A 40-foot converted school bus was in the spotlight in Stamford on Nov. 28 for a sendoff ceremony at the headquarters of the nonprofit Americares. It had been turned into a mobile medical unit several years ago and saw service during various emergencies in the U.S.
Now, the clinic on wheels is being donated to the Ponce Medical School Foundation in Puerto Rico, which is providing outreach to survivors in communities hit by Hurricane Maria. The vehicle has two exam rooms and will be used to provide various medical services ranging from primary care to mental health.
Much of Puerto Rico still remains without power and clean running water. Access to remote areas is extremely difficult.
The mobile clinic had been sent to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, to Texas after Hurricane Ike and to health centers across New York City after Superstorm Sandy. The unit primarily served as a mobile outpost for the Americares Free Clinics in Connecticut, providing care for low-income, uninsured residents. It was in service in Stamford until January when a clinic was opened in a permanent location.