Bonnie’s Bus at Rowlesburg Clinic July 16

Nursing students organize free health fair

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Thanks to West Virginia University School of Nursing student organizers, Bonnie’s Bus will visit the Rowlesburg Clinic in Preston County Thursday, July 16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., while a free health fair will be held outside the clinic.

Bonnie’s Bus, a mobile mammography unit, offers digital mammograms, which are not free. But billing to third-parties will be provided, and women who lack insurance may be matched to government or nonprofit charities. For a mammogram appointment, call the Rowlesburg Clinic at 304-454-2421.

The free health fair, organized by nursing seniors Sarah Beth Thorn and Becca Claxton, will provide cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose screenings. Body mass index, or BMI, will be calculated as well. Sunscreen packets, toothbrushes, stress balls, canvas bags and more will be given away.

The clinic is at 1 Renaissance Square in Rowlesburg.

“We started with Bonnie's Bus because our main concern is women's health and breast cancer,” Thorn said. “Our student capstone project is focusing on rural women's health, and we discovered that their rates for getting a mammogram were a lot lower, and breast cancer is often detected at later stages in rural women. So we thought Bonnie's Bus could actually make a difference and bring the services to the women to improve accessibility.”

The 40-foot-long Bonnie’s Bus, underwritten by a $2.5 million gift from West Virginia natives Jo and Ben Statler, is owned and operated by West Virginia University Hospitals.The bus is named after Mrs. Statler's late mother, Bonnie Wells Wilson. The bus made its first stop in Blacksville on April 15.

Women’s health isn’t the only concern for the nursing students.

“Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity are huge issues in West Virginia as well, so we wanted to provide some secondary screenings and health promotion for these women and the community in general,” Thorn explained. “With the declining economy and poor insurance coverage, we wanted to provide screenings along with education to empower patients to improve their health through prevention or early detection of disease.”

Health sciences students will staff the health fair, with representatives expected from all four schools: Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy.

For information on Bonnie’s Bus see http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/mbrcc/bonnie/.

For information on the WVU School of Nursing see http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/son/.




For more information:
Andrea Brunais, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
AB: 01-8-09

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