Who We Are
Since its founding more than four decades ago, the Health Wagon has grown to include five mobile units and three freestanding clinics. The organization continues to expand to provide health care to more residents of Southwest Virginia, ensuring that those who are medically underserved do not fall through the cracks.
The Health Wagon’s mission is to provide compassionate, quality health care to the medically underserved people in the mountains of Appalachia.
The Health Wagon is an innovative leader in the provision of quality health care services that are compassionate, comprehensive, and accessible whose ultimate mandate is to promote a healthy community through education, empowerment, collaboration, and outreach.
But He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
Founded in 1980 by Sister Bernadette “Bernie” Kenny of the order of Medical Missionaries of Mary, the Health Wagon is the oldest mobile clinic in the nation. The Health Wagon started with Sister Bernie delivering health care to Appalachian Mountain residents from her Volkswagen Beetle. St. Mary’s Hospital provided a valuable partnership, sponsoring the program for over 25 years.
The Health Wagon has garnered national and international recognition via 60 Minutes, CBS Nightly News, Inside Edition, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and more. Staff of the Health Wagon have also presented at the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
Today, the Health Wagon continues to meet the unique challenges of delivering primary, specialty, dental, and vision care to the medically underserved in poverty-stricken areas of rural Appalachia. Our mobile clinics visit 13 sites in Southwest Virginia, and we offer three stationary clinics.
The Health Wagon also hosts the largest health outreach of its kind in the nation (formerly Wise Remote Area Medical) and was an instrumental partner in the first-ever FAA-approved drone delivery of medications in the U.S.
The Health Wagon does not bill for services and is sustained by grants and donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Services are rendered free of charge. Led by President and CEO Dr. Teresa Owens Tyson, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, FAANP, the Health Wagon promotes the mission of providing quality, affordable, accessible care to all with an emphasis on the medically underserved.