Festival Good Chance to Check Out SJP's Semitrailer Together We Can Do MOORE
By Martha J. Henderson
Special Sections Editor
Visitors to the 24th annual Carthage Buggy Festival may wonder what the semitrailer with the large colorful mural on its side is and what's it's doing at the festival.
Well, that's exactly what the folks at St. Joseph of the Pines want. They also want those visitors to stop by and check out the SJP Semi called Together We Can Do MOORE and find out what the program and the mobile medical clinic are all about.
The 18-wheeler semitrailer helps St. Joseph of the Pines fulfill its mission to help those least able to help themselves.
In the spring of 2009, St. Joseph of the Pines developed a program to help the people in the low wealth rural parts of Moore County, people with no access to health care, wellness and health information and no health insurance.
Thanks to a $448,470 grant as part of the Omnibus Bill in December 2009, St. Joseph of the Pines was able to outfit the semitrailer to become a mobile satellite office for rural patients who aren't able to drive to the offices of the program's partners.
The semitrailer is equipped with masses of medical supplies and two fully furnished examination rooms. It also has offices for screening eligibility, a stage for education and cultural events and a storage area to provide needed nonperishable food and hygiene items to all who visit the semi. The trailer was built to St. Joseph of the Pines' specifications and went into service in June 2011.
"We act as a satellite office for the resource agencies we partner with," says Lynne Drinkwater, community relations coordinator for St. Joseph of the Pines. "Our goal is to be a one-stop shop for people so they can come get everything they need at one time."
The Moore Free Care Clinic is one of the partners in the Together We Can Do MOORE program. The clinic is able to see patients on the semi by scheduling appointments for when the semi is in the patients' areas. Patients also are able to pick up their medicines on the semi.
As a mobile outlet for the Moore Free Care Clinic, the semitrailer travels to Carthage and Robbins a total of four days each month to offer health services to any free clinic patient who may not have the means to travel from rural Moore County to Southern Pines for a doctor's visit.
The Sandhills Moore Coalition for Human Care, the Benefit Bank of North Carolina, Sandhills Community College, Dr. James Tart and Christine Ganis are also members of the partnership. Drinkwater says that soon there will be eye doctors available on a quarterly basis. An audiologist to check hearing and a dental program are also on the horizon.
Drinkwater and other St. Joseph of the Pines personnel will be at the semi during the festival, handing out calendars to let people know the semi's schedule as well as fliers to let people know what the program has planned for the summer. Tours of the semitrailer also will be available.
"We want people to visit the semi to see who we are and what we do," Drinkwater says. "We hope that by visiting the semi in a festival setting, they will not be intimidated and will take advantage of the services when we are in their town."
The semitrailer will host an education series called Semi School. This summer, Drinkwater says, the series will focus on Stress in America and cover a variety of topics, including Recognizing Signs of Stress, Caregiving 101, Parenting Tips, Stress Management, Eating Healthy on a Budget, Balancing a Checkbook and many more. Pick up a flier with more details at the semitrailer during the Buggy Festival.
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