For the People, By the People
Our community partners guide the work of the WOW Bus by telling us their communities' priority health concerns, and letting us know how we can complement the actions they are already taking.
Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services
Located in Springfield's Mason Square neighborhood, MLK Jr Family Services offers programs for after-school literacy, teen leadership, college readiness, violence prevention, public health and nutrition services including an emergency food pantry.
New North Citizens Council
Pynchon Townhomes and Edgewater Towers (with Peabody Property Management) is located in Springfield's Brightwood neighborhood. NCCC provides comprehensive family and social service programs, such as community advocacy, child care, health services, and disability services.
Springfield Housing Authority (3 locations)
Stephen J Collins Apartments in Saab Court, Moxon Apartments in Indian Orchard, Riverview Apartments in Brightwood. SHA provides affordable housing to a broad range of persons, including senior citizens, individuals, families, and persons with disabilities. They offer programs to promote economic self-sufficiency among residents.
Square One (two locations)
Preschool in the Mason Square neighborhood, and the Mobile Food Market (with Food Bank of Western MA) in Springfield's South End. Square One’s programs include early education and care, home-based care settings, out of school time care for elementary school age children, and parent education, support and training programs.
Community Committee Members
Areliz Barbosa, BS, CCHW
I joined the WOW 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.
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 WOW Bus to life as I work collectively and tirelessly to promote, protect, and restore public health.
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 WOW Bus gives me the space to implement and share these tools with others.
Our Community Committee created these guidelines to drive how we design and carry out the programs and services offered by the WOW Bus.
- 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 WOW Bus 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 and based on mutual respect, trust, and transparency.
- Include linkage to care and other needed community resources and services. (Add follow up and keep resources updated)
- Strategies should build on community or population strengths and assets.
Everyone who is on the WOW Bus—students, faculty, providers, volunteers—undergoes an orientation to align them with our community engagement approach and the community-centered model of care the bus is providing.