BRANSON, Mo. — “Jesus Was Homeless” charity in Branson has unveiled a high tech health service that allows patients to get a check up, over the internet.
It’s a technology called Telemedicine or Direct Connect — a virtual health clinic using Skype, your smartphone, or any other mobile device to treat minor health issues. Patients have been able to use it for some time, but this is the first time it’s being made available to the homeless population in Branson.
Using very high tech equipment, doctors can do exams on eyes, ears and even the throat, in a matter of minutes, for only 20-dollars.
Bryan Stallings, Executive Director of Jesus Was Homeless, calls it a one-stop-shop for health needs.
“You’ll also be able to access Taney County, Health Department’s WIC program, mental health through Burrell Behavioral – as well as Jordan Valley has a dental truck that they bring as well.”
The charity started their virtual health clinic through partnerships with various organizations in Branson, including, Cox Health Center and Taney County Health Department. The targeted demographic is those with low income living in nearby Extended Stay hotels and those with no transportation.
“So if they come here and they need to do follow up, we’ll be happy to transport them to that,” Stallings said.
While the virtual service will primarily serve the low-income community, anyone who needs medical attention can take advantage of these services.
Ashlee Harkness, Director of Operations at Jesus Was Homeless, says this service is open to the public.
“If you live in Extended Stay motel, obviously it’s open to you and we have some vouchers to help with that. But, if you’re just somebody that’s in the public that needs to get care and you can’t make it to the hospital, or you don’t want to go through that process, we can get you directly connected to our Telemedicine here.”
“A lot of times, people who aren’t used to the medical structure might head to the ER for this – and now on this side of town we’ll have an outlet for folks to be able to come to,” said William Mahoney, President of Cox Health Center in Branson.
Stallings says they have a target goal to serve 100 people for the year,” he said. “Which we think could be a little low. But, it’s not about the numbers, it’s about people getting healthy.”
Stallings also says he believes this virtual service will help cut down on visits to the emergency rooms.