HALSEY — What does a grass seed farmer from Brownsville, a Central Linn High School football player and a long-haul truck driver from California have in common?
Since July they all have had the opportunity to receive medical care at the SamCare Mobile Medical unit based at the Pioneer Villa Truck Plaza, 33184 Highway 228, in Halsey.
And now the public is invited to learn more about the unit during an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. There will be refreshments, prizes and pumpkin decorating, plus free flu shots to the first 50 people, ages 3 and up.
The medical unit is housed in a specially designed 560-square-foot trailer and has a staff of four people daily. Thursday staffers included clinic manager Bessie Van Leuven; paramedic Alex Donahue; receptionist Rachael Hurst and physician’s assistant Kristan Stone.
Van Leuven said the mobile unit has treated the same broad variety of patients as Samaritan’s other brick and mortar Urgent Care units — heart attacks, lacerations, broken bones and the common sore throat.
“We have two examination rooms, an X-ray area, and can offer a full array of occupational medicine services,” she said. “We perform Department of Transportation physicals on Tuesdays and that includes drug screening.”
Van Leuven said the number of patients daily varies widely, but adds, “We have certainly been well received by people in the area. They are glad they don’t have to drive 20 or 30 minutes to get to an Urgent Care.”
Van Leuven said there is a heliport for air ambulance transports if needed and the site is also served by the Medic 71 ambulance program based in Tangent.
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“We’ve seen farm-related accidents and had some business from the Oregon Jamboree and Bi-Mart Willamette Country Music Festival,” she said. “We handle the same procedures as all of our other Urgent Care facilities.”
Van Leuven said Samaritan also operates Brownsville Family Medicine, which refers patients as needed.
“They don’t have an X-ray or lab services and we do, so they can send patients here,” she said.
Van Leuven said the facility has worked out well so far, although every inch of space is spoken for.
“We would like to draw more truck drivers in off the interstate,” she said. “We can provide them with many services, such as filling prescriptions, and it is a convenient location.”
When the mobile unit opened in July, Samaritan President and CEO Larry Mullins said it would “Allow us to reach even more people who can benefit from our services. I am proud of the many fellow Samaritans who helped make this idea a reality and look forward to opening more of these facilities to bring convenient, accessible health care to residents and visitors of our communities.”
The mobile urgent care staff can provide assistance for patients with: sore throat; ear infection/pain; minor cuts/abrasions; minor burns; muscle strains; cold or flu symptoms; sports physicals.
Occupational medicine services include: Department of Transportation physicals (Tuesdays only); pre-employment and post-accident drug screenings; breath alcohol tests; laboratory and X-ray services; vaccinations for work.
The mobile medical clinic is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Occupational medicine services are offered weekdays from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.
For more information, call 541-451-7873.
Contact Linn County reporter Alex Paul at 541-812-6114.