CHESAPEAKE, Va (WAVY) — Chesapeake Regional Healthcare has discovered a problem revolving around women living in one particular zip code: They are flocking to the emergency room more than most.
ER Case Manager Sharon Blackwell focuses on multi-visit patients. That is, those with five or more visits in a 12-month period. She found that most of the visits were from the 23324 zip code, which is in South Norfolk.
“It goes along with the 2018 community needs assessment that our hospital did, and it found South Norfolk has decreased access to care and increased rates of asthma, hypertension, diabetes,” she told WAVY.
That’s when she came up with the idea for Women’s Wellness Wednesday. The first event brought 40 community vendors to South Norfolk.
“The hope is they will be able to help them here in their backyard'” Blackwell said.
The vendors provided connections to community services including transportation, childcare, preventative medicine, and fresh produce.
They will be in the parking lot outside Chesapeake Rx and Food Lion on Bainbridge Boulevard, on the first Wednesday of every month through November.
Along with the program, Blackwell is also doing a study. One hundred women from zip code 23324 are being asked to complete a survey at the June event and again in November to help determine if increased access to services also increases a sense of well-being and health for women in South Norfolk.