Mobile Medical Clinic Needs Volunteers

Andrew Corliss, Reporter

A mobile health clinic that provides care for Huntington’s homeless and underserved population is staffed monthly by volunteers from Marshall’s medical school.
One Saturday every month, the Marshall Medical Outreach Program (MMO) sets up a mobile clinic van and a series of tents in the Trinity Episcolpal Church parking lot on 11th Street. The staff provides care for both medical and physical health problems, ranging from eye exams and vaccinations to psychological evaluations according to Garret Muckleroy, former MMO co-president.  

MMO has collaborated with the schools of pharmacy, physical therapy, psychology and physical therapy to provide the services patients need. It also provides winter clothing, food and personal health items such as toothbrushes. Over 2700 patients have been treated since the program’s beginning in 2011.
I think being able to work closely with this population really reinforces that regardless of a person’s station in life, they deserve to have access to healthcare,Muckleroy said. “We, as members of the healthcare community, have a duty to make sure that we provide quality care to every patient.”
Last month, the program saw 54 patients – the most they had seen in several months, according to Holly Farkosh, former co-president. Though cold days are generally less busy even with heaters in the waiting area, the program has seen several exceptions.
“The numbers can be very seasonal, and we tend to have less patients on months with extreme weather,” she said. “You can never predict the slow versus busy months. Regardless, the process and stations are the same each month, and we will be out there until the last patient of the day is seen…whether it takes one hour or five.”
According to Arrin Brooks, a school of medicine Ph. D. student, medical students receive monthly emails about the events; however, most discover it through word of mouth and participate later.  

Often, the program inspires them to further pursue their medical careers. 

“After attending my first MMO event years ago,” Brooks said, “I wanted to keep coming back every month that I could. My work there was one of my favorite parts of med school at Marshall, and it solidified my interest in community outreach and working with underserved populations in my future career as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon.” 

According to Farkosh, the MMO always welcomes more volunteers, including undergraduate students.