VIDEO: Bringing Better Health to a Philadelphia Neighborhood with a Mobile Van

December 10, 2019 - Diversity & Inclusion New Jersey, New York and PA

CoLab and TD are removing barriers to healthcare for Kensington residents

CoLab Health Design Lab, a remodeled 1960s Airstream trailer, has a singular purpose - to bring healthcare outside hospital walls and into the city communities that need it most.

The trailer has hosted numerous medical screenings in the Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia for high blood pressure and HIV, and activities such as story time for kids and nutrition demonstrations for adults. Each event involves a partnership with local community organizations such as Esperanza Health Center, Impact Services Corporation, and New Kensington CDC. Since the summer of 2019, over 1,000 Kensington residents have visited the CoLab mobile van.

"I am thrilled to see people smile," Gloria Cartagena, Health Connector New Kensington Community Development Corp., said at a recent CoLab event. For those not able to afford healthcare, "it is so important for people to be seen and know that their life is important."

For the past two years, TD Charitable Foundation has been the lead sponsor for the mobile van, which is anchored out of the Health Design Lab at Thomas Jefferson University.

Both TD and CoLab "think differently and innovatively to make a difference to communities that need it most," said Robert Pugliese Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Jefferson Health Design Lab.

"There is an urgency in improving access to healthcare today, and we can't rely on what worked in the past to resolve it," said Dr. Stephen K. Klasko, MD, President of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health. "The only way to do it successfully is to create new models of innovation that bring healthcare to those who need it the most. This is the passion behind CoLab – to reach out to people who are underserved in Philadelphia."

Better Health is a core focus The Ready Commitment, TD's program that targets a total of $1 Billion (CDN) by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to building an inclusive future – Financial Security, a more Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. The Ready Challenge is a important component of The Ready Commitment, which invest $1Million (CDN) in grants to organizations that are working on solutions. For 2019, the TD Ready Challenge, focus area is Better Health - making it easier for low-to-moderate income populations to be able to access services for earlier disease detection and interventions.

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