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UMDNJ School of Nursing Launches Mobile Health Unit

Monday March 23, 2009
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A New Jersey mobile medical unit is making the rounds to serve those in need. Gloria McNeal, director of the New Jersey Children's Health Project, said the mobile unit is much like the one seen on the television series "M*A*S*H." The medical wagon is a 40-foot clinic on wheels that has logged 138,529 miles and has made 1,700 patient visits.

The van has exam rooms off to the side of its narrow center hall, with a waiting area at the front, near the bus door. Children are seen who have asthma, dental decay, or are obese, while adults present with diabetes, coronary artery disease, and hypertension.

The clinic, launched by the School of Nursing at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the New York-based Children's Health Fund, teaches nursing students and provides services to those who do not have access to healthcare in urban centers throughout N.J. Visits to the van are free. The program is funded in part by viewers of the television show "American Idol."

Ben Quidangen, a staff nurse at UMDNJ's ED who is studying to be an NP, says the clinic is "a good way to decongest the ER." McNeal, who started several vans in her native Philadelphia, hopes that someday there will be more than one van in this area.


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