Mobile Clinic Staff Makes Inroads into Eastern North Carolina
Monarch’s Mobile Integrated Care Clinics are traveling each week to communities in need in Halifax, Northampton, Bertie, Hertford, Gates and Nash counties serving people who might otherwise not have access to mental health and substance use disorder services.
The staff onsite supporting the two mobile clinics, operated by Monarch in partnership with Trillium Health Resources, are compassionate mental health care professionals ready to serve Eastern North Carolina communities.
Take a moment to meet the Mobile Clinic staff and learn about their health care backgrounds and what they hope Monarch services will add to people in need in the Eastern North Carolina communities. For additional information about the Mobile Clinic schedule and visit locations, click here.
Nicole B Richardson, BSN RN, Mobile Clinic 1 Team Lead
A registered nurse for the past seven years, Nicole said she jumped at the chance to be on Monarch’s Mobile Clinic staff when the opportunity arose because it aligned with a lifelong dream to serve communities in need.
“I have never worked on a mobile clinic before, and I am excited to see how we can service the community that I grew up in. It was a little intimidating starting off because this is brand new, not only for Monarch, but for the community and I want us to be as successful as possible,” Nicole shares.
Nicole and the other Mobile Clinic staff members realize the number of obstacles that can be in the way of people who need services and are eager to meet them where they are within the community.
“Our Mobile Clinic allows people in the community to know that we heard the need and now we are there to help in any capacity. Even if they are just curious about the service, I encourage anyone to come and spend some time on the unit, ask us any questions and if we don’t know the answer or can’t provide the solution, we have resources that we can provide,” she explains.
Nicole sees the Mobile Clinic eventually being a way to alleviate patients from visiting inpatient hospital facilities. “As we incorporate treatment plans that include therapy and medication, we can intercept some of the major psychiatric crises that people are experiencing and decrease inpatient admissions,” she says of a way the Mobile Clinic can assist in the medical care deficit in that area of the state.
Joseph Campbell, Mobile Clinic I Peer Support Specialist
Joseph admits he had never heard of the mobile clinic format to provide health services but is eager to be part of a solution that is bringing care to communities in need. “I feel it’s an open door, and just to have people walk in or stop by to ask questions is a reward in itself,” he says.
In 2011, Joseph retired from a government position to care for his mother until her death in 2016. In 2018, he went on to assist adults with autism spectrum disorder. Once moving to North Carolina, he began to work for various community agencies and group homes before joining Monarch’s Mobile Clinic team in 2022.
Confident that as the Mobile Clinic continues to travel to Eastern North Carolina communities, word will spread to people about Monarch’s mission and the hope that services can offer. “I pray that we get more exposure and are able to expand to other communities that need our services,” he said.
Kelly Hagwood, RN, Mobile Clinic Team II Team Lead
With past experience serving through an Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT) as a registered nurse and working at clinics in Atlanta, Raleigh and Durham, Kelly feels being part of the Mobile Clinic staff offers the best of both worlds with providing mental health care while traveling within the community.
Kelly says she is proud of the patients who have visited the Mobile Clinic when they continue with the necessary follow-up care. “The community has been really receptive to us being here. I think the most important thing we can do is be consistent and show them we are here to serve them every week,” she notes.
“It feels great explaining to our patients and their community why we are here. The patients we have seen and connected with, just the deep breath they take when they know they have resources available and we will be here to support them, makes you know you are in right profession,” she adds.
The Mobile Clinic can be helpful in continuing to eliminate any shame people are feeling in reaching out for mental health support. “I am hopeful the stigma along with mental health will be squashed in the counties we serve, because everyone deserves the help and not feel like they are going to judged or turned away,” she observes.
Winston Thomas, Mobile Clinic I Peer Support Specialist
Winston had volunteered throughout his life in soup kitchens and food pantries and enjoyed giving back to his community. Following a health scare and ending a decades-long career in the restaurant industry, he decided his career path involved giving back to his community. He became a certified peer support specialist.
Winston understands and empathizes with the hesitation that people feel when first visiting the Mobile Clinic. “We want them to succeed and every time they show back up for their next appointment, it affirms that what we are doing does make a difference,” he says. “The mobile clinic is much needed. I realized it would give me the opportunity to be a part of something where I could do some real good for people.”
For more information about the Mobile Clinic and the locations in Halifax, Northampton, Bertie, Hertford, Gates and Nash counties, visit here.
Posted on: Friday March 24, 2023