Mobile Medical Unit for Victor
A new initiative addressing limited healthcare access in rural communities, particularly in the Bitterroot Valley, has been launched by Sapphire Community Health in Hamilton. They have partnered with Victor School District to establish a Mobile Medical Unit (MMU), housed in a repurposed truck that served as a mobile vaccine clinic during the pandemic. The MMU, stationed in the Victor School District parking lot until the end of the school year, offering primary check-ups, vaccinations, and virus testing and much more.
In rural parts of the Bitterroot Valley, residents often delay seeking medical attention until their conditions become severe because they don’t want to make drive to Hamilton or Missoula for their healthcare. Sapphire Community Health decided to collaborate with Victor Schools based on a community needs assessment conducted three years ago, identifying Victor as having the highest healthcare needs in the valley.
The lack of accessible healthcare in rural communities is a statewide issue in Montana, with 16% of rural hospitals vulnerable to closures. The MMU partnership helps address budget restrictions at Victor School, providing much-needed services like mental health support.
The MMU offers on-site care, tele-health calls, and facilitates access to primary care providers. The goal is to expand this initiative to other communities across the valley.
The MMU operates Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 406-214-5595, and patients must be enrolled with Sapphire Health, with accommodations for Medicaid and uninsured patients. The MMU plans to travel around the Bitterroot Valley during the summer for vaccine clinics and sports physicals.