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Roving clinic helps seniors during pandemic

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Posted at 8:42 PM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 23:42:51-04

EL CAJON, CA (KGTV) -- Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many low-income seniors would make weekly visits to their local clinic for treatment. But now times have changed, and so has the way they see their doctor. St. Paul's PACE in El Cajon has made a major adjustment in providing care for their elderly patients. They are now ofering what you might call a clinic on four wheels.

"They used to come to the clinic for services, which some still do. But because of self isolation, and the fear of being in a crowded place, we have found a way to take care of them in a different manner," says St. Paul's PACE Medical Director Dr. Victor Lee

And their new way of helping patients is what they are calling a roving clinic. It's basically the comforts of a doctors office, all inside a van

"Our staff came up with some creative ways, and one of the ways was to create and convert a van into a clinic. So we can go to their homes to take care of them."

The van is considered a safe place for patients who do not feel comfortable seeking treatment at home, or at the clinic.

"Doctors can examine them, and nurses can do their vital signs Whatever we can do in the clinic we try and replicate inside the van."

There are currently close to 1,000 patients in the St. Paul's PACE program, many of whom Dr. Lee describes as frail with multiple medical problems. So the roving clinic has been a life saver.

"They love it. We go to their place, we park outside their apartment, or even in a parking lot. Somewhere where there is privacy, we take care of them right there."