By Noell Wolfgram Evans
While food trucks have been popular for the past couple of years, 2017 may be the year of the Medical Truck.
OhioHealth, with financial backing from Huntington Bank, will begin offering weekly primary health care services to Hilltop-area residents in a 54-foot mobile medical office.
According to Dr. Doug Knutson of Ohio Health, the Wellness on Wheels truck is intended to bring medical access to areas of the community that need it.
“Wellness on Wheels enables us to bring care to the places where people are most likely to access it,” said Knutson.
His hope is that in doing so, residents feel like they have a medical home.
From 3 to 7 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, the mobile medical unit will be at the Hilltop YMCA, 2879 Valleyview Drive. This location was chosen because of its accessibility and it was an organization that the community already had trust in.
On those three days, adult residents with an appointment can see physicians for chronic conditions (such as diabetes and high blood pressure), screenings and reviews of medical concerns. The clinic will also provide immunizations, wellness exams, sick visits and annual physicals.
Columbus City Council President Zach Klein said the timing of this program could not have been better.
“The truth is, we don’t know what this coming year will bring us from Washington in terms of health care so there’s going to be a continued importance and need for community based health programs like this,” said Klein.
The Wellness on Wheels unit has been a visible fixture for over 20 years as it has travelled the city to provide prenatal care to new mothers. It will continue to do that, along with offering this new service.
While the focus is on adults, Ana DeVroy from Ohio Health said that no one is going to be turned away.
“Dr. Krisanna Deppen, the medical director of this unit, is a family health practitioner, so there’s an experience here to treat everyone should that need arise,” said DeVroy.
The mobile medical unit functions just like a more traditional doctors office. There are two patient exam rooms, a consult room, a waiting area, and workspaces for the doctors and nurses.
The hope is that residents will utilize this new health resource instead of letting illnesses go unchecked or visiting the emergency room for non-emergency medical situations.
To schedule an appointment, residents are encouraged to call 614-566-9989.