As national opioid addiction rates rise in the wake of COVID-19, according to the Wall Street Journal, including in the state of Colorado, many organizations are looking for alternative treatment options. To address this need, Winnebago Industries Specialty Vehicle Division, with vehicle upfitter Medical Coaches, has partnered with Signal Behavioral Health Network and West Slope Casa to deploy six mobile opioid clinics in 25 of Colorado’s rural counties.
Signal deployed five of the six vehicles, while West Slope Casa deployed one. Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), the mobile medical units are built with custom floor plans and use a quiet lithium-ion power battery system in place of traditional generators. The mobile clinics provide preventative care, screenings, chronic disease management, substance use disorders services, and behavioral therapy.
"Together with our State partners and service providers, we are able to bring critical treatment and outreach services to rural communities which have lacked substance use disorder service options, but have seen intense need,” says Daniel Darting, CEO of Signal Behavioral Health Network.
The six units were built on a Winnebago 33-foot Class A commercial platform. The mobile units feature a small waiting area, counselor room, patient exam room, and are staffed with a peer navigator, a certified addictions counselor, and a nurse, with the goal to serve 300 people each week. The mobile units serve a population of nearly 1 million in the regions surrounding the areas of Alamosa, Colorado Springs, Greeley, Steamboat Springs, Pueblo, Wheat Ridge, and many other towns.
"The need for mobile medical vehicles is constantly growing, and while mobile medical vehicles have been around for half a century, evolving technologies have enabled these vehicles to offer unprecedented levels of quality, technology and services. We are thrilled to see our vehicle platforms being used to combat the opioid crisis," says Robert Kim, Director of Winnebago Industries Specialty Vehicle Division. "Mobile services have grown in popularity in recent years because they truly enable healthcare providers to extend their reach and engage people in their environment. We are excited to see Signal's results as they engage in this new approach."