04/13/09 — WATCH van gets $150,000 revamp

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WATCH van gets $150,000 revamp

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 13, 2009 1:41 PM

Wayne Action Teams for Community Health, WATCH, will use a $150,000 grant from the state to revamp the interior of the patient mobile unit.

Sissy Lee-Elmore, executive director of the program that serves uninsured and underinsured citizens of Wayne County, said the van is expected to be out of commission from May 1 through June 30. But that doesn't mean services will be stalled.

"We will be having clinic at the Family Y," she said.

There will be a few other changes in the meantime.

"We won't take walk-ins, walk-ins will be at the office" on Cox Boulevard next to the hospital, she said.

Ann King, nurse practitioner, further explained the changing dynamics during the interim.

"Starting April 30, we are only going to be at two different sites, at Cox Boulevard or at the YMCA, but it will be inside," she said. "So people are not going to see the truck. What we will do, schedules will be posted and basically we're going to do walk-ins at Cox only.

"Every morning we will go to Cox Boulevard, so walk-ins can still come. Every day except Wednesday, when we will be Cox all day, but the other days from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. we'll start at the Family Y."

The operation will run the same way, she said. Patients can still call and make appointments. Other services, though, such as picking up medications, will be handled at the Cox Boulevard office.

Part of that is to allow for controlling the flow, and to be considerate of their benefactors at the Y, she said.

"It's a great opportunity, for them to let us in there is just awesome," Ms. King said.

Contact numbers remain the same -- 222-4450 for appointments, 731-6933 for medication questions.

The van is expected to be back on the road, and traveling to area communities, in July, she said.

"As long as there's no major complications with refurbishments," she noted.

The grant -- $73,000 from the state, $77,000 from Duke Endowment -- is earmarked for the mobile unit's interior, specifically floor, ceiling, walls.

"The whole inside's going to be gutted -- new cabinets, new tables, everything will be redone," Ms. King said. "So it's going to be pretty. It'll have some color instead of the gray and white."