New contract allows Nevada Cares Campus to provide free on-site medical services

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – There are efforts underway to reduce 911 calls at the Nevada Cares Campus in The Biggest Little City.

Since opening in May of last year, the shelter generates about a dozen calls a day for police or medical services.

“There’s a huge gap in our community and with our clientele, in needing basic medical services,” said Catrina Peters, data and policy specialist at Washoe County. “We see folks maybe accessing the emergency room when we can provide kind of a different level and more appropriate level of care.”

To avoid emergency rooms from becoming family doctors–a financial burden for taxpayers–the Washoe County Board of Commissioners recently approved a $520,000 contract with MedHealth LLC (DBA MedTrust LLC) to provide free on-site medical care.

“We see a lot of folks who need assistance with managing diabetes with wound care, just with some basic first aid, this provider will be able to provide those services,” said Peters.

Although there are several medical partners on-site, one challenge is that you need insurance in order to work with them.

“But this will be providing services regardless of insurance status,” said Peters.

The contract started on August 1 and the provider will be on site, starting August 15. Due to current construction at the campus, MedTrust will be working from a trailer with two exam rooms and a bathroom facility.

“They’ll be on-site seven days a week, 365 days a year, which we’re very excited about,” said Peters. “There will be at least two staff on site each day, and that includes 20 hours a week that a prescriber will be on site.”

The funding is coming from COVID relief funds.

The one-year contract has the potential for renewal upon review, the goal is to reduce emergency call volumes to at least half.

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