With the economic downturn, Bon Secours’ Care-A-Van has more than doubled its patient visits, increasing from 8,000 patient visits in 2008 to more than 20,000 in 2009.
This invaluable service sends three specially equipped Care-A-Van units into local communities in and around Richmond and Hampton Roads. Clinicians provide vaccinations, screenings, and a wide-range of primary care. Many of the individuals served have no medical home, and all lack insurance. More than half of all patients do not speak English as a first language.
“I am a former educator and student-athlete with a degree from UVA [University of Virginia] and never would have imagined myself in financial straits, no health insurance and having major problems physically. Thanks to Anthony and your fine staff I met at Ginter Park UMC last Wednesday, I am in great hands. From the folks that handled my entry, the social worker, the nurses and then Dr. Buston, I felt blessed and supremely well taken care of. I have a repeat performance at New Bridge Baptist Church Wednesday and know I couldn’t be in better hands other than His own!”
“When I first got here, the Care-A-Van helped me. My bones hurt a lot because back in my country, I worked a lot in the field. The Care-A-Van sent me to a specialist at Cross Over, who recommended physical therapy, and thanks to them I am OK now. That was over three years ago, and now I have recuperated. Now, when I have headaches or eye aches, I return to the Care-A-Van. Thank you to the staff for treating us so well, when the staff sees me on the street, they even say "Hi"! With such caring people, it makes me want to come back! I have recommended Care-A-Van to seven of my children, because I like how they treat me.”
“I didn’t know I had high blood pressure, but my head and leg hurt a lot. The day I came to the Care-A-Van for the first time, the nurse Griselda showed me to Dr. Buston immediately. The doctor explained to me what could happen to me with high blood pressure, and that I could die. He took time off his busy schedule to explain to me about my condition. My blood pressure was 190/160. The doctor gave me medicine and the next day I already feel better. That was November 2008. Now, I come to the Care-A-Van doctors much more frequently whenever I have pain. They gave me medicine for my leg and now I feel great. I appreciate from the bottom of my heart everything the Care-A-Van did for me. Not just anyone is willing to serve others, thank you. They have also helped my wife a lot with the mammogram and hospital bills.”
“I have four daughters, and I bring them all to the Care-A-Van. The Care-A-Van does their check ups, shots and takes care of any health emergencies they have. Even though the services are free, I have always gotten great medical attention, from the reception to the medical services at the Care-A-Van. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I came to the Care-A-Van for the first time in 2004 because my children’s school recommended I come to get vaccines for my children. It was easy to find the site because the Care-A-Van was so close, only a few blocks away from my house.”
“I heard about the Care-A-Van through some co-workers at Chipotle Restaurant. I was in a lot of pain without money to expend and my co-worker said Care-A-Van was located off Hull Street that day. When I came in the staff helped me right away. They prescribed blood pressure medicine, which I hadn’t had in a long time because I didn’t have a doctor or money. They set me up for appointments for gynecology and mammogram, which I haven’t had for years also. I am very happy with the care the staff gives me. Thank you.”
“I am grateful that I found out about the Care-A-Van. Don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t. Other doors all closed on me once I was discharged from ambulatory care in Norfolk. I was only given numbers to call for medical health. Whenever I called, there was a five to six month waiting list. I felt I was wasting away. I had no doctor, no medicine and I was sick. I could barely walk due to my rheumatoid arthritis. I was taking 80 Aleve a week for pain and it didn’t help. I even asked Go to let me die. I thought I would overdose to end my life. My mother heard about Care-A-Van on the news on TV. She was so worried about me and she called me and told me to go. My brother brought me the first visit. I got a bus the second visit. It was a blessing and I thank God for my mom who saw the information about the Care-A-Van and for the doctors and staff on the van who helped me and gave me care and hope. I can better look after my five kids. I also have one grandson. I am feeling stronger and can walk better, although still unsteady. But I am getting better. The care has been very good for me. The Care-A-Van is a blessing to me. I don’t know what I would have done. Thank you for coming.” — 35-year-old patient