One of the big challenges in building a culture of health is connecting with the vulnerable and underserved in our communities– those who potentially need information, resources, and services the most. In Trenton, we are exploring numerous innovative and collaborative approaches to reaching people where they are – in schools, in churches, in community and senior centers, and in the marketplace.
Connecting access to food and health screenings has been one effective strategy, taking the City of Trenton’s mobile health unit to churches, health fairs, and, for the past two summers, the Greenwood Ave. Farmers Market every Monday. At these venues, where people convene for food and fellowship, we have added basic health assessments, targeted screenings such as vision and dental, and referrals to other information and services, as needed.
Thanks to a new grant from New Jersey Health Initiatives, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Trenton’s mobile health van has a new look and expanded purpose. The newly named “Wheels to Wellness” van boasts graphic elements that are wrapped around the entire vehicle, advocating healthy choices and serving as a roving billboard for the #HealthyTrenton vision.
The program had its official launch November 18, in a celebration at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, and community residents can expect to see the “Wheels to Wellness” van on the road regularly in the new year.