HoppisJody Hoppis, excellent personPhoto: Mobile MedicineEvery so often you get climate hawks and public-health advocates saying to each other, “Hey, walking and cycling help both of our causes. We should work together.” Here’s one way to do that:

Jody Hoppis fastens her helmet, pulls on her gloves but rides no ordinary bike. Hers is a high-tech model that even comes with a small motor to push her through those long journeys. She can use the extra push, because when Hoppis arrives, the nurse is in.

Hoppis, who is better known as “Nurse Jody,” ditched the brick-and-mortar clinic and went back in time to the days when neighborhood doctors made house calls.

“You know, I wanted to do something different,” she said. “I feel like health care isn’t working, and I didn’t know what I could do on my own. But I wanted to be able to spend more time with my patients.”

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Hoppis covers a 15-mile radius around Bellingham conducting regular checkups, diagnosing illnesses and prescribing medicine.

“Oh, it’s amazing. It’s amazing,” said patient Megan West. “It’s really wonderful to feel like someone cares enough about me and my health to bring all their stuff to me.”

… And her patients aren’t the only ones who like the unusual system. Since going mobile two years ago, the nurse practitioner has learned she’s able to spend more time with each patient since not having a clinic allows her to retain fewer patients.

“I’m happy. I love it,” she said. “I absolutely love it and sometimes I bike away, thinking, ‘No way is this my job.”‘

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The broader policy implication here is that … uh, Jody Hoppis is a biking nurse who makes house calls. Which is awesome. Let’s have more of those.