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UI Mobile Clinic offering free health services to uninsured Iowans

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Joyce Wabha, UI Mobile Clinic Executive Coordinator

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Mobile Clinic, an initiative of the University of Iowa Health Sciences students, is now providing free telehealth appointments to all Iowans.

Typically, these UI graduate students would hold mobile appointments around the community but with the ongoing pandemic, all of its services have moved online.

UI Medical Graduate Student and the Mobile Clinic's Executive Coordinator, Joyce Wahba is one of the students staffing the clinic for patient care.

"We're offering over the phone and webcam appointments, completely for free. We're primarily trying to reach out to people who are uninsured, who don't have a safety net that they can kind of lean on," said Wahba.

With classes moved online and in-hospital clinicals canceled the experience is even more useful for these graduate students. Each of which is supervised by UIHC physicians and PAs.

"They have all the up to date information on what's going on in the hospitals and clinics and kind of what's going on on a national level even because we're a large academic Institute," said Wahba, "And the students really care and take ownership over their individual patients that they serve."

The telehealth services can provide anything from general health screenings to questions about COVID-19, referrals for testing, and even chronic prescription refills.

"I'd say top three things that we're seeing is one, chronic conditions so people who, for example, have high blood pressure, diabetes, and they currently don't have medical insurance whether they lost recently or just are uninsured we're able to offer refills on their chronic disease medications," said Wahba.

The other two, Wahba said they've seen patients with acute illness such as headaches and shortness of breath as well as calls for social services such as food insecurity.

The service can also connect patients with referral for domestic abuse resources, to get signed up for health insurance, and mental health counseling.

The students self-fundraise to keep the service free for patients. Wahba said a telehealth platform is also less expensive to maintain.

To sign up patients just have to call or text 319-535-2684.

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Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids

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