Black River Falls, WI (WXOW)-- Children in the Ho-Chunk Nation will now have more immediate access to healthcare, thanks to The Children's Health Fund organization.
The new clinic is not a traditional doctor's office but instead, a mobile clinic.
"These are very agile units," said Dr. Alec Thundercloud, the executive director of health for the Ho-Chunk Nation. "These are medical clinics on wheels. And so they're going to be able to get in to some of our rural remote parts of Wisconsin."
The 32-foot-long bus comes fully equipped with two patient rooms and the ability to offer immunizations and even dental care.
"A pediatrician or a pediatric nurse practitioner or a family doctor is going to be able to the full range of health care, of primary health care services," said Dr. Irwin Redlener.
Within the Ho-Chunk Nation, the obesity rate is five times the national average and nearly a quarter of adults suffer from diabetes. The hope is the accessibility of healthcare for kids, can reduce those rates with early intervention.
"It's a large amount of preventative care, comprehensive assessment, it's health education," Redlener said. "But, it's also identifying and treating acute illnesses and especially chronic conditions."
The mobile clinic will be available for nearly 1500 kids, even those who don't have insurance.
"I'm a Ho-Chunk tribal member and to be able to do this for my community, has just meant so much to me on a personal level and on a professional level," Thundercloud said.
"We don't want just drop in, one time encounters with people," Redlener said. "What we're looking for here is to establish a relationship between the medical staff on the mobile units and the communities where there's need."
The new clinic will begin rolling into Ho-Chunk communities across Wisconsin this fall.
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