Bloomington will help Carle go mobile to provide healthcare in underserved areas

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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) – Bloomington City Council has agreed to spend some of the money it received from the US bailout to help fund a mobile health unit serving McLean County residents who otherwise would not have a direct assessment of medical care.

The board voted unanimously on Monday evening for a $150,000 contribution from the federal government to build what is described as an RV built by Carle Health.

The initial cost is $750,000, according to Jeff Tinervin of the Tinervin Family Foundation, which is donating $100,000. Tinervin said the Workers’ International Union of North America and United Way of McLean County are also contributing $100,000 each.

The west side of Bloomington is among the underserved areas, according to city leaders.

“It’s kind of these areas of deserts, if you will, for services like medical care, to be able to bring that to communities in a meaningful way, that we can start to address some of these health disparities that you see,” United Way Chairman and CEO David Taylor told the board.

The mobile health clinic is a 40-foot wheelchair vehicle, which is already under construction, according to Taylor

Carle operates a mobile health unit serving Champaign County, but she visits McLean County once a month, Taylor said.

Carle Health Mobile Health Unit(Carle Health website)

The members of the board have all adhered to the project.

“I’m delighted,” said Board Member Donna Boelen.

“There is nothing more important than preventive care, and I believe this mobile unit will achieve that,” Boelen said.

“We welcome this new project on the west side,” said city councilor De Urban.

“We really need it,” she said.

Council member Grant Walch said it was a great use of federal money, which was given to local governments struggling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tinervin said Carle is making the biggest commitment, staffing doctors, nurse practitioners and social workers for the mobile unit.

The vehicle is expected to be delivered to McLean County later this year.

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