LIG Global is proud to collaborate with the Health Wagon Clinic in Wise, Virginia to bring healthcare and community development to the Appalachia region of the United States. Once a year, the fairgrounds of Wise, VA, becomes a hub of medical volunteers bringing primary healthcare and specialty services to one of the most underserved and remote areas of the United States. Through a combination of the medical care and community development programs conducted by LIG Global and the Health Wagon, the people of Appalachia are able to live more comfortably and healthily.
Located in the heart of Wise County, the town of Wise, is in southwest Virginia, high on the Appalachian Plateau. Steeped in history, Wise was the site of a Civil War battle and has a proud legacy of mountain culture and traditions such as coal mining. When strip coal mining was first introduced in the 1800s the course of the town and the surrounding area experienced an economic boom. As coal mining opportunities have lessened in recent years, Wise has reinvented itself through a flourishing vineyard, world class cigars, and gourmet coffee. While there are some members of the community who have been able to thrive, there are many individuals who are less fortunate.
In Wise County, Virginia:
The average life expectancy is 73.8 years versus the national median of 79 years
21.2% of the population lives below the federal poverty line versus the national median of 15.1%
31.5% of the population is obese versus the national median of 28.4%
12.6% of the population has diabetes versus the national median of 9.2%
11.9% of the population does not have health insurance versus the national median of 9.9%
These staggering statistics make it clear that there is a need for organizations like our partners, The Health Wagon Clinic to bridge the gap in healthcare and social programming in Wise County.
Statistics provided courtesy of US News and World Report 2019 Healthiest Communities.
Each year, The Health Wagon Clinic and volunteers from all over transform the fairgrounds in Wise into a buzzing medical clinic named the Move Mountains Medical Mission. This clinic covers seven core programs which include dental, vision, medical, advanced diagnostics, veterinary, social and spiritual services. For many of the patients at this annual event, this is their only access to care for the year.
By bringing our volunteers with expertise in cardiology and women’s health to the Move Mountains Medical Mission, the citizens of Wise receive potentially life-saving care.
Our cardiology unit provides services such as:
Cardiology consultations for patients suffering from heart disease and other cardiac conditions
EKGs to help identify abnormalities in patients’ heart rates and rhythms
Echocardiograms to assess the function and structure of patients’ cardiovascular health
Our women’s health team provides services such as:
Wellness visits for women
Ultrasonography to assess internal structures
Family planning consultations
If you’re interested in learning more about the services we provide, you can contact us here!
We’ve learned through our relationship with The Health Wagon that an additional problem disproportionately affecting those living in Wise County is a lack of access to healthy foods. For many individuals in this community it’s common for their meals to come from the dollar menu of fast-food restaurants.
Excessive consumption of fast foods have been known to lead to issues such as:
To combat this issue, LIG Global and The Health Wagon joined forces to create a community garden at the Health Wagon Clinic in Wise. This ongoing program serves as a means to provide Wise residents with the opportunity to grow healthy fruits and vegetables free of charge.
The community garden program is comprised of:
Five raised garden beds that can be reserved for the season
A large ground plot for anyone to grow crops on
Free seed and tools to use on premises
Guidance from local farming enthusiasts to manage crop growth
Together with this initiative, we are keeping the folks in Wise County, well fed, active, and engaged within their local community.
While the time we spend in Wise each year may be limited, our care extends beyond the Move Mountains Medical Mission. Many of the patients who are seen by our cardiology unit suffer from severely complex cardiac cases.
These types of patients require long-term follow up care to ensure the patients’ safety and wellbeing. Since the majority of our volunteers are not based out of Virginia, we established a relationship where patients could be followed up from a distance through telehealth services. Utilizing medical equipment from our good friends at Philips and staff from The Health Wagon, we have been able to provide follow up care for patients in Virginia all the way in New Jersey.
In addition to our own telehealth services, we stayed true to our mission statement by creating partnerships that transform the lives of those we serve. One of these relationships we helped establish is a connection between The Health Wagon and RAD-AID International, who provides radiological services for patients through telehealth as well.
Through our joint utilization of telehealth services, we are effectively eliminating the barriers to healthcare created by geographic isolation.
Our vision of a global community, where all people have access to healthcare and where human dignity is cherished, is within reach during our lifetime. The LIG Global Foundation’s vision is that of a global community in which all persons have access to excellent health-care, where no one is forgotten, and where human dignity is cherished.