Looking for a Place to Start?

Build a strong program with research from more than 1,000 mobile clinics.

Step 1

Connect with the community

Listen to local leaders and community-based organizations with humility and openness.

Step 2

Scan the landscape

Study local data about community needs and assets. Learn from other mobile clinics in your area to understand what is already working.

Step 3

Plan for sustainability

Create an operational and financial plan for the initial three to five years. Build a strong foundation for long-lasting impact.

Predict Your Impact

Raise money and gain support for your new clinic with our dashboarding tool. Show stakeholders, including potential donors, that your clinic will save lives and reduce costs. By providing some simple estimates about your future clinic, you can make a strong case for support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should my organization start a mobile clinic?

Mobile clinics have a unique ability to increase access for underserved communities, foster trust, and advance health equity. They also require ongoing funding, patience, and flexibility. To answer this question for your organization, start by talking to community members. Listen carefully to what they need and want. Take time to meaningfully engage with the community before making this important decision. Before you start, ensure that you have a solid plan to fund and operate the mobile clinic for at least 3 to 5 years. Consistency and longevity is important for building trust and rapport.

Are mobile clinics sustainable?

Yes. Like any public health program, sustainability depends on having the right strategy, relationships, and data. The most sustainable mobile clinics have multiple revenue streams, such as insurance reimbursement, philanthropy, institutional support, and patient payments.

Do mobile clinics improve health outcomes?

Research suggests that mobile clinics can improve important health outcomes, such as high blood pressure, asthma, and infant birth weight.

How much does it cost to run a mobile clinic?

Your mobile clinic’s costs will depend on many factors, including staffing, services provided, the type of vehicle, and miles traveled. Among the mobile clinics registered for Mobile Health Map, the average annual operating cost is approximately $275,000. The Family Van, a mobile clinic in Boston, spends about $500,000 annually including personnel, fuel, maintenance, and supplies. Some clinics cost significantly more, while others spend less. ongoing operations.

How can I persuade my organization's leaders to start a mobile clinic?

First, talk to community members to find out what they need and want. Your organization's leaders want to respond to the community. Next, consider the larger business strategy of the organization. Our research elucidates four types of business objectives that mobile health care can support — budget impact, business strategy, organizational culture, and health equity. Using data and input from the community, make the case to senior leadership that a mobile clinic would be good for population health and organizational health.

Join the Mobile Healthcare Association

The Mobile Healthcare Association is the leading membership-based organization for mobile healthcare professionals in the U.S. and Canada. They offer their members and the field many resources, including manuals and toolkits, webinars, regional coalition and special interest group meetings, and funding opportunities. The Association also holds an annual conference which is a critical venue for thought leadership and networking in the field.

Be a Community Partner

Include community leaders and organizers to determine the best ways to serve their neighborhoods. From identifying convenient and easily accessible van locations to selecting services to target the highest needs of the community it serves — community partnerships are pivotal in ensuring the success of your mobile health program.