Wellness on Wheels grew from seven to 54 clinics annually since 2013
This month, Concordia Life Care Community celebrates the anniversary of its Wellness on Wheels program, created in April 2013 to provide vital health screening and education free of charge to older adults and seniors in and near Oklahoma County. In three years, the program has grown from seven free senior wellness clinics in its first year to more than 54 clinics. Held at area churches, nonprofits, civic organizations, and low-income senior housing communities, the clinics offer blood sugar and blood pressure checks, medication consultations and general health education.
“Some of the nurses at our continuing care retirement community were excited to launch the Wellness on Wheels clinics in response to a growing unmet need among low-income seniors in Oklahoma City,” Concordia’s Director of Fund Development, Paige Mills-Haag said. “In three years, thanks to our servant-minded employees and community partners, the outreach program has grown more than we could have imagined.”
In total, Concordia has provided 97 senior wellness clinics to date and served an estimated 2,450 wellness participants ranging in age from 55-95, including many who would otherwise not have had access to affordable health care services or vital screenings.
“In 2015, Oklahoma’s overall senior health ranked 46th in the nation,” Concordia Executive Director Danny Eischen said. “Through the Wellness on Wheels program which aligns perfectly with Concordia’s commitment to meeting the current and continuing needs of seniors, Concordia and our partners have found a meaningful and effective way to help our state address its challenges with senior health.”
Clinics are staffed by Concordia nurses along with retired and semi-retired health care professionals. The growth and continued success of Wellness on Wheels would not be possible without the grant funds and partner support from Wheat Ridge Ministries, the Lutheran Church Extension Fund, The Kerr Foundation, The Meinders Foundation, Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, and the Oklahoma City Housing Authority. “The program was 100 percent grant funded in its first 3 years,” said Paige Mills-Haag. “We continue to be blessed by the generosity of local and national foundations who want to reverse the statistics and make a positive impact on the health of Oklahoma’s senior population.”