After a 15-month, COVID-forced hiatus, the Family Van, a mobile health clinic affiliated with Harvard Medical School, is back on its regular routes.
Founded nearly three decades ago, the Family Van empowers community members by improving health literacy and providing free screenings for conditions such as blood pressure disorders, diabetes, HIV, pregnancy, and more, in several of Boston’s underserved neighborhoods. It also offers referrals and health and wellness counseling. Health insurance is not required, and IDs are not checked.
“What a joy it is to be back out in the community again, seeing and serving clients in person, many of whom we call family and friends,” said Rainelle Walker-White, assistant director of the Family Van. “Our mission, and hope, is to make everyone we see leave better than when they came aboard. Helping one person at a time, meeting the needs of the community.”
Over the past year the Family Van was an essential part of Boston’s pandemic response. Its staff quickly adapted their services and began caring for their clients in new ways, including street outreach and individual phone calls. The van’s community health workers and volunteers helped reduce social isolation, dispel myths about COVID and the vaccine, and connect people with health care and social services.
The van operates four days a week from 9 a.m. until noon. It’s in Nubian Square in Roxbury on Tuesdays; Liberty Plaza in East Boston on Wednesdays; Codman Square in Dorchester on Thursdays; and Upham’s Corner in Dorchester on Fridays.
More information about various services, locations, and schedules can be found at www.familyvan.org.