Bringing Healthcare to You
The Wellness on Wheels mobile health clinic—the W.O.W. Bus—will travel to neighborhoods in the Springfield area providing low-cost or free screenings, health education, and counseling to people where they work and live.
Hitting the Road, Spring 2021
The W.O.W. Bus is a 40-foot bus being custom-built with:
- Fully-outfitted medical exam rooms
- Nurses' station
- Education area
- Wheelchair lift
(Photo: W.O.W. Bus construction in progress—exterior metalwork is done)
Pilot Program, Summer and Fall 2020
When the pandemic struck, local organizations reached out to the W.O.W. Bus team to deliver COVID-19 services for their communities.
Our team—along with volunteers from four community organizations, and medical, pharmacy and social work students:
- Set up 7 pop-up sites
- At 6 events
- In 5 neighborhoods
- Tested 460 community members for COVID-19
Participants also got prevention information, masks, hand sanitizer, wipes, and instructions for no-sew masks. (Photo: Baystate Health Diagnostic Services collecting a sample for COVID-19 testing)
With the Community, Not Ahead of the Community
Our partners guide the work we do by telling us their communities' priority health concerns, and letting us know how we can complement the actions they are already taking. We will also train volunteer health educators from the neighborhoods where they live and work.
The committee developed Community-centered Guidelines to drive how we design and carry out the health education programs and services offered by the W.O.W. Bus.
Areliz Barbosa, BS, CCHW
I joined the W.O.W. Bus community committee to help collaborate and improve access to care to our community members. I believe there is no better way to serve our communities but to meet people where they're at. Action speaks louder than words—people don't care how much others know until they see how much people care. It’s about showing up and serving people where they're at.
Lara Quiles, MSW, LCSW
As a social worker, it is important for me to remain involved with the community while advocating for equality and access to care for the population that I serve. The W.O.W. Bus gives me the space to implement and share these tools with others.
There is a true need for mobile healthcare in western MA to increase access and improve health outcomes and is key to reducing health disparities. My years of work in health promotion and disease prevention, community planning and organization are meaningful contributions to bringing the W.O.W. Bus to life as I work collectively and tirelessly to promote, protect, and restore public health.
What We Do
We are on a mission to change the way healthcare is delivered by educating the next generation of health professionals to view themselves as community partners.
We know that many people in the communities we serve do not receive life‐saving health screenings, early detection of disease, and referrals for care. They may not seek healthcare because they lack transportation, money, or child care, or because there aren't enough doctors in their neighborhoods.
Wellness on Wheels answers the call of the community by:
- Bringing preventive health services—screening, education, and referrals—directly to people instead of making them come to us
- Training health professions students using use a human-centered approach that puts communities and individuals at the center of the solution
The W.O.W. Bus is also a mobile classroom, training health professions students from our affiliated colleges.
How We Do It
“For the people, by the people”
Community-centered Guidelines for Program and Services
Our Community Committee created these guidelines:
- Do not dictate to the community, so it does not lead to mistrust.
- Use a social justice and equity lens.
- Engage the community in health services. Just because the mobile health clinic is present does not mean community residents will engage with it.
- Start by building relationships by meeting individuals where they are to be community centered based on mutual respect, trust and transparency.
- Include linkage to care and other needed community resources and services. (Add follow up & keep resources updated)
- Strategies should build on community or population strengths and assets.
Who We Are
Wellness on Wheels is a program of Baystate Health, and is supported by funding from TD Bank's Ready Commitment.
Kevin Hinchey MD, Team Lead: Oversees the Wellness on Wheels project, and patient care strategy
Rebecca Blanchard PhD: Oversees health professions student educational curriculum and assessment
Jane Sicard: Oversees W.O.W. Bus operations
Sarah McAdoo MD, MPH: Leads strategy on community partnership and outreach, oversees communication and relationship with the community
Kelly Lamas MPH: Coordinates and implements strategy, oversees data collection, grant reporting, communication with community partners, website and marketing outreach
How to Contact Us