The funky sound of Marvin Gaye suggested more of a house party than a house call. In fact, Wesley House provided the space for iFM Community Medicine to have both. iFM has an organized web of mobile clinicians who provide wellness and education services in agencies across greater St. Louis.
With 20 clinics around the St. Louis area, the staff and volunteers of iFM are accustomed to creating clinic space within community. On a recent hot July day, that is exactly what happened at the Wesley House open house. Against a backdrop of music that spanned several decades, families in multi-generational units sang to music from an outdoor sound system that seemed to double as a PA for fun. Food was provided for all in attendance. At some points the slight metronome of synchronized chewing took over dads and their daughters, grandparents and cousins, who all seemed to move to the same beats with laughter filling in the melody lines.
It was a good day, and although we are now well past the official end of summer, it is good to remember how organizations like iFM and Wesley House partner to bring wellness into the various communities of greater St. Louis. Now is a good time to remember the bounty of St. Louis, including the spaces that extend harbors of safety along with wellness journeys.
Wellness does not just include blood pressure monitors and weights.
The Wesley House open house was a fun example of how small behavior changes lead to overall better health and wellness. Volunteer Alexia Robinson shared pictures of her presentation on a recent journaling activity with Wesley House board chair and how journaling motivated her in her quest to become Miss Missouri and now Miss United States. Robinson, a native of St. Louis, lends credibility to the power of channeling resources as she speaks of her own walk through hurdles and obstacles. Alexia often credits journaling as an aid in decision making in all areas of life, including wellness.
The open house event was a good reminder that wellness does not exist in a vacuum. Other community organizations were invited to promote healthier lives and safer lifestyles to those in attendance. So while young people were able to receive health screenings with iFM, they and their families were also able to explore other agencies at the event to learn about substance abuse prevention, cancer screening and conflict mediation.
Those aged 11-24 who did have their blood pressure and other vitals screenings were provided with a free water bottle. They also received information on how they could receive health and education service from Epworth Drop-In Center, one of our twenty partners. Like Wesley House, Epworth Drop-In is a resource that serves young people who might need some extra tools for growing strong.
Our youth in St. Louis have a variety of resources available at the community level. The open house at Wesley House was a cue to those who might not know about these tools available for any young person who might need extra support.
For more than 20 years, iFM has been committed to the health and wellness needs of the St. Louis community. Although hurt and pain may not always be treatable in a doctor’s office, iFM is concerned with the health and safety needs of young people and is proud of its collaboration with partners around St. Louis who treat more than the human body.
Epworth Drop-in Center is located at 7520 Natural Bridge Rd; iFM’s free medical clinic is available on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1-4 p.m. for ages 11-20. Ages 21-24 please call 34-952-8689 for an appointment.
You can learn more about iFM and each of our 20 clinics at on Twitter @ifmstl.
Clover Johnson is an iFM AmeriCorps/Vista Volunteer.