Highway to Health
An ounce of prevention goes a long way. Often in Montana, it takes traveling a long way to deliver that ounce of prevention.
During its second year, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) Care Van® trekked thousands of miles across the state to help provide vaccinations for Montanans. From the forests of the northwest to the plains of the east, and everywhere in between, the BCBSMT Care Van has provided a bridge to health care for rural and underserved populations.
The program hit an important milestone in October 2015, delivering its 2,000th vaccination during a flu shot clinic at Columbus Elementary School in Columbus. More than 60 elementary students and teachers stepped inside the van and received their flu shots. It was a gratifying way to end a two-day, four-community tour of Stillwater County.
There was no slowing down following that monumental day, as the Care Van and its community partners helped provide nearly 1,500 immunizations in October alone. That brings the total for 2015 to more than 4,000 vaccines provided to Montanans in more than 40 communities and 13 Hutterite colonies across the state.
The centerpiece of the program is the 23-foot van, a mobile clinic equipped with everything needed to provide basic health care. The van has been a valuable tool to county health departments and other providers across the state. Care Van has teamed up with partners on a variety of events, including back-to-school immunization clinics; flu shot events and wellness fairs.