Left to Right: Sr. Theresa Kelleher, CVI, Mrs. Sheila Palomares, Mrs. Janet Hernandaz, Mrs. Natalie Bonilla. Back:Sr. Lelia McNamara, CCVI
By Sister Lelia McNamara
CHRISTUS Healthy Living Mobile Unit is sponsored by the CHRISTUS Foundation for HealthCare. Under the coordination of Mrs. Nancy Bocanegra, the unit goes to all parts of Houston and sites within a 50-mile radius of Downtown Houston. Sr. Rosanne Popp, CCVI, M.D., is the Medical Director for all activities, and Mrs. Jocelyn Cox is the overall supervisor. Currently, the unit has two registered nurses and two medical assistants. Two firemen work as drivers depending on their work schedule at the fire station.
The mission of the mobile service is to give preventative care to those who are underserved and/or under insured. During a given month, the unit goes to approximately 20 to 30 different sites, e.g. social centers, senior centers, schools, apartment buildings, churches, consulates, and wherever the need calls. The activities are seasonal. During the Fall, flu vaccines are a major part of activities. Approximately 8,000 flu shots are administered. Children’s shots are provided free by the VFC Vaccines For Children program. Adult shots are purchased by the Foundation.
In the Spring, the focus is mainly on assessments, which include blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol testing. In the Summer, children’s immunizations take center stage. There is usually a big rush to get children ready for school to comply with school and state requirements before the school year starts. As time permits, mobile staff assists some schools with vision, hearing, and scoliosis testing. It is an extension of the healing ministry of the Incarnate Word.