Mobile health van viewing this Friday

Published 2:47 pm Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Healthcare on Wheels van will be available for viewing by the public Friday, Nov. 16 from 1-3 p.m. in the hospital parking lot. Shown are Marcia Pugh and Loretta Wilson, hospital employees, inside one of the screening rooms aboard the van.

No longer will community members of Marengo County and surrounding areas just have to come to the hospital for general health screenings, some health services will now be able to come to them.

The Tombigbee Healthcare Authority received $378,700 from the United States Department of Agriculture to make possible the Mobile Health Van Program, also known as “Healthcare on Wheels.”

The delivery of the free services will be performed by doctors, nurses, medical students and other medical providers utilizing the As Soon As Prompted approach: assessing, screening, addressing needs and promoting the use of community resources to patients.

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Screenings will include things such as blood pressure, cholesterol and assessing other needs of the patients.

“We want to service the largest number of people,” program director Marcia Pugh said. “We are very excited to offer this service to people in these communities.”

The van arrived at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital on Wednesday and is ready to be toured by the public at the open house event held on Friday from 1-3 p.m in the hospital parking lot.

The van comes equipped with two screening rooms, an area serving as the waiting room, lab and nurses station and also a restroom. There is also an awning for the vehicle and a wheelchair ramp, which makes the van accessible to all community members.

The van will be open for viewing on Friday and will likely begin offering services to community members in January, Loretta Wilson, program manager for the van, said.

Alongside the name, Tombigbee Healthcare Authority written on the side of the van is also pictures of children and adults of all different races and backgrounds.

“The pictures that are shown on the van are truly representative of all the people we plan to help,” Pugh said.

The project will be implemented in the following counties throughout rural Alabama: Marengo, Sumter, Choctaw, Wilcox, Hale and Greene.

Times and places of the van’s locations will be announced to the public as soon as the scheduling takes place.