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The Health Wagon

While enjoying a delicious supper at Mountain Rose Vineyards, we were joined by Rachel Helton, Director of Development for the Health Wagon. Rachel gave us a very informative and impactful presentation on the work this nonprofit organization does.

Our mission is to provide compassionate, quality medical care to the medically under-served in the mountains of Appalachia.

Mission of the health wagon

The Health Wagon is the oldest mobile health unit in the United States and serves thirteen sites in Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, and Wise counties. In 2018, it had 16,670 patient encounters; 70% of which are uninsured, the rest underinsured. Of the many services the Health Wagon provides, the two most needed are dental and vision. Two saddening statistics that stuck out were:
~70% of patients have two chronic diseases.
~Death rates from common causes are higher in the Health Wagon’s service area than in
Virginia overall.

The organization is utilizing technology to the fullest through telehealth and drone deliveries. In fact, the Health Wagon is the highest user of telehealth in Virginia and performed the first telecystoscopy in the world.

If you have a few minutes and really want to get a feel for the impact the Health Wagon has in the community, this video from a 60 Minutes feature is worth a watch.

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