Early in 1999, SLEHC sought consultation from all not-for-profit mobile health service providers in the Greater Houston Area. This effort lead to the development of the Greater Houston Mobile Health Forum (MHF), which represents not-for-profit mobile health resources for Harris and three additional counties.
The MHF elected as its first task to develop a comprehensive mobile service survey to determine who was providing, what services, when, where, and for whom. The results of the survey will help identify opportunities for creative program interface and enhanced delivery of mobile health service. Overall, the forum sees its purpose as:
- Compiling on a regular basis a comprehensive overview of services based on the survey and communicating the results.
- Working out ways to avoid duplication of services, address un-met needs and achieve economies with existing resources.
- Bringing forward in collaborative fashion the case for development of additional resources.
- Helping to raise public awareness and support for the unique role of mobile health outreach in our community.
- A MHF Member List is being maintained on St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities' website that includes email addresses for members to strengthen mobile service communication links and enhance service delivery.
- Because the MHF survey revealed a significant gap between community needs and available services in the area of general family dental services, MHF pursued discussions with the University of Texas Dental School and developed a plan, a budget, and a funding strategy to launch a mobile dental unit.
- Some MHF members played a significant role in assisting evacuees during Hurricane Katrina by providing health services at area shelters.