LUMBERTON, N.C. (WNCN) — A ribbon cutting in Lumberton on Thursday marked the start of a new service for rural communities in 10 North Carolina counties.

Eastpointe, a managed care organization focused on helping people struggling with mental health, substance use disorder and intellectual or developmental disabilities, was provided $2.5 million to purchase six vehicles.

The vehicles, also known as mobile care centers, are RVs designed to deliver substance use services to rural communities in Eastpointe’s 10-county service area of Duplin, Edgecombe, Greene, Lenoir, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Warren, Wayne and Wilson counties.

Each vehicle will be staffed with local providers and will begin serving patients in the coming weeks, a release from Eastpointe said.

The $2.5 million investment came from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services through the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The Thursday morning ribbon cutting celebration included remarks from NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley, Robeson County Board of Commissioners Chair Wixie Stephens, Eastpointe Board Chair Jerry Jones and Eastpointe CEO Sarah Stroud.

From left: Robeson County Commissioner Pauline Campbell, Robeson Board of Commissioners Chair Wixie Stephens, Eastpointe CEO Sarah Stroud, NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley, and Eastpointe Area Board Chair Jerry Jones cut the ribbon on Eastpointe’s new Mobile Care Centers. (Photo courtesy Eastpointe)

Secretary Kinsley said the investment in these vehicles is to help “ensure every North Carolinian has access to quality health care.”

“Mobile care clinics are a smart investment that place services in our rural and historically underserved communities to deliver substance use and other critical services for whole-person care,” he said.

Stroud added that this is a “perfect example of North Carolina’s behavioral health system delivering for its residents. We combined NCDHHS’s vision and funding with Eastpointe’s community knowledge and our providers’ ability to deliver high-quality care to offer services that will improve our communities’ health.”