“These guys are a blessing,” said Dion, who once led the roller skating dance crew in the 1980 movie “Xanadu.” “I didn’t have to get in my car and drive to see a doctor.” Four times a week, the medical clinic on wheels parks and rolls out the red carpet inside five different studio lots across Los Angeles for the men and women who spend 14-hour days working behind the scenes on Hollywood’s biggest movies and TV shows. Health Wheels is an extension of the MPTF mission to provide health and social services to the people who are the backbone of Hollywood, from camera operators and set designers to grips and sound editors, as well as all those whose hectic schedules rarely allow them to visit doctors off the lots. “The idea is if you can’t get off the lot, we’ll get to the lot,” said Karen Vock, project manager for Health Wheels. Supported by the First Entertainment Credit Union and Entertainment Partners as well as a fundraiser called Heartbeat of Hollywood, the MPTF’s Health Wheels rolled out in 2011 and has served 2,000 people, Vock said. The services are not free — fees are billed to insurance companies like any other clinic, though if patients come in without insurance staffers do work to try to help find them coverage. The 30-foot vehicle includes an examination room, a full bathroom and a nurse’s station and is equipped for a doctor to do everything from skin biopsies to pap tests to blood work.
Anything should sound good up here. Liszt’s “Les Preludes” didn’t sound bad. The $1-million amplification system reproduced orchestral body, fidelity and directionality. The speakers seemed far away, so there wasn’t the sonic immediacy of sitting close, but what I heard was realistic. But the new monitors ruined the atmosphere. No longer is this a place where you feel like you can get away from it all for a buck.