It’s a major victory for Lobel, who has been lobbying county officials for a consistent, reliable health care solution ever since the county cut funding for a different mobile health van in 2009.Both mobile medical vans follow a history of attempts to provide health care services to the South Coast, dating back to 2002.Others already suffer from chronic health problems or are on public assistance, and don’t have the wherewithal to help themselves.
Previous iterations have also included a part-time clinic, funded by foundation grants, inside a space provided by the La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District.
Half Moon Bay’s Coastside Family Medical Center also opened a Pescadero satellite clinic for a time.
In contrast to San Mateo County’s urban residents, locals here very often lack even the means of transportation to get to a physician in San Mateo or Redwood City, let alone time to make it to follow up appointments or pick up medications.
Some people work in fields or plant nurseries from dawn to dusk.
“People say, ‘We’ve tried this before and it’s never worked.’ But I think we have a much higher chance of success this time,” Horsley says.
San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley has been steadfast in his support of Puente’s vision for a community health solution on the South Coast.
To get the funding approved, he had to convince some colleagues that the mobile health clinic was the right answer.
A million, two-year grant funded by Measure A, a county sales tax that passed in November 2012, will finance the clinic in its initial phase.
It will pay for a van, along with medical equipment and a Spanish/English bilingual staff of four, including the part-time services of a physician, a nurse, a patient services assistant and a community outreach worker/driver. It’s expected that people will go for every aspect of heath care problems, like asthma and hypertension and diabetes,” explains Puente Executive Director Kerry Lobel.
The South Coast will no longer be a “doctor-free” zone thanks to a milestone initiative to bring wraparound primary health care services to the area: a mobile health care van dedicated to serving those who need it most.
The mobile clinic, a co-initiative of Puente and San Mateo County Health System, will serve roughly 3,000 adults in Pescadero, La Honda, Loma Mar and San Gregorio who have literally been without access to primary care since 2009.