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WIC program acquires van for mobile clinic

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation Women, Infant, Children program recently acquired a new van to be used as a mobile clinic for clients unable to reach its main location. The program received the van through an operational adjustment grant.

“My goal has always been to go south in Pottawatomie County to places like Wanette and the areas where CPN’s Rural Water District 3 serves,” said CPN WIC Director Shelly Schneider. “At the time these clients have to either go to Shawnee or Ada for the closest WIC program. We want to take WIC to them in an effort to make it easier for our clients where there are not a lot of resources readily available.”

In many parts of rural, southern Pottawatomie County, a lack of readily available infrastructure leaves few locations for WIC staffers to set up equipment and administer to program clients.

With the van serving as the new mobile office, the department can go anywhere and be set up as a full service clinic.

The 2015 Ford Transit-250 High Roof is one of the largest cargo vans in its class with an extended wheel base and ceiling high enough that individuals taller than six feet can stand upright in it.  

“We need this feature as we will be weighing and measuring standing height on women and children,” said Cheryl Richardson, Nutrition and Breastfeeding Coordinator, CPN WIC. “We also will have a work bench that will support a weighing and measuring board for infants.”

Another workbench will serve as an area to do bloodwork such as hemoglobin tests, input digital data as well as print benefit checks. The van will be equipped with storage shelving on the opposite wall of the vehicle to house supplies while a combination of an alternator and generator will power everything inside the mobile WIC clinic.

“This venture has been a long time coming because some areas in Pottawatomie County are very underserved,” said Schneider. “We’re excited to get the vehicle out there and continue to give our clients the best possible service we can.”

Today the CPN program serves 1,200 participants in central Oklahoma at three permanent sites. It also operates three mobile satellite sites that move around to meet the needs of participants in the CPN WIC service area. If you or someone you know would like more information about CPN WIC or a program in your area, please call 405-273-3216 or visit www.potawatomi.org/services/health/wic.