Health system is known for and makes a significant impact throughout our southern Middle Tennessee region,” said CEO Alan Watson. “I am extremely grateful to our Foundation for making this mobile medical unit possible through their fundraising efforts and to our staff who operate the unit each day.”

The mobile medical unit is a customized 38-foot recreational vehicle (RV) fitted with two exam rooms and a laboratory area. It is wheelchair accessible and staffed by a registered nurse and emergency medical technicians (EMTs).  

The unit routinely visits locations in Maury, Giles, Lawrence, Lewis, Wayne and Marshall counties. Over the course of its first year of operation, the unit’s staff worked with 4,455 new and returning patients during 297 events at unique venues across the region. The mobile medical unit made more than 500 referrals in its first year to specialized providers for further care and served approximately 3,000 additional individuals through its outreach and education efforts.

“The most satisfying thing about the mobile medical unit is being able to be present in places you are needed,” said Lori Bergland, RN, who works on the unit. “This job gives you a chance to make a difference and to make a positive impact on someone — to see them and offer them a hand up.”

During its travels across the region, the mobile unit parks at churches, housing developments and food pantries with the mission of helping patients who otherwise might not seek out care. The unit’s staff members work to build trust with their patients and to help them navigate and take ownership of their health care by providing educational materials and by sharing community resources. 

“We give lots of information and try to figure out what kinds of things our patients need,” Bergland said. “And if we don’t offer the service on the unit, we’ll try and get you to a doctor who does.”

Back in 2017, the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation set out to raise the funds to establish the mobile medical unit with the objective of bringing health care services into the community beyond MRH’s brick-and-mortar facilities. The Foundation ultimately raised more than $300,000 for the unit over the course of its 10-month campaign and has committed to providing an additional $519,000 for operational expenses over the first five years of operation.

“The mobile medical unit exemplifies the purpose and mission of the Foundation to assist at-risk and underserved individuals in the communities served by Maury Regional Health,” said Joe Kilgore, executive director of the Foundation. “The mobile unit team has done an amazing job of impacting lives.”

To learn more about the mobile medical unit and the services it provides, contact MRH’s Population Health Department at 931.380.4031.

Gifts to support the mobile medical unit as well as similar community outreach services may be made through the Foundation’s Community Health Fund at or at 931.380.4075.

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