The Fresno State School of Nursing Community Health Mobile Unit will hit the road for the first time this week. Its first stop will be Sept. 1 in Parlier – a town of about 14,000 people southeast of Fresno. 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 and Dr. Cyndi Guerra, assistant professors in the School of Nursing, are spearheading the program. Rindahl said providing onsite clinical outreach services will fill a void in health care access to the underserved migrant community.
“There is currently a huge need for nurses who primarily serve the migrant community,” Rindahl said.
The mobile unit, made from a deconstructed RV, has two exam rooms for services such as immunizations and diabetes and blood pressure screenings, plus health assessments, education and referrals. The RV is being provided by the Fresno County Office of Education Migrant Education Program.
The unit will also give nursing students the opportunity to practice their clinical skills and be exposed to rural medicine.
“I have found that working with those in rural communities is very rewarding,” said Sheri Cooley, a graduate student in family nurse practice. “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 $319,500 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. The second grant of $103,500 was allocated toward the mobile unit.
Rindahl said she hopes to expand services by incorporating other students from within the College of Health and Human Services — like physical therapy, public health and social work.
All stops throughout the semester will be from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. For more information, contact the School of Nursing at 559.278.2041.
Upcoming dates and locations:
- Sept. 1 – Parlier Community Center (1100 E. Parlier, Parlier 93648)
- Sept. 22 – West Fresno Resource Center * (1802 E. California, Fresno 93706)
- Oct. 6 – Sanger Community Center (730 Recreation, Sanger 93657)
- Oct. 13 – Reedley Community Center (100 N. East Ave, Reedley 93654)
- Oct. 17 – Kerman Community Center (15101 W. Kearney Blvd, Kerman 93630)
- Oct. 20 – Parlier Senior Center (610 S. Newmark Ave, Parlier 93648)
- Oct.27 – West Fresno Resource Center * (1802 E. California, Fresno 93706)
- Nov. 3 – Madera Hope House (117 N. R. St, Madera 93637)
- Nov. 17 – Madera Hope House (117 N. R. St, Madera 93637)
- Nov. 22 – West Fresno Resource Center * (1802 E. California, Fresno 93706)
- Dec. 1 – Firebaugh St. Joseph Catholic Church (1900 Saipan Ave, Firebaugh 93622)
- Dec. 8 – Madera Community Center (1901 Clinton St., Madera 93638)
Feb. 2 –St. Joseph Church (1558 12th St., Firebaugh 93622)
Feb. 9 – Mental Health Systems Old Hacienda (2250 W. Clinton Ave., Fresno 93705)
Feb. 16 – Cantua Creek (address TBD)
Feb. 23 – Madera Hope House (117 N. R. St, Madera 93637)
Mar. 1 – TBD
Mar. 8 – Mental Health Systems Old Hacienda (2250 W. Clinton Ave., Fresno 93705)
Mar. 15 – St. Joseph Church (1558 12th St., Firebaugh 93622)
Mar. 29 – St. Anthony Mary Claret Catholic Church (2494 S. Chestnut, Fresno 93725)
April 5 – Mental Health Systems Old Hacienda (2250 W. Clinton Ave., Fresno 93705)
April 12 – Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (816 Pottle Ave, Fresno 93706)
April 19 – Madera Hope House (117 N. R. St, Madera 93637)
- May 1 – Fresno Swap Meet (1641 S. Chance, Fresno 93702 – Big Fresno Fairgrounds)
* Health screenings available on site at location. Mobile unit will not be present.