University of Iowa (UI) Mobile Clinic is a student-run, staff-supervised nonprofit organization that offers free basic healthcare services to underserved communities in and around Iowa City. Our volunteers mostly come from the University of Iowa and comprise of one-third medical and PA students, one-third undergraduate students, and one-third other graduate students.
Our typical structure involves hosting free monthly, in-person, walk-in clinics at local community centers and churches. The majority of our patients are uninsured and each site focuses on a unique demographic, such as Sudanese refugees, migrant workers, homeless families, individuals returning from incarceration, elderly folks, and immigrant families. Each clinic has four main stations: vitals, basic labs (A1c & cholesterol), general health education, and an appointment with a medical provider. Depending on the clinic, we are also able to offer translators (Spanish, French, and Arabic), flu shots, HPV vaccines for children, physical therapy, dental care, free glasses, HIV/HCV testing, and Social Work Assessments (including signing up for insurance).
Due to COVID-19, we are unable to run our in-person clinics and have since moved to offering telemedicine appointments. We have four main goals during COVID times:
- Offer acute help for COVID questions and concerns or other acute illnesses
- Help control chronic medical conditions (e.g. hypertension, diabetes, asthma) by giving prescription refills
- Connect patients to social work to obtain health insurance
- Connect patients to mental health counseling
Patients are able to schedule a phone or webcam appointment by calling or texting (319)535-2684. The structure of the appointment is very similar to how medical students function in clinic - the students conduct the initial interview and report back to the supervising medical provider. Together, they then collaborate with the patient to come up with a final plan. Our telemedicine services are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, and French and patients do not need insurance. We accept everyone and services are free. We are able to offer general health education, medication refills, tele-physical therapy, and social work appointments, as well discussions around COVID concerns and connecting people to mental health counseling. Students who are on clinical rotations (M2-4, PA2-3) are allowed to conduct the interviews while other students have been helping with outreach across the state (contacting previous patients, media, radio, other nonprofits, and more).
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