University Communications

Women’s Health Fair, WOW Bus, promote health in Posey County

March 18, 2014 | Mary Scheller
Mary Scheller
Administrative Assistant Gerontology 812-228-5123
Article Photo
Women’s Wellness on Wheels (WOW) bus
Photo Credit: USI Photo Services

Southwest Indiana Area Health Education Center (SWI-AHEC) and the University of Southern Indiana are partnering with the IU National Center of Excellence to bring a free Women’s Health Fair along with the Women’s Wellness on Wheels (WOW) Bus to women and teens in Posey County. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, at St. Francis Xavier Church in Poseyville, Indiana.

The WOW Bus is an outreach program of the IU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health to raise awareness and improve the status of women’s health in Indiana through education and screening.

Jane Friona, executive director of SWI-AHEC, knows there’s a myriad of reasons people put off going to the doctor. She wanted to bring the mobile clinic and health fair to the area to help residents overcome some of these barriers to healthcare. “In some rural areas, there are not a lot of primary care services. For many, it is not convenient or even possible to travel to another city for a check-up,” she said. “And if they do not have health insurance, they forgo regular doctor visits so they can pay their other bills. A lot of people never see a family doctor for any type of wellness screen.”

While on the WOW Bus, women participate in an educational session and receive a free confidential mini-physical including height, weight, body-mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and glucose screen (parental consent is needed for teens under the age of 18). Pregnancy testing also is available upon request.

The WOW Bus will be staffed by a nurse practitioner and health professions staff, including medical students from the IU Medical School Evansville campus and fourth-year dietetics students from USI’s College of Nursing and Health Professions. “Health professions students who learn and train in rural and underserved areas are more likely to work in those areas after their education is complete,” said Friona. “This event is great for the community members who might not have access to primary care, as well as the students who get a chance to improve their skills and their intent to work in communities like Posey County in the future.”

In addition to the colorful bus, a traditional health fair will provide information on smoking cessation, mental health, affordable dental referrals, alcohol and drug abuse, and other topics important to women’s health. Pharmacy students will be available to assist with medication education. Those interested should bring medications. The fair also will offer individual nutrition counseling for women.

Two licensed Indiana Navigators will be available to assist with health insurance coverage options through the HealthCare.gov Marketplace, including completing eligibility and enrollment forms. (Identification and proof of income are required.)

To offer the Women’s Health Fair, SWI-AHEC is partnering with faculty from the IU Medical School – Evansville, the University of Southern Indiana, and the University of Evansville, as well as area agencies, including the Healthy Communities Partnership, ECHO Community Health Care, Impact Christian Health Center, Posey County Health Department, Family Matters, and St. Mary’s Pharmacy and Dental Outreach.

There is no charge for services during the Women’s Health Fair. To make an appointment on the WOW Bus, or for transportation assistance, call 812-568-0162. Walk-ins are welcome. For more information, about the health fair or other work of SWI-AHEC, contact Friona at 812-461-5446 or jefriona@usi.edu.

Southwest Indiana AHEC began as a regional center in 2008, and it is hosted by the University of Southern Indiana in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. SWI-AHEC is part of a national network with a mission to improve health by leading the nation in the recruitment, training and retention of a diverse health workforce for underserved communities.

University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, Indiana 47712 Phone 812/464-8600
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