Driving Your Health (Manejando tu Salud), a mobile health program that deploys medical teams to communities in Mexico City with limited access to health services, was launched today by The Baxter International Foundation and Direct Relief.
‘This unique collaboration brings healthcare services directly to those who are unable to access care due to lack of transportation, the cost of transportation or the inability to take time off from work to get their healthcare needs addressed,” said Stacey Eisen, Baxter International Foundation President. ”The Foundation is proud to be able to support the local community in this way and bring quality healthcare to more people.”
Funded by a $2.25 million grant from the Baxter International Foundation — and working in collaboration with the Mexican Association of Malta, House of Friendship for Children with Cancer I.A.P. and Mexican Association of Diabetes, Mexico City A.C. — the three-year initiative aims to provide direct healthcare services for 40,000 patients and health education, prevention, and awareness training to an additional 310,000 individuals.
Although Mexico City and the State of Mexico overall have higher living standards than many regions of the country, they have pockets of extreme poverty with many individuals who are often disconnected from available health services.
”Driving Your Health recognizes that, for too many people, the benefits of healthcare are beyond reach, and that new approaches are needed,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief president and CEO. ”Direct Relief is delighted to collaborate with Baxter on this initiative to improve the health and lives of those in need.”
A mobile unit comprised of 4 doctors and 10 nurses will travel to 50 different locations each year to screen and provide essential health services to people in need. Program staff will also provide pediatric oncology patients with transportation to medical facilities that specialize in the treatments they require.
The program will train doctors to support patient self-management of chronic diseases, as well as provide hundreds of thousands of individuals with educational resources. To maintain the program at the end of three years, Direct Relief will develop local sponsorships and general fund raising, hire a Director of Corporate Relations for development and local program management and establish a Mexican Mobile Health Advisory Board.
These efforts will be supplemented by the contributions of Baxter employees in Mexico City and its surrounding manufacturing facilities in Mexico volunteering their technical expertise, assisting mobile medical teams during patient screenings, and packing personal care kits.
”Consistent with Baxter’s mission of saving and sustaining lives, this program allows us to provide the underserved people in our local community with access to much-needed health services,” said Jaime Upegui, Baxter Mexico General Manager.