Apr 08, 2023

Alluvion Health rolls out new mobile medical clinic

VAUGHN – Alluvion Health is looking to expand its footprint of services in rural Montana, and those efforts took a step forward Tuesday as it launched its "Rural Road Show."

The Great Falls-based nonprofit health center debuted its newly acquired mobile medical clinic in the parking lot of the Big Sky Deli just off of Highway 200, offering services such as preventative and primary care, acute and chronic care and treatment for common illnesses.

The mobile medical clinic features three exam rooms where Alluvion can see anywhere from three to six patients per hour depending on need, according to CEO Trista Besich. Alluvion also provided services in its mobile dental unit that holds two exam rooms.

The mobile units use a satellite connection so they can serve rural communities where cell and WiFi signals are not as strong, according to Associate Medical Officer Michael Hall.

Tuesday's launch was the first of five stops on the "Rural Road Show" over the next two weeks, with stops planned in Belt, Centerville, Cascade and Choteau. The clinics will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at each stop, and appointments can be made online at Alluvion's website. Walk-in patients are also accepted.

Alluvion serves about 15,000 unique patients per year, Besich said, and around 30 percent of those travel to Great Falls to access medical services.

"In the last couple of years, we’ve really identified a need to get access out to our rural community partners," Besich said. "So, the last couple of years we’ve invested in a couple of mobile units. We started rolling (the mobile dental clinic) about two years ago, and we’ve done everything from speech screenings to sports physicals and vaccine immunizations out of this clinic. And as a result of our increased use of this one, we acquired the mobile medical clinic which has three exam rooms, state-of-the-art radiology, and sterilization. It's a really beautiful unit."

The healthcare provider already has a school-based center in Vaughn and opened a location in Choteau last year. Besich said many patients from rural communities have told Alluvion they often put off medical and dental services due to access, going mainly to the ER or urgent care centers as needed.

"Our ability to roll a mobile clinic out allows us to create access to general primary preventative care services and get people back into seeing routine healthcare as opposed to using the ER or urgent care only," Besich said.

In addition to preventative and primary services, the mobile unit can also be used for speech and vision screenings and immunizations.

"Sometimes we’re out just creating access allowing people to meet us and sometimes we’re out doing diabetic foot screenings or we’re opened up for routine medical care and (patients) are coming in for their routine visits," Besich said. "We do pharmacy and lab as well, so the benefit is we can create access for pharmacy and lab services as well as medical, dental and behavioral health."

The goal of the initial "Rural Road Show" is to allow the communities to see the new mobile unit and the services it provides and introduce Alluvion to those residents, Besich said. Alluvion hopes to increase the number of dates the mobile unit will be available in rural communities and eventually make a set schedule for visits.

"Our intent is really to introduce ourselves to the community and let them come check out the mobile units and get to know who we are," Besich said. "Also, to just really get going as we expand this unit and introduce our mobile autism clinic, we’ll be increasing access to diagnostic and therapeutic services for ABA or autism services as well. So, this is our way to kind of get it launched."

The schedule for the rest of the "Rural Road Show" is as follows:

To schedule an appointment or for more information, visit or call 406-454-6973.

Photos were provided courtesy of Matt Ehnes of Jared's Detours.