Preventing Disease

Taking preventive services on the road to keep our communities healthy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates* that vaccines delivered to children born between 1994 and 2013 will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 premature deaths over the course of their lifetimes.

The more people who get vaccinated, the lower the risk that an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease will occur. Keeping a larger group of people immunized also helps protect people in the community who can’t get vaccines because of their age or health condition. This is known as “community immunity.”

Each of HCSC’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans operates a Care Van® mobile health program to address significant health care needs by taking preventive health services into the communities. In 2017, our 25 Care Vans drove to community centers, churches and schools across Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, providing 140,884 immunizations and other health services.

Mobile preventive care complements traditional clinics by reaching uninsured and medically underserved children and adults. The needs in each state vary, so each Care Van program is unique. However, they share a number of priorities. While immunizations is our key focus, we also provide blood pressure screenings, HIV testing and dental services.

In 2017:

  • A new wheelchair accessible Care Van in Illinois joined the fleet to reach more clients
  • Montana administered its 10,000th immunization, less than two years after launching their first van
  • Care Vans were deployed after Hurricane Harvey in Texas and during the wildfires in Montana to provide assistance to the community
  • New Mexico added a second van in December, expanding access to preventive care to more communities
  • Oklahoma’s Caring Vans upgraded their technology to have real-time access to information that can help them respond to patients’ questions

See how the Care Van program in Texas is impacting the community.

 

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Security Report, 2017.