by Beth Blevins
The Health Wagon, which was featured in the Summer 2009 issue of the Rural Monitor (no longer available online), was recently spotlighted in a segment on the CBS news show, “60 Minutes” (Affordable Care for those still uninsured [subscription required], April 6, 2014).
The mobile health unit/Winnebago is still traveling the roads of Southwestern Virginia, driven by Dr. Teresa Gardner, The Health Wagon’s executive director, along with Dr. Paula Hill Meade, another Doctor of Nursing Practice, whom she has known since she was in eighth grade. In addition to the two-full time nurse practitioners, The Health Wagon staff includes four part-time nurse practitioners, five nurses, one operational director, two part-time IT staff, four part-time office support staff, and four volunteers. In 2013, The Health Wagon provided $3.7 million worth of free care, including 167 telemedicine consults.
The “60 Minutes” story, reported by Scott Pelley, discussed how the efforts of The Health Wagon are still needed in states like Virginia, which have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leaving many residents unable to afford insurance.
The segment showed patients receiving treatment for diabetes, including a telehealth consultation with a specialist. The CBS webpage where the video is available also features additional, related film segments, including How the Health Wagon got rolling [subscription required] and The people of Appalachia [subscription required].
Back to: Spring 2014 Issue