Client Spotlight: Birmingham AIDS Outreach

October 18, 2018 | La Boit Specialty Vehicles | Client Spotlight, Medical | No Comments

Since 1985, Birmingham AIDS Outreach (BAO) has been providing free services to HIV-positive individuals throughout the Birmingham, Alabama area. As the first organization of its type in the entire state of Alabama, BAO was formed as a small grassroots non-profit in response to the spread of HIV/AIDS among the population of Birmingham. Since then, the organization has grown to provide free services to 800 individuals in the Birmingham community, along with outreach, education, and free HIV/AIDS testing.

And now it’s grown even more! Over the summer, BAO took delivery of their first vehicle, a La Boit-built 26ft mobile testing clinic.

The idea for a mobile testing clinic first came about after BAO hosted some creative community outreach initiatives, which led to hundreds of individuals being tested over the course of the campaign.  According to a news story from WBRC Channel 6 in Birmingham, the success of the initiative allowed the organization to gain grant funding from the state health department.

From the article:

Josh Bruce, Director of Education at BAO, said the organization started going out in the community a few years ago, setting up outside bars. In exchange for getting tested, people were offered free cover or a free drink.

“So we were testing hundreds of people. Also finding a lot of people who are HIV positive,” explained Bruce. “We found that was really, really, really successful.”

The success of that community outreach led to funding from the Alabama Department of Public Health for the Mobile Testing Unit, which BAO staff has named Mabel. It includes four private rooms for testing, a bathroom, and a counseling area.

As BAO has experienced first hand, mobile medical vehicles are well-suited for the mission of non-profit organizations in HIV/AIDS support and awareness.

First, they function as enormous mobile billboards. Everywhere they drive they advertise the mission of the organization. Creative graphics, like the ones installed by BAO and designed by local Birmingham artist Paul Cordes Wilm, are key in that aspect.

Ribbon cutting for Birmingham AIDS Outreach

Second, donors and volunteers love them. A mobile testing van is an impressive and tangible representation of how donor dollars are being put to good use in the community. Most organizations do a large ribbon-cutting ceremony, where donors and volunteers can walk through the vehicle, get their picture taken, and receive public acknowledgment of their contribution to the cause.

Third, they are multi-purpose! Of course they can bring free mobile HIV/AIDS testing direct to the community that needs it, but a mobile clinic can also serve an important educational purpose, providing adequate privacy for individual counseling sessions, potentially reaching thousands of individuals per year with one on one attention.

From all of us at La Boit Specialty Vehicles, thank you Birmingham AIDS Outreach for your business, but more importantly, thank you for your service to your community!

About La Boit Specialty Vehicles

La Boit Specialty Vehicles president Gil Blais first started La Boit in his garage, where he hand-made organizational boxes for traveling veterinarians. Fast forward 37 years, La Boit Specialty Vehicles is now a leader in specialty vehicle manufacturing for the Veterinary, Spay/Neuter/Adoption, Dental, Medical, Command, and Bloodmobile industries.

La Boit Specialty Vehicles offers a variety of vehicles to suit your needs, from 18ft pull-behind trailers to 40ft drivable coaches, none of which require a CDL to drive. Best of all, our vehicles are commercially-built from the chassis up for your specific needs, and are never converted RVs.

Mission Statement:

Helping professionals around the world confidently deliver a higher level of service to their local markets by providing the highest quality custom mobile units in the industry!

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