Alcorn State Brings Mobile Health Unit To South Mississippi - - The News for South Mississippi

Alcorn State Brings Mobile Health Unit To South Mississippi

Nescaterica Fairley's two children aren't feeling very well.    

"Joanna was having allergies and Noah has a runny nose," says Fairley.

The young Gulfport mother is a newly graduated, registered nurse still awaiting health insurance benefits to kick in. So Alcorn State University's Mobile Health Unit couldn't have arrived at a better time.    

"It means a lot to have accessible health care for community," says Fairley.

ASU adopted Gulfport's Turkey Creek community right after Hurricane Katrina struck.  

"The university decided, 'Hey, we could go down and provide primary health care services for those individuals in need,'" says Linda Godley, Chairperson of Alcorn's Graduate Nursing Program.

ASU's school of nursing applied for and was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to do just that.  

"They are saving to pay this bill or that bill and they are prioritizing," says Godley. "And health care is usually at the bottom of the list."

Nursing student Nathaniel Hughes says serving on this free clinic on wheels is both educational and inspiring.  

"It's actually an honor to be here to work," says Hughes. "It's very inspiring just to talk to patients and know that one day you're going to be doing this for a living."

Teacher and Nurse Practitioner Carolyn Dollar says she too is proud to be a part of her school's two year commitment to caring for Turkey Creek.  

"I want to see it change and get better," says Dollar. "I want to see the people and see them to improve there lives. One person at a time."      

The unit will come back August 24th and 25th, and will be here the third week of every month for the next two years.  The hours are 8am-6pm on Thursdays, and 8am-1pm on Fridays.

by Don Culpepper

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