Southern Seven Health department rolling out its ‘Wellness on Wheels’

A mobile medical van is delivering health care in southern Illinois.
Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 5:24 PM CDT
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GOLCONDA, Ill. (KFVS) - One Heartland health department is rolling out a “Wellness on Wheels” van in the next few months, targeting high-risk communities.

“It’s just an opportunity for us to be out in the communities and to be able to reach people who might not have the ability to get to the doctor pretty regularly, this gives them a good health check,” said Shawnna Rhine, Southern Seven outreach coordinator.

The Southern Seven Health Department and Illinois Department of Public Health are teaming up to take health care on the road.

“We are going to be doing some at colon screening kits, you can get your COVID vaccine if you’ve not gotten that or you need your booster. And there’s also some other services that we provide such as blood pressure checks, glucose screenings, the list goes on and on,” said Rhine.

The “Wellness on Wheels” van is set to roll out Wednesday, April 6 to better serve some of the most rural counties in southern Illinois.

“We live in a region where a lot of people have to travel 25, 50 to 100 miles for regular health care. And so this gives them an opportunity to get some of those basic checks,” said Rhine.

On Wednesday, March 30, the health screening was at the Golden Circle Senior Center in Golconda. It’s one example of the Wellness on Wheels Program.

“I think it’s awesome, some of them don’t get to the doctors very often so it’s great that they’re able to get their blood pressure checked, that they have an opportunity to get some of these test done, that they might not otherwise get,” said Cherry Spinelli, assistant site coordinator for Pope County Golden Circle.

One leader at the Golden Circle said having Wednesday’s event is essential to providing basic health care for high health risk groups.

“We are glad to have them. So it’s good to know, good to know they’re available in the community,” said Spinelli.

No appointment is needed for the Wellness on Wheels and some services are free.

“We just want individuals to know that we do accept most insurance carriers, some of the services we provide you do have to have insurance for Several of them are free,” said Rhine.

Among the free services that the Southern Seven Health Department are offering include NARCAN training, blood pressure tests and colorectal cancer tests.

Fee-based services include hemoglobin screenings, cholesterol screenings, STD tests, HIV, pregnancy and TB skin tests.

Southern Seven Health Department received a grant from the Illinois Department of Public Health to make this possible.

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