STAT: ‘People count on it’: In Boston, a mobile clinic meets health needs in the neighborhood

the family van
The Family Van parked near the Kroc Community Center on Dudley Street in Dorchester on a recent morning. EDWARD CHEN/STAT

BOSTON — By 9 a.m. on a recent Friday morning, the bright blue, colorfully branded van was already parked on a street in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester. And while the street was still quiet, the community health workers were waiting inside for things to soon pick up.

On that particular morning, about 10 people stopped inside the Family Van, a mobile clinic run by Harvard Medical School that provides free, basic care four days a week. There, two community health workers and a supervisor worked steadily, checking each person’s blood pressure and blood sugar, then handing them a chilled bottle of water. Outside, a third community health worker who doubles as a driver spoke with people passing by, while two summer interns staffed a table with informational health fliers.