The School of Nursing’s Community Health Mobile Unit will hit the road for the first time this week. Its first stop will be September 1 in Parlier – a small town southeast of Fresno with a population of a little over 14,000. Throughout the fall semester, the mobile unit will travel to rural areas in Fresno County providing free services to those who do not have readily available access to health care.
Dr. Kathleen Rindahl, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, spearheaded this program and said providing onsite clinical outreach services will fill a much needed void in health care access to the underserved migrant community.
”There is currently a huge need for nurses to primarily serve the migrant community,” said Rindahl.
The mobile unit, made from a deconstructed RV, has two exam rooms that will allow communities access to services such as immunizations, diabetes and blood pressure screenings, and health assessments, education and referrals. The RV is being provided by the Fresno County Office of Education Migrant Education Program.
In addition, the unit will also give nursing students specializing in community health and family nurse practice, the opportunity to practice their clinical skills and be exposed to rural medicine, Rindahl said. It is optional for students who would like to volunteer in a clinical setting.
Sheri Cooley, a graduate student in family nurse practice, is one student who hopes to utilize the mobile unit to further her experience.
“I have found that working with those in rural communities is very rewarding,” said Cooley. “With few to no services in most rural communities, I feel the mobile health unit can really make a difference in these medically underserved communities.”
The mobile unit was funded by a 2014 grant from the Song-Brown Program, which is commissioned by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to provide quality health care in underserved areas. Fresno State was awarded a $319,500 award by the program.
The first grant of $216,000 went toward training nine additional nursing students in the undergraduate nursing program and increasing the number of faculty within the School. The second grant of $103,500 was allocated toward the mobile unit.
Rindahl said she hopes to expand services the unit provides by incorporating other students from within the College of Health and Human Services, like physical therapy, public health and social work, to one day form a dynamic inter-professional collaborative opportunity.
The mobile unit will be at Parlier Community Center (1100 E. Parlier Ave.) from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on September 1. For more information or to learn about upcoming dates throughout the semester, contact the School of Nursing at 559.278.2041.
Community Health Mobile Unit Upcoming Dates. All stops are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.:
September 1 – Parlier Community Center (1100 E. Parlier, Parlier 93648)
September 22 – West Fresno Resource Center * (1802 E. California, Fresno 93706)
October 6 – Sanger Community Center (730 Recreation, Sanger 93657)
October 13 – Reedley Community Center (100 N. East Ave, Reedley 93654)
October 17 – Kerman Community Center (15101 W. Kearney Blvd, Kerman 93630)
October 20 – Parlier Senior Center (610 S. Newmark Ave, Parlier 93648)
October 27 – West Fresno Resource Center * (1802 E. California, Fresno 93706)
November 3 – Madera Hope House (117 N. R. St, Madera 93637)
November 17 – Madera Hope House (117 N. R. St, Madera 93637)
November 22 – West Fresno Resource Center * (1802 E. California, Fresno 93706)
December 1 – Firebaugh St. Joseph Catholic Church (1900 Saipan Ave, Firebaugh 93622)
December 8 – Madera Community Center (1901 Clinton St., Madera 93638)
* Health screenings available on site at location. Mobile unit will not be present.