BOISE, Idaho — Blue Cross of Idaho provided a $75,000 grant for Saint Alphonsus to buy a Ford Transit Van and use it as a mobile clinic to reach rural and underserved communities. The van will be used to boost Saint Alphonsus' mobile vaccine outreach program.
“COVID-19 has highlighted health inequities in the communities we serve,” said Jennifer Palagi, Vice President of Community Health and Well-Being at Saint Alphonsus Health System. “One of the most critical needs we’ve seen is access to healthcare in rural, underserved and medically fragile communities. That’s why we launched our mobile vaccine program, to remove barriers to access. This generous gift from Blue Cross of Idaho enhances our ability to meet our mission – provide care for our patients where they live and offer these critical services.”
The van is being retrofitted by Wandervans. It will have custom storage, seating for eight people and refrigeration to keep vaccines cold. Saint Alphonsus is currently using two Wandervan vehicles to operate its mobile clinics.
“Our Community Health and Well-Being team has traveled more than 2,000 miles throughout southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon and has vaccinated nearly 1,200 people in two months. This grant from Blue Cross of Idaho will help us continue to provide the needed vaccines to our rural communities in order to ensure the economic recovery continues and the health of our community members is protected,” said Odette Bolano, President and CEO of Saint Alphonsus Health System.