The mobile health unit offers a free service at the community center | national news

Sept. 20—A mobile wellness clinic stopped at the Booker T. Washington Community Center on Tuesday for free community health checkups and vaccinations.

The State Department of Health’s mobile units bring medical care to local communities, especially those in rural areas, to people with limited access to health care or who cannot afford it.

Local Mobile Unit Supervisor Bobbie Smith serves an area of ​​nine counties.

“We try to fill the gaps in communities and help people with basic health issues,” she said. “We’re taking blood pressure, doing body checkups, vaccinations, and soon we’re hoping to do cholesterol screenings. The machine needs to arrive at any moment.”

Valerie Toombs called the local health department to bring the mobile unit to the Booker T. Washington Community Center. In 2021, her 86-year-old father, Tommy Fitzpatrick, died of COVID-19.

“I decided when this happened I needed to do more to take care of the community,” Toombs said.

Once a month, the mobile unit also visits the nearby Marshallese community at New View Apartments with a primary care nurse practitioner. The effort was organized by Terry Mote.

One of the women who enjoyed Tuesday’s screening was 93-year-old Helen Marie Jordan. She got vaccinated and had her blood pressure checked. Jordan said he worked for years at Polly and Peggy’s restaurant in North Grand. She got a free ride to the mobile clinic with Enid Transfer, which uses a grant for free rides for people over 60 going for medical care or community meals.

Jordan went from her medical inside the community center for lunch. The Wheatheart Nutrition Program is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at the center, with lunch being served from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Samantha Bee has run the program for over four years.

“The only requirement is that people sign up for lunch a day in advance so we know how much food we need,” Bee said.

Wheatheart Nutrition delivers meals to an average of 100 homebound people and still needs volunteers. Donations are welcome but not required.

Beginning in October, the Booker T. Washington Community Center will host bingo on Tuesdays and Thursdays, small group karaoke and other activities. Call (580) 603-2429 to reserve food or to volunteer. Mobile Health Units can be scheduled by calling the Garfield County Health Department at (580) 233-0650.

Byrd is the education reporter for Enid News & Eagle.

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Jill E. Washington