Whittier Street Health Center to Expand Community Mobile Van Services With Grant From the Cigna Foundation

The expansion of the Mobile Outreach Van will include medical screenings, dental services, diabetic testing and behavioral health services to Boston's low-income and vulnerable residents

​Whittier Street Health Center will receive a Healthier Communities Grant from the Cigna Foundation to expand its community Mobile Health Van outreach and services. The expanded services will include medical screenings, dental care, eye exams, and screening for behavioral health, food insecurity, transportation and housing. The new initiatives will join the van's current schedule of HIV/STD testing and referrals.

"This pivotal expansion of mobile health van services would actualize our mission to meet the individual where they are, and engage, educate and empower them to be activated to transform and improve their lives," said Frederica M. Williams, President and CEO of Whittier Street Health Center. "Our ability to diagnose and assess for food insecurity, chronic diseases, oral and behavioral health, make this mobile health van service a vital link with community residents."

Whittier began its Mobile Health Van services in 2018, with the goal to eliminate barriers to healthcare and meet residents where they are at. In 2019, the health van was nationally recognized for diagnosing two HIV positive cases in Boston's homeless and drug-abusing population, centered around Melnea Cass Blvd., calling attention to the potential for an undetected public health crisis.

Whittier anticipates over 2,000 new patients will have access and linkage to care as a result of the expanded mobile van services. The van will also provide a private location for counseling and education, provider referrals, and even transportation to Whittier's two healthcare centers.

"Whittier Street Health Center's efforts to make health care more accessible for people who need it most are absolutely vital to creating healthier communities. We are thrilled that a Cigna Foundation grant is being used to support these mobile medical, dental and health education services," said Mark Butler, president of Cigna New England.

The new expanded mobile health van services are slated to launch by July 2020. "This support from the Cigna Foundation to expand our mobile health van services and our ability to see more patients will change lives in our community," added Williams. "No one will be unable to access care anymore; we will come to you."

The mission of Whittier Street Health Center is to provide high-quality, reliable and accessible primary health care and support services for diverse populations to promote wellness and eliminate health and social disparities. WSHC is a 501c3 charitable organization.

The Cigna Foundation, established in 1962, is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna Corporation and its subsidiaries. The Cigna Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna employees live and work.

​​Media Contact:
Jesse Migneault
Phone: 617.989.3283
Email: jesse.migneault@wshc.org

Source: Whittier Street Health Center