How Southern 7 Health Department’s January’s Wellness on Wheels van works

ULLIN, Ill. (KBSI) – For some people in southern Illinois, it could take 30 minutes or longer to get to a doctor’s office. However, the Wellness on Wheels van, which the Southern Seven Health Department takes to various locations in the region, helps those folks get the care they need. 

Southern 7 Community Outreach Coordinator Shawnna Rhine says there typically is not a long wait. 

“There is no appointment needed for any of the services that we have, so a lot of it depends on what the need is,” she said. “Sometimes there is a little bit of a wait, especially if you need to get a COVID shot or a flu shot, but other than that, our nurses are there to help you and get you in and out as quickly as possible.” 

In addition to getting a flu or COVID shot, you can receive a number of other services, including a home colon cancer test, blood pressure screening, blood lead screening, and more. 

“This is a good opportunity for those individuals who have not had that basic health care in the last year or two to at least get back on track with some of that,” Rhine said. “If we’re not able to provide a service for you on that day, our nurse will be able to connect you with the Southern 7 Health Department in your region to make sure you’re getting that particular service that you need.” 

The WOW van’s next stop will be at the Dollar General in Olive Branch on January 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 to 3:30 p.m. 

On Jan. 18, the van will be at the Hardin County Independent Newspaper in Elizabethtown. On Jan. 25, it will visit two Dollar General stores, one in Dongola and another in Cobden. 

Rhine says Southern 7 gets thank yous and messages of appreciation for coming to these communities. 

“For them to let us know how much they appreciate us being in their town, being able to provide the services that we do,” she said. “That’s what a public health department does. We are there to help prevent illness, to keep people safe in our region, and this is one way that we are able to do that, so we’re happy to be able to provide that for the folks that live in our area.” 

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