Maybe, just maybe, if you peek out your window at just the right time you might see UnityPoint Health’s Mollie Van drive past your home. That’s because Mollie and a group of healthcare professionals from the Heartland Clinic, UnityPoint Health, and OSF are busy at work trying to reach the local homeless population to keep them safe during Illinois’ Shelter in Place order.
UnityPoint Health donated Mollie, the Methodist College Mobile Outreach Learning Laboratory for Integrative Education to help support Dr. Gregg Stoner’s initiative with the Heartland Clinic to provide quality medical care to at-risk populations for the prevention of widespread COVID-19 cases.
“The idea is to see and treat them early to keep them out of the hospitals. And if they do get infected, we can provide them with medical care to improve their outcomes,” Dr. Stoner says.
UnityPoint Health is also supplying the program with a van driver, fuel, and healthcare professionals.
“Dr. James Dire at Methodist College has been awesome coordinating to get the van up and running. We’ve seen tremendous cooperation. The thing is, the whole community worked to put this together. This was a huge community effort that was all planned in about 10 days,” Stoner says.
Mollie and a team of healthcare heroes will be making rounds Monday through Friday. Their stops include the Dream Center, Peoria Rescue Ministry, Esther House, Southside Mission, and the Salvation Army.
“The staff at each site has been incredibly welcoming and appreciative. It has been heartwarming to see how excited the people we’ve served are that we are now going to them. We hope to expand to other sites,” he says.
Additionally, Dr. Stoner and his crew have been treating Salvation Army and Peoria Rescue Mission patients at the Heartland Community Clinic on Garden in an effort to see as many individuals as possible before the expected surge in cases.