A USF mobile clinic will provide health care to underserved communities across Tampa Bay
The "Mo-Bull" Nurse Medical Clinic will rotate through Port Tampa, Tampa Heights, Sulphur Springs, South St. Petersburg, and Wimauma.
A new mobile health bus will soon start providing primary care services to underserved locations throughout Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
The "Mo-Bull" Nurse Medical Clinic will rotate through five locations in Port Tampa, Tampa Heights, Sulphur Springs, South St. Petersburg, and Wimauma.
They were selected based on certain criteria, where health disparities are greater and primary care providers are rare.
Dr. Kumar Jairamdas, director of clinical practice for the University of South Florida's College of Nursing, said a focus of the clinic will be providing education to patients, which can be lacking at other providers.
"A lot of times when you go to a primary care provider's office, they get you in and get you out so fast, you don't even remember what happened, and you didn't leave with a lot of education about your disease or condition,” Jairamdas said. “We're going to be providing a nursing model of care where primary prevention, injury prevention and education is an important staple and hallmark of our care."
The clinic will start setting up at community centers and churches throughout the neighborhoods as soon as it finishes its accreditation process, and will provide services including physicals, treatment of common acute and chronic health issues, pregnancy, and blood glucose tests.
In time, he said additional grant funding could expand into more medical opportunities for patients.
Jairamdas says the bus will be staffed with professional nurse practitioners, along with USF nursing students.
"It's fulfilling a dream for all of us to be able to provide this care that's desperately needed,” Jairamdas said. “And the environment is a little cramped, the space is a little tight. But we're all really excited to be doing what we're doing."
He says these opportunities are important as the state deals with a nursing shortage.
“By expanding clinical opportunities for nursing and nurse practitioner students, we're helping produce an increased number of nurses for our communities in the state of Florida,” Jairamdas said. “By providing these clinical experiences for our future nurses in Florida, we're exposing them to social determinants of health and health care disparities that they may not see in their other clinical opportunities throughout their education.”
Jairamdas says the clinic will start serving patients by the summer or fall of this year, and a firm schedule on when the bus will be parked in certain locations will be finalized before then.
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