Skip to main content
Skip to main content

WKU News

Institute for Rural Health and the School of Nursing Participates in Health Fair for Homeless Population

Institute for Rural Health and the School of Nursing Participates in Health Fair for Homeless Population

*Original story available on BG Daily News. Please visit to be taken directly to the story.


Thomas Wheeler of Bowling Green is grateful for HOTEL INC’s homeless outreach, which has provided him with meals, blankets, clothes and basic health services.

“They’ve done a lot for me,” he said. “They’ve been excellent.”

Thanks to a grant from WellCare of Kentucky, HOTEL INC hosted a health fair at the Riverwalk on Tuesday, which provided Wheeler and others who are homeless or precariously housed with services including health screenings, flu shots, blood work, dental care and vision tests.

“We’ve always had a medical component to our Tuesday homeless outreach, but a grant opportunity with WellCare of Kentucky has allowed us to expand our street medicine,” said Rhondell Miller, executive director of HOTEL INC – an acronym for Helping Others Through Extending Love in the Name of Christ.

Each Tuesday when HOTEL INC volunteers bring resources to the homeless, nurses help check blood pressure, provide prescription assistance or make medical referrals, she said.

But the grant has allowed HOTEL INC to take things further by connecting homeless or precariously housed people directly with health services, Miller said. Since receiving the grant in July, HOTEL INC has helped 25 people get health insurance through Kynect, the state’s health care exchange.

The grant lasts through December. Miller hopes it will pave the way for other grants that will allow HOTEL INC to keep expanding its street medicine outreach.

“We hope that by showing the need for street medicine, more grant opportunities will open,” she said.

Miller and HOTEL INC volunteer Ashleigh Stiles, who coordinates the street medicine program, attended training in June at the Street Medicine Institute in Pittsburgh to learn more about bringing health services to Bowling Green’s homeless population.

“As long as there are people in the streets and under the bridge, there will always be a need for health care in a different manner, so we’re trying to meet those needs and get them connected to the services they need,” Stiles said.

For Tuesday’s health fair, HOTEL INC partnered with a number of community organizations, including the The Medical Center Emergency Medical Services, the Barren River District Health Department, Kroger pharmacy, LifeSkills, the Bowling Green chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and nursing students from Western Kentucky University.

Matt Atkinson, an adjunct nursing instructor at WKU, said volunteering at the health fair shows nursing students “there’s more out in the community than just working in a hospital.”

“Nursing is the profession of compassion, and what better way to demonstrate your compassion than volunteering your time to help out people in need,” he said.

WKU nursing student Savannah Williams, a senior from Bowling Green, found it rewarding to help at the health fair. “It definitely shows you a lot of the population that you’re going to be seeing in the hospital when you’re a nurse,” she said. 

— Follow reporter Laurel Wilson on Twitter at or visit


Thomas Wheeler of Bowling Green has his blood drawn for testing by Registered Nurse Kenny Seaver (Institute for Rural Health’s PRN) at Hotel Inc's Street Medicine Health Fair on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014 in Bowling Green. (Austin Anthony/Daily News)

All News  Now Viewing Category: All
Media Relations
President Caboni News
Gordon Ford College of Business
Ogden News
Academic Affairs
WKU Regional Campuses
Glasgow News
Etown & Fort Knox
Owensboro News
The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky
The Center for Gifted Studies
Emergency Preparedness
Housing & Residence Life
Student Activities and Organizations
Augenstein Alumni Center
Campus Activities Board
The Confucius Institute
Cultural Enhancement Series
Department of Music
Department of Theatre & Dance
Development and Alumni Relations
Downing Museum
Downing Student Union
Hardin Planetarium
Health Services
Human Resources News
Instruments of American Excellence
International Student Office
Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport
Library News
Math News
Office of International Programs
Office of Research
Office of Sustainability
Parent's Association
School of Journalism & Broadcasting
Student Financial Assistance
Scholarships Student Financial Assistance
Student Employment
Student Government Association News
Student Research Council
Study Abroad
Van Meter Auditorium
WKU Educational Leadership Doctoral Program News
WKU Joint Admissions
WKU Parent and Family Weekend
Latest Headlines
WKU College of Health and Human Services Opens Student-Applied Research Center

Western Kentucky University’s College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) will honor the opening of their first student-applied research center, the WKU Center for Environmental and Workplace Health (CEWH).

Loup Langton is Margaret and Cal Turner Professor in Journalism

Loup Langton receives the honor of serving as Turner Professor in Journalism at WKU.

English Department Launches New Curricula

Over the past two years, faculty in the WKU English Department have been creatively rethinking the English curricula to ensure that our programs serve 21st-century English majors well.

Featured Articles
WKU Forensics Team wins debate tournaments at Illinois State

WKU’s Forensics Team divided into three groups and traveled to Lebanon, Illinois; Normal, Illinois; and Jefferson City, Tennessee, to compete in six tournaments Nov. 11-12.

WKU GEO Faculty/Staff/Students Attend Two National Conferences

Students, faculty, and staff from the Center for Human GeoEnvironmental Studies (CHNGES) and Department of Geography & Geology recently attended national conferences in Arkansas and Washington state.

Statue of Rep. Jody Richards unveiled on campus

A bronze statue of longtime WKU supporter and Kentucky State Rep. Jody Richards of Bowling Green was unveiled on WKU’s main campus Monday (Nov. 6) in Jody Richards Hall.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 Last Modified 5/2/17