Diabetes Prevention Hits the Road This Summer
Washington on Wheels Mobile Health Clinic Makes Receiving Preventive Care Easy
This summer, Washington Hospital Healthcare System's mobile health clinic, Washington On Wheels, will once again make it easy for local residents to get screened for diabetes - for free.
Washington On Wheels, or W.O.W., travels throughout the Tri-City area on a regular basis providing quality health care services to uninsured and underserved segments of the population and began providing free diabetes screenings in 2005.
"One of the most important goals of W.O.W. is to improve the overall health of people in our region by increasing and expanding the reach of preventive health services, such as screenings," explains Ruth Traylor, Washington Hospital’s community outreach director. "We want to screen as many people as possible because there’s an estimated 100,000 people in Alameda County that have diabetes and about one-third of them don’t know they have it."
Not Knowing Can Hurt
Undiagnosed, diabetes can be especially dangerous because the afflicted person isn’t taking steps to manage the condition. This can lead to serious physical consequences affecting many parts of the body, including the eyes, kidneys, heart and limbs. People with diabetes face a dramatically higher risk of heart disease, stroke, nerve disease and dental disease.
"The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that we screen people that are overweight and may have other health conditions that may put them at risk," says Sherrie Kneebone, (N.P.) the W.O.W. van’s nurse practitioner. "After someone is found to have diabetes, the need for education is critical and this is something the W.O.W. staff provides."
Washington Hospital Outpatient Diabetes Program
If you have diabetes, The Washington Outpatient Diabetes Center can make a difference in your life. The diabetes program features a team of nurses and dietitians who are certified diabetes educators and are experts in helping each individual learn what will work to control diabetes. By focusing on the individual needs of each patient, the program has successfully guided people to better health. For more information about the program’s services, visit www.whhs.com/diabetes or call (510) 745-6556.
According to a study performed by the Alameda County Public Health Department for Washington Hospital and other hospitals of the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California, Union City had the highest rate of hospitalizations for diabetes-related illnesses in Alameda County and the city of Newark was number three on the list.
Diabetes Screening Takes Just a Few Minutes
The free diabetes (blood glucose) screening tests are taken using a finger-pricking device that is used to get a drop of blood. The screening takes just a few seconds and the W.O.W. staff explains each person’s results within a few minutes. To achieve more accurate results, the W.O.W. staff recommends that participants don’t eat or drink anything for 12 hours before testing; however, this is not mandatory.
"If we test someone that is found to have diabetes, W.O.W. can provide the counseling and referrals for additional care," adds Traylor. "If a patient doesn't have a primary care physician, W.O.W. staff can work with them to set up care."
Free diabetes screenings will be conducted at W.O.W.'s regularly scheduled stops:
- Fremont Senior Center (40086 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont)
July 2 and August 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Family Resource Center (39155 Liberty Street, Fremont)
July 12 and August 9 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Silliman Activity Center (6800 Mowry Avenue, Newark)
July 8 and August 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Ruggieri Senior Center (33997 Alvarado-Niles Road, Union City)
July 26 and August 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m
The Washington On Wheels Mobile Health Clinic accepts Medicare and Medi-Cal and some insurance plans and will provide services regardless of immigration status or ability to pay
To learn more about the services offered by the Washington On Wheels Mobile Health Clinic, call (510) 608-3203 or visit www.whhs.com/wow
If your company is interested in utilizing the Washington On Wheels Mobile Health Clinic for occupational medicine services for your employees, please call (510) 608-1320.