Tippecanoe County Health Department proposes new mobile unit

The Tippecanoe County Health Department is proposing a new mobile unit in a push to make vaccines more accessible across the county.

Posted: Aug 6, 2018 6:24 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Tippecanoe County has been re-listed as a high-risk county for Hepatitis-A. The Tippecanoe County Health Department is proposing a new mobile unit. They hope the unit will make vaccines more accessible around the county.

The proposal comes with the Health Department Immunization Grant's re-approval through July of next year. Several members of the department believe it's time for a new push to fight the virus.

"We are strongly encouraging everyone to get vaccinated for Hepatitis-A," said Amanda Balser, Grant Financial Supervisor with Tippecanoe County.

The Tippecanoe County Health Department is proposing a new mobile unit to bring services closer to home. Balser hopes the unit will allow more people to be up to date with their immunizations.. "This is a normal shot that they give for school aged children now, but if you're an adult you probably didn't have it as a child," she said.

Tippecanoe County Health Department's Nursing Supervisor Khala Hochstedler describes several additional benefits of the unit. "It'll have a chair to do blood draws, vaccines, it'll have a bathroom to do STD testing in it. It'll have the state approved refrigerator and freezer so I can keep vaccine on it," said Hochstedler.

Rather than having to remain at their main office, the proposed mobile unit would allow for pop-up locations.
This would make vaccinations and other medical tests accessible to those who may not be able to receive them otherwise.
The unit will also allow for individuals to continue exchanging used needles for new ones.

Two proposals have been discussed for the unit - a trailer or truck. Both proposals are estimated at 159 thousand dollars. The department already has 60 thousand in funds set aside for the unit.

Hochstedler believes the new unit would bring a much needed upgrade to the department. "Right now we're in an aluminum trailer so if the weather's bad, so we have to cancel," said Hochstedler.

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