Atrium Health expanding mobile services

The health care provider said the initiative is one of the first mobile units in the country dedicated solely to women’s health care.

CHARLOTTE, NC – Atrium Health announced that it is expanding its mobile services and fleet of mobile medical units to serve communities in need.

In a news release, the health care provider said the “Drive to Thrive” initiative is one of the first mobile units in the country dedicated solely to women’s health care.

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“During my 30-year career as an OB-GYN, I have seen firsthand the effects women and their unborn children face when patients do not receive timely prenatal care,” Dr. Susanna Fox, deputy chief physician executive and service line leader for women’s health care Atrium Health. “Many women in underserved communities delay care or skip it altogether because of transportation challenges, language barriers and lack of insurance.”

According to the CDC, black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.

The Mobile Unit seeks to help eliminate disparities within maternal health care. For some expectant mothers, it is a matter of life or death.

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“The reason people ultimately don’t come to see us is because there is a lack of access to health care and a lack of trust in health care,” Dr. Fox said.

She says one of the main goals of the new mobile unit is to build that trust. It aims to reduce maternal mortality by providing care to underprivileged communities who need it most.

“The purpose of this bus is really to make sure that we don’t have any disparities in care, that we’re able to make sure that we go to communities regardless of their ability to pay or the color of their skin,” Dr. Fox said.

North Carolina data shows the statewide infant mortality rate is 6.8%, the 11th highest in the nation. Doctors say that preventing unwanted pregnancies is also important to prevent these deaths.

“We want them to be able to have their children when they’re ready,” said OB-GYN Dr. Todd Kopczynski.

Meanwhile, undocumented women in North Carolina give birth to more than 10,000 babies per year, many of whom avoid care for fear of deportation.

Team members include board-certified OB-GYNs, as well as Spanish-speaking advanced practice providers and social workers.

The bus will travel to several parts of the Charlotte area, including Monroe, Huntersville, West Charlotte and Center City.

Although an appointment is not required, patients may call 704-468-0137 to make an appointment or request additional information about the ‘Drive to Thrive’ resources available. A website will be launching in the next few weeks.

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