Leader Blues

Saturday, March 01, 2008

TOP STORY > >Baptist Health opens inside Ward City Hall

By HEATHER HARTSELL
Leader staff writer

Ward area residents now have a health resource close to home with the grand opening of the Baptist Health Community Wellness Center located inside Ward City Hall.

The center held its open house Wednesday.

Open from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month beginning March 11, the center is designed to help area residents prevent common health problems through screenings and education for early detection and treatment.

Free health screenings, such as blood pressure and blood sugar, are also offered.

Mayor Art Brooke said it was a good thing for residents.

“The services they provide are at no cost. It feels good to be able to provide this here in Ward,” he said.

Brooke said as the program grows, the center, located adjacent to the city hall cafeteria, will move into a FEMA trailer the city purchased and will be located behind the gym.

“I hope it grows and more people take advantage of it,” Brooke said.

In the works since October of last year, Wednesday marked the third month residents have had access to the center.

“The first time there were only three people, the last time there were 17, and today there was probably 30 people,” Brooke said.

The Ward Wellness Center is one ofseveral in the surrounding area; Cabot also has one. Harrison Dean, senior vice-president and administrator of Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock, described the wellness centers as an investment.

“This is just another way that we are making an investment in the communities we serve by bringing the very best in quality healthcare to individuals and families where they live,” Dean said.