Rosa Barajas has been a volunteer with Saint Agnes Holy Cross Center for Women for 13 years. During a recent visit to the Fresno State Community Health Mobile Unit, parked just outside the gates of the center, Barajas received some alarming news the day before her 56th birthday. Her blood pressure was abnormally high.
Barajas, of Fresno, is one of many who discover they have high blood pressure or other health ailments that may otherwise go unnoticed or unchecked if not for the free screening services provided throughout Fresno County by the mobile health unit. As a mother of four, Barajas said receiving the news was scary, but it gave her a sense of relief to know she can get help regardless of her ability to afford medication.
Barajas received a referral from Melisa Rotondi, a Fresno State student pursuing her master’s in nursing. She has volunteered in the mobile unit for the past two years and said cases like this are common.
“It’s important for these individuals to understand that even if they don’t have access to medical care, we can still refer them to surrounding clinics that will help them obtain medications even if they don’t have insurance,” Rotondi said.
Now, even more clients will be able to benefit from services like this, and more Fresno State students will gain valuable clinical skills, thanks to a $250,000 gift from Saint Agnes Medical Center. The gift will allow the mobile unit to continue serving residents in areas across the Central Valley, including places like Holy Cross Center for Women.
This recent gift brings Saint Agnes’ total contribution to the mobile unit to $375,000 within the last two-plus years.
“Saint Agnes is proud to support the Fresno State Community Health Mobile Unit,” said Nancy Hollingsworth, Saint Agnes Medical Center president and CEO. “It’s wonderful to see so many Central Valley residents benefiting from its medical services, particularly those who might not otherwise have access. Additionally, the clinic is giving local nursing students invaluable real-world experience. It’s truly a win-win, and Saint Agnes is thrilled to be part of such a worthwhile project.”
Since its fall 2015 launch, the cost-free services from the mobile unit have benefited more than 5,000 individuals throughout the region — mainly in areas where access to health care is limited.
Nearly 600 students from Fresno State have volunteered at the mobile unit, gaining important service-learning and clinical learning opportunities along the way. This has resulted in nearly 200,000 volunteer hours from students in nursing, dietetics, athletic training, physical therapy, public health and other majors.
The mobile unit will continue services in the spring 2020 semester. For more information, contact Kelly Cunning at firstname.lastname@example.org.