from employee reports
Charlotte – Atrium Health is expanding its mobile services and fleet of mobile medical units to serve its communities in need. This initiative is one of the nation’s first mobile units dedicated exclusively to women’s health care, with the goal of reducing maternal mortality rates and unwanted pregnancies by bringing state-of-the-art OB-GYN care to the underserved communities that need it most.
Approximately 1 in 10 newborns in North Carolina is born prematurely and the state’s preterm birth rate for black infants is twice that of other races and ethnicities. The statewide infant mortality rate is 6.8%, the 11th highest in the country. Meanwhile, undocumented women in North Carolina deliver more than 10,000 babies annually, with many avoiding care because of fear of deportation.
“Throughout my 30-year career as an ob/gyn, I have witnessed first-hand the effects women and their unborn babies face when they do not receive timely prenatal care,” said Dr. Susannah Fox, executive vice president of physicians and women’s health care and service line leader. for Atrium Health. “Transportation challenges, language barriers, and lack of insurance cause many women in disadvantaged communities to delay or forgo care altogether.”
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Generous Donors Dr. Todd Koczynski, MD, a retired OB-GYN, and his wife, Barbara, helped realize the vision of creating an innovative mobile OB-GYN unit. Provides everything a patient needs for the initial visit, in a warm and welcoming environment. Team members include board-certified OB-GYNs, as well as Spanish-speaking advanced practice providers and social workers. The unit will provide testing for women seeking care and can help schedule follow-up appointments at one of more than 40 Atrium Health women’s care sites.
“To help more women in underserved communities gain confidence in physicians and the medical field in general, the Atrium Health Women’s Care team met with nonprofits, churches, and other community organizations across the region to learn more about their health care needs,” said Fox.
Atrium Health has a variety of mobile health units including two mobile food pharmacies, a lung CT unit at the Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute and an Atrium Health MED-1 mobile emergency department. Atrium Health Primary Care is currently building its mobile health presence and will soon add a third mobile unit to its fleet – another step to ensure equitable access to health resources.
Although appointments are not necessary, patients can call 704-468-0137 to schedule an appointment or request additional information about available Drive to Thrive resources.