Churches and doctors partner to increase access to healthcare

Edwin Torres is trying a new way to get his blood sugar tested, and the Stockbridge pastor likes it.

"I think it's great, great service," says Pastor Torres.

Torres is part of a group of pastors from primarily Latino Assembly of God congregations, who stopped by this Gwinnett County church parking lot to visit CIES Global's new mobile screening unit.

Inside, the pastors are getting basic health screenings -- the non-profit hopes they'll want to bring to their own congregations.

"A lot us do not have medical insurance. Fortunately, I do. But a lot of members don't have medical insurance," says Pastor Torres.

Cardiologist Dr. Eduardo Montana, a CIES provider, says this flexible screening unit the first of 5 CIES hopes to open here in the metro Atlanta area and the Southeast.

"So this model started in Brazil 10 years ago. It's an innovative concept that uses the mobile unit in different shapes and sizes and configurations to really access populations in their communities," explains Dr. Montana.

Montana says CIES Global will charge churches between $45 to $50 per member, depending on how many participate. And he says the screenings -- aren't just for Georgian's without insurance.

"Sometimes it's people with insurance, or with access. But they just don't choose to access it, because they don't have doctors that speak their language or that are culturally sensitive to their needs," says Dr. Montana.

Pastor Torres says time is also a challenge for his members, so this could make staying on top of their health so much easier.

"Because it's going to be right at the congregation and they have no excuse but to walk in to get their health screening."