The Family Van
The Family Van’s mission is to educate, counsel and screen community members and assist them in taking action to strengthen and protect their bodies, minds and communities.
Health care is increasingly inaccessible to the poorer segments of the populations of large cities. Boston’s inner-city neighborhoods have a disproportionately high rate of disease and mortality, with particularly elevated levels of cancers, diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, infant mortality and substance abuse. The high rate of medical misery in these populations is at least in part a result of low rates of health insurance and inability to access what help is in fact available. The Family Van is arguably the most effective and cost-efficient attempt to address this problem. By bringing friendly front-line healthcare almost to the doorstep of the patient population, it overcomes many barriers: inability to take time off work, transport problems and the intimidating nature of large hospitals (especially for those whose first language is not English). The value for money is nothing short of spectacular. 7,000 patient visits are made each year at a cost of $450,000. There is no doubt that the Family Van saves money as well as saving lives.