Mobile health unit a boon for vets

By Howard Wilkinson • hwilkinson@enquirer.com • April 19, 2009

In December 2007, John Guinn, president of The Thank You Foundation, faced a daunting task – finding hundreds, maybe thousands, of individual and corporate donors to help raise more than $300,000 to build a 40-foot mobile health unit for the Cincinnati VA Medical Center.

In the end, though, it took only one donor.

The day after The Enquirer published a story on the fund-raising effort, Richard T. Farmer, founder and retired CEO of Cintas Corp., went to the board of the charitable foundation he and his wife Joyce founded, the Farmer Family Foundation, and suggested that the van would be a worthy project to support. Today, the finishing touches are being put on the mobile health unit by Armor Mobile Systems, the Mason company that built it, and it will be wheeled out for the first time on May 16, Armed Services Day, at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center’s Welcome Home Celebration at Lunken Airport, an event expected to draw thousands of military veterans and their families.

“There’s no limit to what we can do with this unit,” said Todd Sledge, who heads the office of community affairs at the VA Medical Center in Corryville. “A whole lot of veterans who have never even known what medical services are available to them are going to be helped.” Only six mobile health units are in use among the 153 medical centers in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ health-care system.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090419/NEWS01/904200332

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