Cempa Community Care on Wednesday celebrated the launch of its new mobile clinic, which will allow the Chattanooga-based nonprofit to take its comprehensive services for those with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections to rural communities across southeast Tennessee.
Those visiting the mobile clinic will have access to hepatitis C and HIV treatment, including pre-exposure prophylaxis — often called "PrEP" for short. PrEP is a medication that greatly reduces the chance of contracting HIV in individuals at high risk of exposure to the virus.
"By working in conjunction with a wide range of community partners, we have a great opportunity with the mobile clinic to reach, assist and support an increasing number of vulnerable populations and regions," Shannon Stephenson, CEO of Cempa, said in a news release.
Loni Howard, mobile clinic coordinator at Cempa, said the organization currently serves the 10 surrounding Tennessee counties, but patients in those communities often lack transportation or have other barriers to care.
"Offering this mobile clinic to those rural counties will allow us to serve more people and allow them to get the care they need," Howard said.
The mobile clinic will be staffed by a medical assistant and a nurse practitioner, as well as a phlebotomist, allowing patients to see a medical provider and complete lab work on the spot.
Service costs will be based on a patient's ability to pay, so patients who are uninsured or underinsured may be eligible for payment on a sliding fee scale, Stephenson said.
The mobile clinic's first stop will be in Bradley County every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., parked outside the Bradley County Health Department at 201 Dooley St. S.E. In future months, visits to other surrounding counties may also be added.
To schedule an appointment with the mobile clinic, call Howard at 423- 207-5831.
Contact Elizabeth Fite at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6673.