CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A mobile medical clinic may be in the cards for Snow Shoe residents, after the only medical center in the borough closed last summer.
“The closest place is about 10 miles,” said Katie Cramer, a maintenance worker for the borough. “I would say probably Bellefonte would be the closest for people to get any sort of treatment.”
Jim Yost, the chairman of the Mountain Top Regional Water Authority, leaves Snow Shoe to get his basic necessities.
“Anything we need, we go to Clearfield, Bellefonte, State College,” Yost said.
Medical services are not the only thing that has left the borough.
“We have lost a lot of things,” Cramer said. “Hall’s, our grocery store, caught on fire and burnt and that hasn’t been filled. We don’t have a bank anymore. Things are just slowly dwindling from our community.”
In August, the only medical clinic in the borough, Mountaintop Area Medical Center — left a void in the community after its sudden closure.
“They served us well. They were convenient. They were right here,” Yost said. “They could do the blood work and we had a doctor who watched out for us.”
Now, Dr. Michael McShane, a Penn State professor, is working to bring medical services back to rural Pennsylvania through a mobile medical unit.
“Particularly in these rural areas, we have to think differently,” McShane said. “And we have to consider alternative methods of delivering health care to achieve those goals of helping folks in the commonwealth maintain health and wellbeing.”
The mobile unit will likely focus on preventive health services to start, with McShane thinking about blood pressure checks and routine screenings.
Dr. McShane and PSU Medicine have been exploring the possibility of a mobile unit for about a year.
“You know, as we’ve started down the process and talked with more folks that’s been kind of the trajectory that we think, okay. I think we should give this a shot,” McShane said. “And so we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to do this and see what comes of it.”
Dr. McShane said there is a possibility that the unit may dispatch sooner rather than later, providing residents with a close option for medical care.