Clinics planned for truck stops

The first of several planned medical clinics at truck stops opened this week at the junction of Interstates 40 and 75 near Knoxville, TN to serve the highly transient and mostly uninsured community of long-haul truck drivers. "We're a service that they can just walk over and if they've got issues and need to see a doc, they need to get prescription refills, we can take care of that," Bill Buzbee, CEO for Professional Drivers Medical Depots, the Knoxville-based clinic operator, told the Associated Press. Services will include mandatory Department of Transportation physicals for drivers, drug screening, breath-alcohol testing, treatment for work-related injuries and personal illness, as well as flu and pneumonia vaccines. The medical depot will be staffed mostly by paramedics and nurse practitioners, though a physician will be on call, the AP reports. Serious cases will be referred to local hospitals.

A second location is under development in West Memphis, AR, and Professional Drivers Medical Depots has plans to open 60 to 80 such clinics across America by 2010, at a cost of $130,000 to $160,000 each.

To learn more:
- read the AP article in the Tennessean
- visit the company website

PLUS: WA clinic stresses preventive care for uninsured. Article