Carlos Trevino walked inside the new Bridge to Hope mobile medical clinic Saturday with high blood pressure and an injured arm.
What could have been a routine health check, at Fairview Park, resulted in Trevino being connected to a local medical clinic where he can receive consistent medical treatment.
His blood pressure was checked -- twice -- only to reveal dangerously high levels. His arm, once the ACE bandage was removed, showed a bent, crooked and swollen wrist. Medical professionals were concerned that the wound hadn't healed properly.
Trevino, originally from Mexico, has been staying at the Salvation Army in Goldsboro a few days. He doesn't have transportation, so he hasn't been back to a doctor since he had surgery on the broken arm in November. He is also supposed to be taking medicine for high blood pressure and cholesterol but ran out, he said. He said he gets a small check once a month that helps pay for the medicine.
The mission of Bridge to Hope is to help people like Trevino. So far, since the unit rolled out in January, many people with existing health conditions have been helped, said Jimmy Bryant, Bridge to Hope chief executive officer.
"It's primarily designed to help the homeless, the low income and the needy," Bryant said. "We've helped a lot of people."
Trevino, who is in his 70s and only speaks Spanish, was helped through an onsite medical interpreter. Concerned about the lack of transportation, volunteer staff were able to connect him to a local medical provider within walking distance.
Trevino said the mobile unit helps because of its easy access in the community.
"It's very good," he said, through interpreter Luke Sanders. "Since I don't have a car, getting around is hard, and to have someone come where you are is great."
He also said he hopes that getting proper medical care will help him feel better.
"I don't think it's going to continue to be as bad," he said.
The Bridge to Hope medical mobile unit, a 40-foot-long Mountain Aire motor home, has started making visits in Goldsboro, Mount Olive and other Wayne County areas since early January.
Bridge to Hope is an outgrowth of the Bridge Church, in Princeton, but a separate entity with nonprofit status. The unit is staffed with volunteer doctors, physician assistants and nurses.
"We have doctors and nurses that are volunteering their time," Bryant said. "We're just a community operated program."
Bridge to Hope is a partnership with the Goshen Medical Center, which includes connecting people to regular medical care, after they are initially screened inside the mobile unit.
The motor home, which has been renovated and equipped with two exam rooms, a small kitchen and basic medical supplies, offers free blood pressure checks, blood glucose testing and body-mass-index calculations.
"This is a free mobile clinic," Bryant said.
The medical unit is planned to eventually expand its services and will offer light wound care and other basic health care, Bryant said.
Bridge to Hope has so far visited the Community Soup Kitchen of Goldsboro and the Community Fun Day Saturday in Fairview Park. The unit is at the Community Soup Kitchen every second and fourth Sunday, from noon to 2 p.m. Other locations are planned each month, including future city sponsored fun days in Goldsboro neighborhoods.
"We want to go to migrant camps," Bryant said. "One of my dreams is disaster relief. We're just filling the need. Wherever the need opens up at, that's where we go."
Volunteers say they're motivated to helping the less fortunate.
"I have a passion for serving, especially medical missions," said Regina Gurley, a volunteer physician assistant. "We've already met several folks that have been out of medical care for months."
Adam Combs, a Bridge to Hope volunteer nurse, said the work matches his chosen profession.
"Any of us who are in health care went into it to help the public, so this is a natural thing to use our abilities to give back," Combs said.
Bridge to Hope is seeking medical volunteers and is accepting donations, which are tax deductible.
"I'm looking for medical volunteers more than anything else," Bryant said. "We need doctors and PAs right now."
Bridge to Hope has its own budget, which covers all expenses, including the motor home purchase and upfit, and is supported by donations from several churches and individuals. Bridge to Hope can be reached at 735-5411 and its website is at www.bridgetohope.cc.
The mobile medical unit is the start of Bridge to Hope's plan to offer multiple services in the Wayne County area. A mentoring program, transitional housing for people coming out of prison and networking services are planned in the future, Bryant said.
"Before it's over, we will be a full-blown community operation," Bryant said.