Healthcare in Fresno County’s rural and disadvantaged areas is getting a $4 million boost thanks to a state appropriation secured by Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno.
The money will purchase two new mobile health units and also support and provide stipends for nursing students who sometimes travel long distances to provide health care services, including COVID vaccines and boosters, flu shots, and blood pressure and blood sugar screenings.
The Mobile Health Unit is under the leadership of Dr. Kathi Rindahl, an assistant professor in Fresno State’s College of Health and Human Services. Up to now, the Mobile Health Unit has been using an aging mobile unit on loan from the Fresno County Office of Education.
Arambula and university officials were scheduled to gather Tuesday morning to talk about how the state funding will be used by the university’s health care providers. The $4 million was included in the state budget’s general funds.
In a news release, Arambula said he was glad to help obtain the funding for the Mobile Health Unit, as he had worked alongside the nursing students to provide more than 10,000 COVID vaccines to underserved communities.
“The program provides these students with the experience of helping people from diverse backgrounds,” he said. “The mobile health unit fulfills a critical and unique role in delivering health care services in our region while preparing students for the medical profession.”
The new mobile units will allow Fresno State to expand services and outreach in rural communities where health care often is lacking, Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval said in the news release.
“Additionally, and just as importantly, our College of Health and Human Services will be able to involve faculty and students from other disciplines in this important work, thereby creating inter-professional experiences and high-impact practices for a greater number of students and faculty,” Jiménez-Sandoval said.
Planned Stops in October
Fresno State announced Tuesday afternoon that the Mobile Health Unit will make three stops in October to provide free health services to Fresno County residents, including:
- Parlier Community Center (1100 E. Parlier Ave.), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday.
- Cherry Avenue Auction (4640 S. Cherry Ave., Fresno), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 11.
- Holy Cross Center for Women (421 F St., Fresno), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 20.
Health care workers will provide diabetes and blood pressure screenings, as well as health assessments, nutrition information and referrals. The COVID-19 Pfizer Bivalent boosters will also be available for those ages 12 and up who have received their primary shots or last booster dose two months prior, while supplies last. Walk-in patients will be accepted and no appointment is needed. Flu vaccines will also be available at select stops.
Thursday’s Parlier stop is in collaboration with Arambula’s community resource fair aimed at providing information from local agencies in health care, education, legal aid, workforce development, and immigration services.