Wheels to Wellness Hits the Streets!
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant Enables Trenton Health Team to Launch “Wheels to Wellness” Mobile Health Program
(TRENTON, NJ) – The Trenton Health Team (THT) has received a grant of $149,995 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support the expanded deployment of the City’s mobile health unit, newly named the “Wheels to Wellness” van. Working in partnership with the City of Trenton Department of Health and Human Services plus clinical partners from Trenton’s hospitals, clinics, and schools of nursing, THT will continue and expand on-site health services by taking the van to organizations and events across the community, providing health screenings, referrals, and educational information to many of the city’s most vulnerable residents.
Clinicians, clinical students and community health workers will conduct blood pressure, body mass index and blood glucose screenings, provide health education and offer general and specialized health assessments that are obtained through an examination and questionnaires. Mobile health clinic staff will also provide referrals to resources and health services that are not provided on the van.
“As Health Officer for the City of Trenton, I am committed to linking our residents, especially those who are most vulnerable, to health information and services irrespective of immigration or health insurance status,” said James Brownlee, director of health and human services for the City. “This project supports that goal in a highly visible and practical way.”
THT and the City of Trenton have taken the van to health fairs and, during the summer months, to the Greenwood Ave. Farmers Market on a weekly basis, supported by a contribution from Janssen Pharmaceuticals. With the additional support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, THT aims to build this work into a cohesive and deliberate community-wide program, using the “Wheels to Wellness” van on a year-round basis with formalized procedures, goals, and branding.
“Our immediate goal is to fill the gap in access to healthcare by meeting residents where they are,” said Gregory Paulson, executive director of the Trenton Health Team. “Our long-term goal is to address the disparities that exist within the community regarding health literacy and conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other health needs.”
Implementation of the project will be led by THT’s Transforming Communities Initiative project director, Elena Cromeyer, MPH. Ms. Cromeyer noted that, “Improving access to care and to health information and resources is essential in supporting our efforts to promote wellness and prevention, increasing health literacy, lowering rates of chronic disease, and improving the outlook for Trenton’s vulnerable populations.”
Working with THT to deliver the health screenings and services will be staff and students from the City of Trenton Department of Health, The College of New Jersey, Thomas Edison State University, St. Francis Medical Center, Capital Health, Henry J. Austin Health Center, Hyacinth Foundation, Viva Pharmacy, and other community and faith-based partners.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the largest private foundation in New Jersey and has worked for more than 40 years to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. RWJF has invested more than $900 million in New Jersey since 1972. For more information, visit http://www.rwjf.org/nj. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at http://www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at http://www.rwjf.org/facebook.
About the Trenton Health Team
Trenton Health Team (THT) is an alliance of the city’s major providers of healthcare services including Capital Health, St. Francis Medical Center, Henry J. Austin Health Center and the city’s Health Department. In collaboration with residents and the city’s active social services network, THT is developing an integrated healthcare delivery system to transform the city’s fragmented primary care system and restore health to the city. THT receives generous support from government agencies and foundations, including The Nicholson Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and corporate partners such as Novo Nordisk, Inc. and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. For more information, visit www.trentonhealthteam.org.
Photos courtesy of Chris M. Gregory.