HHS mobile medical unit provides urgent health care in Port Charlotte

Reporter: Amy Oshier Writer: Joey Pellegrino
People visiting a Health and Human Services mobile medical unit in Charlotte County. Credit: WINK News

At one point after Hurricane Ian, there were no operational emergency rooms in all of Charlotte County. There, as in so many places, mobile medical units put up by the U.S. government continue to be a major source of aid.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ fully operational mobile medical unit is open 24/7 at 21275 Stillwater Ave. for people in the midst of a public health emergency. Patients come with their injuries or ailments and are sent to the appropriate care area.

Doctors and nurses manage medical needs large and small, from a busted toenail to a cardiac crisis. Patients are treated or stabilized and sent out to a hospital. The medical staff there can stitch broken skin, set broken bones and even write or refill many prescriptions.

The Charlotte County location has been averaging around a hundred patients per day and can accommodate up to 150. It can operate for up to three days without restocking supplies. Other than lacking X-ray equipment, it can be compared to any other hospital’s ER.

The health care workers at the HHS mobile unit sign up for government service and are called to duty much like the National Guard, with the mission of serving others in times of need. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra says the agency saw a great need in Charlotte County, where four out of 10 people are senior citizens.

Once local hospitals can manage the task, the unit will pack up and move on, working themselves out of a job until an emergency calls again.

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