Southeast Missouri State, Southeast Missouri Hospital New S.H.O.W. Mobile Partners

Photo of Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins

Kenneth W. Dobbins, President of Southeast Missouri State University, announces the S.H.O.W. Mobile Partnership.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

March 5, 2008 – Southeast Missouri State University and Southeast Missouri Hospital joined forces today in a new partnership that will extend the reach of the mobile health center, Southeast Health On Wheels, known as the S.H.O.W. Mobile.

Under the new partnership announced today, the S.H.O.W. Mobile will provide disease prevention, health promotion and primary care services as it has in the past, but its service area will be extended to include the other counties in the Eighth Congressional District, said Bobbi Morris, APRN MSN BC-FNP, director of the S.H.O.W. Mobile and a member of the Southeast Missouri State University Department of Nursing.

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. The unit will now travel to other areas in Missouri’s Eighth District which comprises the entire southern Missouri region extending from the Mississippi River on the east, to a northern border stretching from just south of St. Louis to just east of Springfield on the west, to the Missouri-Arkansas border running along the south.

“I am elated with this partnership and the benefit and enhancement it will afford residents of the Missouri Eighth Congressional District,” Morris said. “Our new partnership with Southeast Missouri Hospital is a wonderful opportunity for us to expand the services we provide and extend our relationship with the hospital’s health care professionals.”

James Wente, FACHE, CPA, president and CEO of Southeast Missouri Hospital, said, “Southeast Missouri Hospital is delighted to partner with Southeast Missouri State University to help provide access to health care and education services throughout southeast Missouri. Southeast Hospital, which this year is observing its 80th year of service, exists because people from all walks of life in communities throughout southeast Missouri stepped forward to make the hospital a reality. From the beginning, an integral part of our mission has been to reach out beyond the Hospital campus into the communities who count on us for health care. This partnership will open another avenue to bring primary care services using advanced practice nurses or physicians where they are most needed.

“We also will be working together to bring educational programming much like that provided by the Hospital’s Generations Center into the region. And through the Hospital’s HealthWorks program, we will be working with area businesses to bring education and screenings directly to the worksite,” Wente said.

In partnership with Southeast Missouri Hospital, the S.H.O.W. Mobile will be staffed with health care professionals.  The mobile health unit is staffed to educate residents on health promotion and disease prevention through health literacy activities, and provide health services, including care for acute and chronic illnesses, and increase access to health care in parts of the Eighth Congressional District that have little or no access to services.

The unit began operating in summer 2006.

Morris 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 residents in the Eighth Congressional District who receive primary medical 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 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 say students are providing tremendous support for the unit, while gaining valuable clinical experiential learning opportunities.

Morris says Southeast Missouri Hospital has always been committed to clinical learning experiences for students, so this purpose will be continued under the new partnership.

“For a number of years, the Hospital and the University have partnered to provide educational opportunities for students entering the health care profession, either as registered nurses or in ancillary fields such as medical technology,” said Dr. Karen Hendrickson, vice president and chief nursing officer, Ed.D, RN, CNAA, BC, Southeast Missouri Hospital.

Services offered on the S.H.O.W. Mobile will 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.

Photo of Dr. Kenneth Dobbins and James Wente

Kenneth W. Dobbins, left, president of Southeast Missouri State University, and James Wente, president and chief executive officer of Southeast Missouri Hospital.