Knowledgeable neighbors: A mobile clinic model for disease prevention and screening in underserved communities

family van

The Family Van mobile health clinic uses a “Knowledgeable Neighbor” model to deliver cost-effective screening and prevention activities in underserved neighborhoods in Boston, MA. This report describes the Knowledgeable Neighbor model and uses operational data collected from 2006 to 2009 to evaluate the clinic’s services. The Family Van successfully reached mainly minority low-income men and women. Of the clients screened, 60% had previously undetected elevated blood pressure, 14% had previously undetected elevated blood glucose, and 38% had previously undetected elevated total cholesterol. This represents an important model for reaching underserved communities to deliver proven cost-effective prevention activities, both to help control health care costs and to reduce health disparities.