Wellness Bus taking health care to Utah neighborhoods
May 18, 2022, 7:31 AM | Updated: Jun 22, 2022, 2:15 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — People on the go may not always make time for important health screenings, but there’s a convenient option you may not know about right in your neighborhood.
The Wellness Bus rolls into communities stretching from Salt Lake County to Ogden and Provo.
It’s a free, confidential service for people ages 18 and up and you don’t need to have health insurance.
“Anybody can come and get their numbers checked for chronic diseases, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, in particular diabetes,” said Nancy Ortiz, University of Utah Health’s mobile health operations manager.
In addition to health screenings, there is a registered dietitian on the bus who can offer free nutritional counseling. Community health workers can also help those who may be pre-diabetic make lifestyle changes and incorporate more exercise into their daily routine.
They don’t want language to be a barrier, so they use interpretation services for over 200 languages and dialects.
Ortiz says some people don’t trust other health systems and feel more comfortable in this type of setting.
“They’ve either had bad experiences, or they don’t feel welcome, they don’t speak the language,” Ortiz said. “They don’t want to go. but we want to give this feel like we’re part of the community. We’re here for you.”
Community health workers do not diagnose but they can refer you to receive follow-up care. If you do not have a primary care physician or medical provider, they can connect you with free or low-cost health clinics.
The Wellness Bus will make stops at the Kearns Library Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Central Park Community Center on Thursday.
On Friday, the bus will roll into Provo at Community Action Services before heading to Salt Lake City’s First Baptist Church on Saturday.
Ortiz says they want people to keep using their services as often as they’d like to stay on top of their health.
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