By Reneé Castellon
Reprinted from The Pulse
It takes more than fuel, a vehicle and a desire to improve health to keep
Mobile Health Central on the road. Someone has to assist with and facilitate the services, programs and outings that are planned. Meet Tracy Speier, M.P.A. 2004, outreach coordinator for community partnerships/services. Speier, who has extensive knowledge of rural health care and community collaborations, already has driven efforts to send Mobile Health Central to a number of locations in the state to provide hearing services and educational opportunities.
Speier is engaging community partners to promote visibility and awareness of Mobile Health Central, identifying key stakeholders and forging new partnerships with organizations such as hospitals, health departments, primary care providers and community service organizations.
"Mobile health clinics are an innovative approach to address identified gaps that affect access to care including, but not limited to, economic hardships and poverty, lack of health care insurance, and limited transportation," says Speier. "Being able to build a program that can help and assist those less fortunate is very rewarding."
Speier has established an external steering committee of community partners that is teaming up with the Central Michigan District Health Department "Together We Can" steering team to ensure communication and prevent duplicate efforts in the communities both organizations serve. An internal steering committee is also working toward the creation of policies and procedures, driving manuals, mission, goals and objectives as well as looking at research, service delivery and educational opportunities for Mobile Health Central.
In addition, Speier is working on submitting grants to jump start support for Mobile Health Central. The first one is a Health Innovation grant through the state of Michigan. The second grant is a Rural Health Care Services Outreach grant through the Health Resources Services Administration.
Donations and sponsorships, as well as patient pay and insurance reimbursements, are other ways the service will be funded. Most insurance plans are accepted and will be processed through the
Carls Center for Clinical Care and Education, which is part of
The Herbert H. & Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions.
As Mobile Health Central expands its offerings, the goal is to provide clinical services where there are gaps in access to care. Some of these services may include audiology, health examinations, health screenings, preventive services and rehabilitative services. Student participation, and partnerships and collaborations with others in the health field, will be beneficial to the success of Mobile Health Central.
"Mobile Health Central will not only provide additional training opportunities for CMU health professions students, but open the door for valuable faculty research focusing on health care in the communities we serve," says Christopher D. Ingersoll, dean of The Herbert H. & Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions. "CMU's The Herbert H. & Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions is paving the way for new educational and clinical experiences for students and faculty with the new mobile health vehicle."
For more information about Mobile Health Central or to schedule a visit to your location, please contact Tracy Speier at 989-774-2900 or via email at
The Pulse features stories about how the programs, people and events within The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions at Central Michigan University meet the health care needs of our communities.