By Mollie Lair
Director of Communications
City of Cincinnati
Mayor Aftab Pureval, alongside Equitas Health officials, announced a new Mobile Outreach Vehicle (MOVe) to serve Cincinnati and surrounding areas. Equitas Health is one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS-serving health care organizations, and this vehicle will expand its reach in southwest Ohio. The vehicle was purchased with funding provided by the City of Cincinnati and will be the first in Equitas Health’s fleet to provide services exclusively in Southwest Ohio.
“As a City committed to helping every resident live a happy, healthy, rewarding life, we have to do what we can to get out into the community and meet people where their needs are,” Pureval said. “The new mobile unit has the power to make a profound impact on the health and wellness of our most vulnerable residents, and we couldn’t be prouder to support Equitas Health as they expand their services here in Cincinnati.”
“This new mobile unit will be an important tool in helping end the HIV epidemic right here in Cincinnati,” said Dwayne Steward, Equitas Health chief people and culture officer. “Unfortunately, groups that are most affected by poor health and wellness outcomes are less likely to access brick-and-mortar health care facilities. This new MOVe unit allows us to go where care is needed most.”
Columbus-based Equitas Health debuted its mobile health fleet in early 2021. The program has seen success with targeted outreach. In Cincinnati, the new unit will be a mobile Sexual Health Clinic that will offer testing and treatment of HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis and hepatitis C. Patients can also get assistance with health care navigation, medical insurance enrollment and linkage to other health care services.
“Comprehensive and affirming healthcare should not depend on your ZIP code,” said Robert Copeland, interim CEO and chief advancement officer at Equitas Health. “We know the disparities that exist in the communities we serve. So, if they can’t come to us, we will come to them.”
Established in 1984, Equitas Health is a regional nonprofit community health care system. A federally designated Community Health Center, it has 19 offices in 13 cities, Equitas Health serves tens of thousands of patients in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia each year through patient-centered, integrated and cutting edge services, including primary and specialized medical care, pharmacy, dentistry, behavioral health, HIV/STI treatment and prevention, PrEP/PEP, Ryan White/HIV case management, care navigation, advocacy and other community health initiatives. The Equitas Health Pharmacy is an integral and essential part of the health center’s comprehensive care and business models, reinvesting 100% of profits back into the organization’s programs and services.