S.H.O.W. Mobile Awarded $375,000 Federal Grant

Photo of the S.H.O.W. Mobile

The S.H.O.W. Mobile is a 38-foot mobile health center outfitted with medical equipment thanks to a federally directed earmark supported by the Missouri Congressional delegation.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

June 1, 2007 – Southeast Health On Wheels, Southeast Missouri State University’s mobile health unit known as the S.H.O.W. Mobile, has received a $375,000 rural health grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The three-year grant will provide funding to cover operational costs associated with the unit, said Sandy Ortiz, S.H.O.W. Mobile program manager. The S.H.O.W. Mobile promotes rural health care services outreach by expanding the delivery of health care services in rural areas.

HRSA awarded 26 grants nationwide, Ortiz said, and the S.H.O.W. Mobile was the only applicant in Missouri to receive funding.

The S.H.O.W. Mobile is a 38-foot mobile health center outfitted with medical equipment thanks to a federally directed earmark supported by the Missouri Congressional delegation. Initially, the unit traveled in the four Bootheel counties of Pemiscot, Dunklin, Mississippi and New Madrid.  In partnership with SEMO Health Network, the unit will extend services to also include Scott and Stoddard counties.  The S.H.O.W. Mobile was originally staffed with a family nurse practitioner, registered professional nurse, driver, University students and faculty, and other volunteer healthcare professionals.  With the emergence of the partnership with SEMO Health Network, dental professionals will be a part of the health care team.   The mobile health unit is staffed to educate residents on health promotion and disease prevention through health literacy activities, and provide health and dental services, including care for acute and chronic illnesses, and increase access to health care in the Bootheel to those who have little or no access to services.

The unit began operating last summer.

Bobbi Morris, APRN MSN BC-FNP, director of the S.H.O.W. Mobile and a member of the Southeast Department of Nursing, says the S.H.O.W. Mobile is designed to make a positive impact on the region’s economy by improving the overall level of health care in the potential work force. She stated that the goal of the unit is to increase the number of Bootheel residents who receive primary medical and dental care; decrease chronic disease through health education, screening and care; decrease the number of employee and student sick days because of personal or family illness; increase access to health care by increasing convenience to a health care facility and decreasing transportation barriers; and provide service to rural residents who do not have health insurance or money to pay for care,  with an overall expected outcome of decreasing  health disparities.

The S.H.O.W. Mobile began as a pilot project focused on serving as the foundation of a sustained structure to promote and enhance the health of residents in selected rural communities where significant health disparities have been identified. The unit was built by Mobile Medical and Command Center Vehicles in Newton, Texas.  The S.H.O.W Mobile serves as a convenient mechanism for residents in rural southeast Missouri, with limited mobility due to transportation barriers, to access care.

A unique staffing feature of the unit is the inclusion of a support team of professionals and student interns from the University’s College of Health and Human Services (CHHS).  The College includes the departments of nursing; human environmental studies; health, human performance and recreation; communication disorders; social work; and criminal justice and sociology. University officials report that the students are providing tremendous support for the unit, while gaining valuable clinical experiential learning opportunities.

Services offered include well-child exams; well-woman exams; pre-employment and pre-participation sports physicals; care for acute illnesses such as ear, skin, urinary tract and sinus infections; care for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and high cholesterol; recreational/exercise assessments; and nutrition and dietary assessments. The S.H.O.W. Mobile has formed collaborative partnerships with nearly 100 care providers in the area to whom patients may be referred.  In those instances, the needs of patients exceed the availability of resources to address the health care situations of the residents.

Morris says the cost of services on the unit are based on the client’s ability to pay. The S.H.O.W. Mobile serves individuals with Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance or without third party health care coverage. Fees for those without third party coverage are based on a sliding scale fee.