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Wellness Van Doing The Miles For Rural Health

A free wellness van will be touring the country from February to December 2024, offering free health checks for those in agricultural communities. Often in rural areas, time is scarce, and doctors can be hard to access, so general checkups can be missed. This can have devastating consequences for families.

The van is an initiative of the Carr Family Foundation, which runs a variety of programs focused on rural health and wellness, education, and community support, in partnership with Platinum Sponsors Carrfields and Gold Sponsors Chemist Warehouse and Mother Earth. Key dates and accessible locations have been selected, based on times of interest in the farming calendar. A Registered Nurse will be stationed in the van, assessing blood sugar levels, oxygen levels, heart rate, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and BMI.

These tests can indicate risk factors for underlying chronic health conditions. All health information collected will remain confidential and a referral will be written to a GP for any issues of concern. Since the van commenced touring in June 2022, 399 people nationwide have had a checkup in the van. This resulted in 115 referrals being made and 4 of those were urgent referrals.

Stacey McKerchar, Chair of the Carr Family Foundation, said, “We are committed to giving back to the agricultural communities we work in. Our mobile wellness van gives us the opportunity to connect with rural people, in locations convenient to them. These simple tests can highlight any issues you may not be aware of; before a serious health event occurs.”

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The mobile health van will be visiting the Southern Field Days, Waimumu Southland (site 457) on February 14 & 15, East Coast Farming Expo, Wairoa on February 21 & 22, Central Districts Field Days, Feilding (site G34/G35) on March 14 & 15, The Vintage Machinery Club, Lauriston on April 6, Farming Family Day at the Races, Methven Trotting Club on April 14, Te Mania Bull Sale, Cheviot on June 19, SIDE Conference, Lincoln on June 24 & 25. No booking is necessary, and if you would like more information, please visit https://carrfamilyfoundation.co.nz/health-and-wellness-van-tour-2024.

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