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Health on Wheels to provide free health care to Ashland residents

A photo of a community health worker standing in a "Health on Wheels" bus.
Nevin Dubinski
Columbia Missourian
Community health worker Josh Cramer unfolds the health vans canopy on at MU Health Pavilion in Columbia. The van was funded through a combination of sources, including a grant from the CDC and support from the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.

Free and mobile healthcare is available for all at the Southern Boone County Public Library in Ashland from 2-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Health assessments, blood pressure checks, pre-diabetes screenings, take-home COVID-19 test kits and further connections to community resources will all be offered by the unit’s Community Healthcare Workers.

The Health on Wheels outreach program was launched by the Boone County/Columbia Department of Public Health and Human Services at the beginning of 2023. The initiative aims to remedy health disparities in Boone County — particularly for rural residents and members of racial and ethnic minority groups.

Eric Schmeck is the Southern Boone County Public Library manager.

“We just feel that that’s an easy part of our job is to provide access to people, to stuff like that,” Schmeck said, “you just wanna provide easy access to some health, basic health assistance if needed.”

The library will also provide a private space for confidential healthcare conversations as needed.

Health on Wheels has six additional events scheduled for November, in Ashland, Columbia and Centralia.

  • Centralia Food Pantry, Monday, Nov. 13, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 320 MO-22 Centralia, MO
  • Welcome Inn, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 3 to 6 p.m., 1612 N. Providence Rd. Columbia, MO
  • Southern Boone/Ashland Public Library, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2 to 6 p.m., 109 N. Main St. Ashland, MO
  • Columbia Senior Center of Boone County, Monday, Nov. 20, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1121 Business Loop 70 E. Columbia, MO
  • Southern Boone/Ashland Public Library, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2 to 6 p.m., 109 N. Main St. Ashland, MO
Anna Colletto is a junior at the University of Missouri reporting on Health and Higher Education in Fall 2023.
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