Improving the health and wellness of the communities we serve

The LIFT Transportation program provides free, non-emergency transportation to medical appointments.

The Mobile Medical Unit provides medical and dental care to the remote communities in our Basin.

Improving Access to Healthcare in the Morongo Basin

In 2017, the District commissioned Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, to produce a community health needs study for the Morongo Basin. It is believed to be the first such formal document for the Morongo Basin.

The study revealed that the Morongo Basin has a high level of poverty, poor physical and mental health, and lacks access to healthy foods and transportation. While residents are drawn to the area for its affordability and slower pace of life, many end up extremely isolated due to low population density, harsh desert climate and poor transportation options. This isolation creates multiple barriers to healthcare access for residents.

Public transportation across the Morongo Basin is minimal and does not deviate from primary roads. The sprawling goegraphy isolates households that are not connected to the main transit corridor. The study also revealed that the average number of vehicles per household in the Basin is slightly lower than the average in San Bernardino County and that poverty levels influence the ability to afford vehicle maintenance and purchase fuel.

The MORONGO BASIN HEALTHCARE DISTRICT Board of Directors identified "access to healthcare" as a major issue in the Morongo Basin because of the transportation barrier. In response, two strategic initiatives to improve access were implemented by the District: the LIFT Transportation Program and the Mobile Medical Unit.

LIFT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES: The program is a free, non-emergency medical transportation program, providing more than 10,000 annual one-way trips to and from medical appointments in the rural communities of the Morongo Basin. This service operates two wheelchair-accessible vans and one minivan, with an average combined monthly distance of 8,000 miles and 1,200 clients (2019 stats). The service is offered to anyone living in the Basin. CLICK HERE for more information about the LIFT Transportation program.

MOBILE MEDICAL UNIT: This service provides on-site health and dental care in the more remote geographic areas of our Basin. The unit visits community centers to provide either medical or dental care to local residents where they can see a nurse practitioner for primary medical care and screenings. Dental services are provided by a dentist.

Additionally, the mobile unit visits elementary and high school campuses within the District to provide on-site dental screenings and some basic dental services to students. 2020 enrollment is projected to be 8,200 students. About 25 percent of parents choose the mobile unit to provide dental services to their children. Clinical studies have shown that poor pediatric oral care impacts children's health and school attendance, and ultimately their adult health.CLICK HERE for more information about the Mobile Medical Unit program and its monthly schedule.