El Proyecto del Barrio staff stand in front of a mobile teleretinal screening unit, which was started by My Health LA and DHS Ophthalmic Services this summer
My Health LA and DHS Ophthalmic Services launched a mobile clinic this summer to make it easier for My Health LA patients to get diabetic teleretinal screening and help reduce the backlog of appointments at DHS facilities.
Over six weeks in July and August, the mobile unit visited five My Health LA community health centers, chosen based on the number of pending eConsults. The clinics included Saban Community Clinic, El Proyecto del Barrio, Umma Community Clinic, The Children’s Clinic, and Via Care Community Health Center.
“The goal of the project was to bring the same quality care provided at Health Services clinics to the My Health LA contracted community health centers,” said Dr. Lauren Daskivich, DHS Director of Ophthalmic Services and Eye Health Programs.
“We wanted to provide mobile teleretinal diabetic retinopathy screening closer to where My Health LA patients receive their primary care,” Daskivich said. “At the same time, the mobile clinic helped reduce the workload for our own primary care clinics.”
Vision to Learn, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing eyeglasses to school children, donated the use of the mobile van. The funding for the optician/driver, who took retinal photos of the patients on the mobile unit, came from the My Health LA budget. The community clinic staff helped confirm the appointments and ensure the visits went smoothly.
All of the patients are enrolled in My Health LA, LA County’s health coverage program for low-income, uninsured adults. My Health LA participants receive their primary care at their assigned community clinic and their specialty care at Health Services facilities.
DHS Director of Community Partnerships Anna Gorman said the mobile clinic was the first such effort for the My Health LA program. “I am grateful that we had this opportunity to bring the screening to our participants, who often face barriers to getting to their DHS appointments,” Gorman said. “We hope to bring more of these critically needed services to the patients in their neighborhoods.”
The project was assisted by DHS teleretinal diabetic retinopathy screening program coordinator Elvia Figueroa, My Health LA program advocate Ray Plaza, Specialty Care Linkage manager Myra Garcia and her team, and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center clerk Roger Martinez. Patients with abnormal results will receive follow-up appointments at Health Services clinics.
The pandemic highlighted how important it is to be flexible when providing health care to underserved patients, said Manisha Ati, a family nurse practitioner and associate director of clinical operations at Saban Community Clinic. Ati also said she was eager to collaborate with My Health LA to better serve her patients with diabetes.
“In order to really provide the best care and serve the most people as possible, you can’t do it alone,” she said, “You have to have those community partnerships. This felt like a really cool opportunity to strengthen our partnership.”
For more information, contact Anna Gorman at email@example.com.