EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — A local health center is ‘driving’ better health into area communities with its mobile medical clinic.

The Wright Center is promoting the health of school-aged children and teens by offering a new service next month with its mobile medical unit. 28/22 News got to tour the medical van and learn more about this pilot program starting next month in the Hazelton Area School District.

Be on the lookout for The Wright Center’s driving better health van as it rolls into local communities to better serve patients. This state-of-the-art art mobile medical unit and its team of clinicians will be providing annual physicals and routine vaccinations to students of the Hazelton Area School District later this month.

What will the physicals entail?

“Well visits so they’re going to make sure they’re making their milestones, all or any medical problems are diagnosed or undiagnosed are being treated making sure they’re on track for growth and development as well as making sure they’re up to date with vaccines. Children are going to be the foundation of our future and we want them to grow up to be healthy adults,” said Dr. Christine Wysocky a nurse practitioner at The Wright Center.

Since this mobile medical unit was put into service in 2020, it has been deployed to area schools, senior living centers, homeless shelters, and even community gathering spots.

Federal grants enabled The Wright Center to acquire and outfit the custom-built, 34-foot vehicle that’s fully equipped with two exam areas and a wheelchair lift. It initially served underprivileged populations during the COVID-19 pandemic by offering access to coronavirus testing and vaccines.

“The Wright Center has been serving Lackawanna, Luzerne County, and we have done some services in Monroe and Wayne County. The van is state-of-the-art it has refrigeration systems to make sure vaccines are well protected as well as all the medical equipment you would see in a clinic that we can do full physicals for,” explained Dr. Wysocky.

Also on board, are a nurse practitioner and a certified medical assistant. Anthony Beltran not only helps offer patient care but also serves as a translator for Spanish-speaking patients.

“I help extremely with Spanish-speaking communities, they don’t speak a lick of English so I usually try to coordinate between the nurse practitioner and the parents as to when they should come back for vaccines, go to get a physical,” says Beltran.

Those physicals and routine vaccinations for children and teens will be offered on October 17 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The ‘Driving Better Health’ van will be parked at the Hazelton Area School District administration building at 1515 West 23rd Street in Hazel Township.

Appointments are required for physicals. for vaccine-only visits, appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are accepted.

Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and should have identification, vaccination records, and insurance information.

Uninsured children can be vaccinated under the federally funded Vaccines for Children Program.

For more information or to schedule an appointment go to thewrightcenter.org.