Grant Provides Health Care for Uninsured Working Adults

September 21, 2009

Grant Provides Health Care for Uninsured Working Adults

VALDOSTA -- Nearly 1.7 million Georgians are without health insurance -- in Lowndes County that represents more than 18,000 residents who do not have any type of health insurance, of those, approximately 7,000 are uninsured working adults.

Valdosta State University’s College of Nursing received a five-year, $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Health Resources and Services Administration to assist the Lowndes County Partnership for Health (LCPFH) in providing medical services for the uninsured employed adults in Lowndes County.

The Partnership Health Clinic, located at 205 Woodrow Wilson Drive, Valdosta, Ga., operates under the leadership of the LCPFH, which is a community-based organization with the mission to improve the health of citizens within Lowndes County.

Currently, the clinic operates with five full-time staff members and numerous volunteers, including physicians, nurses and other health professionals. The clinic is open limited hours on Tuesday and Wednesday and two Saturdays per month. The clinic provides non-emergency health care treatments, referrals to specialists and lab services free of charge.

The grant, Project Health Link, will enable the clinic to expand its hours of operation to five days per week and double the number of patients treated. Under the supervision and instruction of Valdosta State’s nursing faculty, undergraduate and graduate nursing students will rotate through the clinical site and provide patient assessment at the advanced and basic clinical levels.

“The clinic will offer nursing students a unique opportunity to receive hands-on, outpatient care and help them become proficient in patient, family, and community education health care skills,” said Dr. Jean Temple, associate dean of the College of Nursing. “The focus will be on teaching-learning experiences, development of clinical nursing skills at the advanced practice and basic clinical skills level, and using evidence-based models of health in promotion and culturally sensitive best practices.”

According to Temple, who serves as the director of Project Health Link, the faculty-guided learning experiences will meet the College of Nursing course objectives while simultaneously serving the health care needs of the working uninsured citizens of Lowndes County.

Valdosta State’s College of Nursing has been a part of the LCPFH since its beginning in 1997. Temple, along with Dr. Anita Hufft, dean of the College of Nursing, serve on the LCPFH Board of Directors, and numerous nursing faculty members volunteer their services.

“Project Health Link allows for the development of a formal partnership between the Lowndes County Partnership for Health and Valdosta State’s College of Nursing,” Temple said.

The LCPFH will provide a facility that will enable Valdosta State’s faculty to meet their clinical requirements and a location for clinical experiences for the students.

“This project is a continuation of the long term relationship that the Lowndes County Partnership for Health has had with the College of Nursing since 1997. The Partnership for Health has benefited greatly from student and faculty involvement in its various programs,” said John Sparks, executive director for the LCPFH “This grant will greatly expand the clinic’s capacity to meet the health care needs of Lowndes County uninsured residents.”

For more information on the LCPFH, visit

Disclaimer/Acknowledgment: This project is supported by funds from the Division of Nursing, Bureau of Health Profession, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services under grant Health Link: Health Care for Uninsured Employed Adults, D11HP14615, in the amount of $1,312,070 (total for 5 years). The information or content and conclusion are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any official endorsement be inferred by the agencies listed above or the U.S government.