Virtua’s mobile services bring needed healthcare to underserved communities
Virtua Health is proud to be recognized as a Healthy People 2030 Champion by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
As a Healthy People 2030 Champion, Virtua has demonstrated a commitment to helping achieve the Healthy People 2030 vision of a society in which all people can achieve their full potential for health and well-being across their lifespans. ODPHP recognizes Virtua, along with other Healthy People 2030 Champions, as part of a growing network of organizations partnering with ODPHP to improve health and well-being at the local, state, and tribal levels.
Virtua, the largest not-for-profit health system in southern New Jersey, has been recognized as a Healthy People 2030 Champion specifically for its mobile outreach initiatives that bring healthcare services to underserved communities through a fleet of custom-designed vehicles. Specifically, Virtua’s Eat Well Mobile Farmers Market and its Eat Well Mobile Grocery Store position food as a form of medicine and bring fresh, healthy, and culturally relevant foods at below-market prices to the residents of communities that experience higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and other diet-related diseases.
In addition, Virtua’s Pediatric Mobile Services Unit travels to medically underserved areas and provides children under six with the health services they need, including check-ups, vaccinations, screenings, and dental care.
Likewise, through an affiliation with the New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection (NJCEED) Program, Virtua offers free cancer screenings to underinsured and uninsured people in Camden and Burlington Counties. In the spring of 2023, Virtua will expand its mobile fleet and offer more screenings with the launch of a new Mobile Health and Cancer Screening Unit. The new unit, which will be equipped with state-of-the-art 3D mammography and a patient exam room, will also offer access to breast exams, gynecologic exams, pap tests, colorectal screenings, and prostate exams. Like the aforementioned programs, the new Mobile Health and Cancer Screening Unit is supported by philanthropy.
“ODPHP is thrilled to recognize Virtua Health for its work to support the Healthy People 2030 vision,” says RADM Paul Reed, MD, ODPHP Director. “Only by collaborating with partners nationwide can we achieve Healthy People 2030’s overarching goals and objectives.”
“Virtua is focused on health equity—on recognizing the diversity of life experiences within all of the different communities we serve,” explained Stephanie Fendrick, executive vice president and chief strategy officer for Virtua. “We need to consider the social determinants of health affecting our patients—the societal, economic, and other issues that impact access to care and quality of life. Our mobile services allow us to reach the people who don’t have easy access to the health services they need and deserve. Virtua’s outreach helps ensure that everyone has the opportunity to be as healthy as possible.”
Virtua’s Eat Well Program total transactions in 2022, including all programs and outreach efforts, have exceeded 35,550. The number of children served by the Pediatric Mobile Services Unit in 2022 totaled 4,861, and more than 1,000 people received free screenings for breast, colorectal, cervical, and prostate cancers.
Healthy People 2030 is the fifth iteration of the Healthy People initiative, which sets 10-year national objectives to improve health and well-being nationwide. Healthy People 2030 Champions are public and private organizations that are working to help achieve Healthy People objectives. They receive official support and recognition from ODPHP.