Campus: CSU Long Beach -- March 25, 2002

Cal State Long Beach Nursing Department Receives $96,480 Grant from California Department of Health, Human Services

The Nursing Department at Cal State Long Beach has received a three-year, $96,480 grant from the California Department of Health and Human Services to support its successful Health on Wheels program, a mobile school-based health clinic.

CSULB faculty and registered nurses seeking a masters of science degree with a specialty in pediatrics staff the mobile health van, which visits 10 schools offering free physical exams and medical care for such minor illnesses as ear and throat infections as well as education.

Part of the department's Pediatric Advanced Practice Program, the Health on Wheels collaborative effort between CSULB, Kaiser Permanente, the City of Norwalk and the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District began in 1996.

"Kaiser purchased the Airstream and outfitted it as a mobile health clinic," said Judy Smith, graduate student advisor for nursing. "The City of Norwalk provides the truck that pulls it and the driver. The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District provides the coordination of the program at the school sites."

The program's primary goal is to provide culturally sensitive health care to students and their siblings who do not have insurance or are eligible for Medi-Cal, explained Natalie Cheffer, an assistant professor of nursing. "The distance to low-cost health services is so great that having a van on site is a big help," she said.

Smith is eager to make the most of the state's support. "The program has been around for five years but the grant just arrived," she said. "Our supporters were persistent in their help before we got the grant and we're going to be persistent in our efforts to help the community."

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