March 10, 2005
Wheat Ridge Center More Than a Truck Stop
TravelCenters offer health care, massages and more for truckers, travelers
— Neda Raouf, Sentinel & Transcript Newspapers, Jefferson County, Colorado
Photo by Justin Sagarsee
The next time Steve Barnes feels a little under the weather, he knows he can get medical attention just by pulling his rig into the truck stop at 12151 W. 44th Ave.
That's where the TravelCenters of America — which serves as a stop for truckers around the clock — has a new medical facility called the Health Express Clinic Services to diagnose and treat him.
"It's great," said Barnes. "We've kind of been forgotten for parking spaces at other businesses."
Health Express, which just opened its doors last month, is there to treat minor to intermediate health conditions, give vaccines and conduct physicals.
"We can treat anyone and everyone," said Arlene Guy, a physician's assistant at the clinic. The clinic is open to members of the community as well as all travelers, Guy said.
Guy has already treated many with upper respiratory infections and at least two pregnancies at the clinic, which is the latest in several new offerings at the travel center.
Late last year, a mobile chiropractic business set up shop at the TravelCenters of America, as did an acupuncture and massage therapy office.
The center, through which more than 200 trucks pass on a daily basis, will undergo an extensive exterior remodel and possibly an expansion later this year, he said.
The changes are part of an effort to raise the center's profile within the community and to let the public know that the center has a lot to offer — and not just truckers.
"We think the site has a tremendous amount of potential that hasn't been realized yet," he said.
At the Inner Peace Wellness Institute, which opened in October and offers massage and acupuncture, there have been a lot of walk-in customers, said owner Greg Cicciu.
"We've been getting more than what we expected," he said. Cicciu said he sees one to three trucker drivers a day and has also treats locals.
Many of the truck drivers come with sleep problems, digestive issues and trouble quitting smoking.
At Health Express, a clinic founded by Ronald Waits, business has been up this month, said Guy.
As far as truck drivers who she has already seen, Guy said she has seen a myriad of health issues that need to be addressed on a regular basis, including hypertension, obesity and diabetes.
While some drivers are on the road for a month at a time, there are some health concerns that can't wait, she said.
"There's no medical care that's set up for those that are in trucking or those that are on the road all the time," she said.