The Doctor in the Parking Lot Will See You Now
Thursday, Sep 10, 2020 - 9 mins
World-class healthcare – in a parking lot? While it may challenge traditional ideas of care delivery, this unconventional venue could hold the key to building healthier neighborhoods.
We’ve partnered with Carbon Health to turn underused parking lots into healthcare access points – a formative step in our mission to make neighborhoods more sustainable and equitable community centers.
Bringing healthcare to your neighborhood
At REEF, we believe every person has the right to live in a well-resourced, people-friendly neighborhood. From groceries to healthcare, dining to entertainment, we think you should be able to access all of your daily necessities in the space of a 15-minute walk, bike ride, or scooter journey – a concept popularly known as the “15-minute city.”
And while city-led urban development can take years of planning, zoning, and building, we think communities deserve to have 15-minute cities brought to life now. Our solution? Transforming the parking lots and garages within our 4,500-location network into neighborhood hubs full of thoughtfully curated goods, services, and experiences.
It’s quick, it’s flexible – and in the case of our Carbon Health partnership, it could save lives.
“We’re proud to partner with Carbon Health to quickly scale COVID-19 testing and expand healthcare access to neighborhoods across the country,” REEF’s CEO, Ari Ojalvo, said.
“Our partnership with Carbon Health furthers our commitment to transforming our overlooked urban spaces into neighborhood hubs that can help connect people to the businesses and services they need to thrive.”
Removing barriers to healthcare access
Carbon Health’s mission is to connect all of us with person-centered, world-class care by eliminating traditional barriers to health.
One such barrier is geographic accessibility. Yes, even in today’s digitally connected world, pockets of our population simply don’t have primary or focused caregivers operating in their communities.
At REEF, we’ve witnessed the detrimental impact geographic inaccessibility can have on patients in our many years of managing healthcare campuses. The traffic on the way to the hospital; the search for a parking spot; the hours spent away from family and work. These factors undeniably cause patients a great deal of stress and anxiety – all this, before they’ve even reached the doctor’s office.
But the greatest impact of geographic inaccessibility is felt by patients without the financial or logistical means to travel to their healthcare provider. It can lead to delays in receiving diagnoses and appropriate care, financial strain – even preventable hospitalizations.
So, how will REEF and Carbon Health remove geographic accessibility as a barrier to care? By bringing the care to your block through patient-friendly pop-up clinics.
It starts with COVID-19 testing
Our journey with Carbon Health begins with opening one hundred pop-up COVID-19 testing clinics at REEF locations in twenty densely populated cities. These clinics will connect more people to diagnostic PCR tests and serology antibody tests.
Then, as demand for COVID-19 testing stabilizes, Carbon Health will evolve these clinics into comprehensive – and permanent – healthcare access points, providing the surrounding community with virtual and in-person care. Flu shots, flu and strep tests, lab work, and COVID-19 vaccinations (when available) will all be readily accessible in your neighborhood’s Carbon Health clinic.
“Carbon Health’s mission is to make healthcare accessible to all,” Carbon Health CEO Eren Bali told us: “And proximity to care plays a critical role in removing barriers to access.”
And the vision goes beyond these first hundred locations.
“From rural communities to underserved urban neighborhoods, we know that people struggle when deciding when and where to get the right care,” says Bali.
“By placing ourselves where people live and work, both physically through our clinics and online through our virtual care, we’re right there when and where they need quality healthcare.”
Visiting a pop-up healthcare clinic
Pop-up clinic appointments are booked in advance online or through the Carbon Health app, with same-day appointments often readily available.
When you arrive on-site for your appointment, you’re greeted by Carbon Health staff and an equally welcoming pop of color: the Carbon Health clinic. And while they may not look like your average doctors’ office, they certainly function like one.
Your appointment begins with a virtual consultation with a healthcare provider. This process provides thorough, personalized care while minimizing unnecessary exposure to others. After your clinical assessment is complete, you receive a test administrated by an on-site Carbon Health nurse.
It’s that simple – all patients can access their test results within five to seven days via the Carbon Health app. You can also use the app to access medical records, follow up with your provider via chat, or book future appointments.
For a healthier economy
Beyond individual healthcare, Carbon Health is helping local business owners treat the economic impact of the pandemic and re-open responsibly.
Through their COVID-19 Ready back-to-work management program, employers can reserve in-clinic appointments for their employees to get tested on an ongoing basis, receive COVID-19 education, and prevent workplace outbreaks.
“As the country collectively finds its footing in this crisis, supporting our economy to reopen with the right protocols in place is not only important for individuals but for our public health as well,” Eren Bali said.
“We are helping a range of customers stay safe and healthy at work – from large global enterprises to local SMBs, sports and entertainment industries, the non-profit sector and schools.
We believe people across all industries, whether you are working in a restaurant, grocery store or in an office, can benefit from the COVID Ready program.”
The future of healthcare
We believe that hosting Carbon Health clinics is a powerful means of reconnecting communities with healthcare – a relationship that deserves extra care and attention during today’s pandemic.
But beyond COVID-19, our real estate and extended ecosystem of products and services are here to help healthcare providers deliver truly person-centered care and remove the need to uproot patients from where they feel most comfortable: their neighborhoods.
It’s a seminal step in decentralizing healthcare delivery, making healthcare access more equitable, and bringing the 15-minute city to life.
“We’ve seen the rapid increase of retail health in the past few years, which has changed healthcare delivery and impacted the way people engage with their health,” Eren told us.
With healthcare providers readily available in places where people already frequent day-to-day, we immediately remove another barrier to access. This presents our providers with an opportunity to care for millions of people who may otherwise not have had the resources to seek care.”
All of this, thanks to the power of proximity.
Carbon Health clinics are already live at REEF locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and Seattle at the time of writing. To book an appointment at a Carbon Health clinic or view new locations, visit carbonhealth.com
REEF’s mission is to connect the world to your block. We transform underutilized urban spaces into neighborhood hubs that connect people to locally curated goods, services, and experiences. With an ecosystem of 4,500 locations and a team of 15,000 people, REEF is the largest operator of mobility, logistics hubs, and neighborhood kitchens in the United States. Together we are leveraging the power of proximity to keep our communities moving forward in a sustainable and thoughtful way.
REEF is here to help.