SIKESTON -- The S.H.O.W. Mobile is back.
The Southeast Health on Wheels Mobile, a 38-foot mobile health center outfitted with medical equipment, has returned to the area for health fairs this week, according to Sandy Ortiz, program manager.
The S.H.O.W. Mobile is staffed by a family nurse practitioner, a registered nurse and a clinic assistant, who provide primary health care such as "well child exams, well woman exams, pre-employment physicals, sports physicals, care for acute illnesses such ear, skin, urinary tract and sinus infections, and care for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and high cholesterol," Ortiz said. "It also is equipped to provide dental services."
It is in Parma from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. today at the Parma Community Center, 203 South Broad; and will be at the Opportunity Family Outreach Center in Charleston, located at 505 West Marshall, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Friday.
Services during these dates are on a walk-in basis only. "No appointments are necessary," Ortiz said. "Anyone is eligible. We operate on a sliding fee scale: what you pay is based on income, but no one is turned away."
In July, the S.H.O.W. Mobile began delivering primary health care services on a regular basis in four Southeast Missouri counties: New Madrid, Mississippi, Pemiscot and Dunklin.
"Those were deemed the most needy counties," Ortiz said. "We would go to them once a week to deliver health care."
The S.H.O.W. Mobile would visit Parma on Tuesdays; Steele on Wednesdays alternate between Cardwell and Campbell on Thursdays; and would be in Charleston on Fridays.
"We chose those small towns because they did not have any health care providers," Ortiz said. "We also once a month go to Caruthersville."
The weekly visits were temporarily put on hold early this year.
"In January we had staff retention problems with the nursing shortage," Ortiz explained. "Once a pending partnership with SEMO Health Network is finalized, we'll be making regular appearances in the four counties again and we'll expand to add Stoddard and Scott counties."
Sikeston-area residents may have seen the S.H.O.W. Mobile in their neighborhood already, however.
"We have been in Sikeston a couple times," Ortiz said. "We partnered with SEMO Health Network to provide dental sealants to elementary age children."
For more information on the S.H.O.W. Mobile and its services, call Ortiz at the S.H.O.W. Mobile office, located on the Southeast Missouri State University campus in Cape Girardeau, at 573-651-5980.