Community Bikes — Putting Better Health in Motion in Anderson
When looking at the needs of our community, one may not think of transportation. However, this was not the case for Eli Whitesel, a registered nurse at Community Hospital Anderson.
Part of his role is to be out in the community working to improve individual health and wellness issues. Whitesel was contacted by Anderson Public Library regarding an increase in the number of people coming into the library in need of health services. Whitesel set up a free cholesterol screening that included a survey asking participants to identify services needed. The results identified three specific issues: problems obtaining transportation, food, and clothing.
“I already knew of a lot of resources available for food and clothing, but there are very limited resources available for transportation,” said Whitesel. No matter where you believe personal health begins, one thing is certain: the need for reliable transportation to get there is integral.
Meeting Transportation Needs
With the Community Hospital Anderson Foundation’s support, 30 bikes were purchased and a bike sharing program was developed. As caregivers, we have a responsibility to address all barriers to better health. For our community, that meant putting the rubber on the road with Community Bikes.
“I don’t expect a bike to dramatically transform someone’s life, but it is one stepping stone to getting there. Everyone needs to get to work, to school, to doctor’s appointments — and a bike can help them get there.”
Each bike is complete with a basket and lock so riders are ready for wherever their day takes them. We also provide helmets and bike safety classes to keep people safe when they’re out and about.
“Transportation is often one of those barriers that can keep an individual stuck,” says Cherilyn Horning, program director at Dove Harbor, a transitional shelter for women and their children.
By giving members of our community the tools they need, they can connect to opportunities for better health. “Community Bikes provides so much more than just a bike,” says Whitesel. “It’s empowerment.”
Learn more about programs that benefit Anderson communities.