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Alberta one of four locations for VCU School of Nursing Mobile Health and Wellness Program

Expansion of nurse-led initiative brings holistic wellness care and coaching to underserved communities

a female nurse laughs with an elder male patient Assistant Professor Ana Diallo, Ph.D., of the VCU Department of Family and Community Health Nursing, works with Richmond Health and Wellness Program participant Leslie Harris. (VCU Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

By Kristy Fowler

A long-standing wellness program that has earned a national reputation as a model for holistic care coordination will be expanding to Southside Virginia Community College in Alberta later this month. 
Over the past ten years, the Richmond Health and Wellness Program, led by the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing, has delivered weekly wellness clinics that focus on health assessment, monitoring and coaching in five community-based sites across the Richmond region. 

The program recently received a four-year federal grant of nearly $4 million that will allow it to expand into new communities with the addition of a mobile van by the year 2026. In the meantime, SVCC will be a host site. Other locations the Mobile Health and Wellness Program will provide services include Essex County, Southside Richmond and Petersburg.

“We can see individuals once a week, and there is not a charge for the services,” said Pamela Parsons, the director of the RHWP at VCU School of Nursing. “We are expecting to add medical care services to our program in a few years. We are looking forward to meeting new community members, helping the community stay healthy and achieve their optimal level of wellness while also training our next generation of nurses.”

There is no cost or financial screening required to participate. Individuals can partake in the clinic with either a scheduled 30-minute wellness visit or as a walk-in for unplanned or immediate needs. Through the clinic, participants can receive a holistic assessment of health needs, care coordination, goal setting, wellness coaching and support on self-management of chronic diseases. Additional assistance with transportation and housing will also be available during clinic hours. 

In addition to VCU health science students, nursing students from SVCC will participate in the program as well. “The program is a great training ground for students, helping to educate them on care coordination in a variety of settings and with different populations,” Parsons said.

MHWP clinics will be held every Tuesday beginning January 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 109 Campus Drive in Alberta, Virginia in the library community room at SVCC. Masks are preferred. Call (804) 828-0521 for more information.