By early next year, the county's first nurse-managed clinic will open in downtown Santa Ana and thanks to the $1.5 million federal grant landed by UC Irvine
's Nursing Science Program, some locals will have access to free services there.
UCI will run the clinic in collaboration with the SOS-El Sol Wellness Center at the El Sol Science and Arts Academy--a charter school in Santa Ana--and provide medical services to the school's students, their parents and others who live in the area.
Nurse practioners, who are also faculty members at UCI, will staff the clinic, says university spokesman Tom Vasich.
Nursing students also will shadow their teachers to get much-needed, on-the-job experience, he says.
The money for the five-year grant, which comes from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, will also fund some population-based research, Vasich says.
Although this will be the first of its kind in the county, nurse-staffed clinics are a rising trend in the medical field.
"Practices like this one are vitally important for delivering much-needed healthcare to underserved communities and for educating tomorrow's nursing workforce," says Susanne Phillips
, who will direct the clinic, in a press release.
Aside from the Santa Ana charter school and UCI, the third entity involved in the soon-to-be partnership is Share Our Selves,
a Costa Mesa-based nonprofit that serves the county's homeless and low-income populations and offers medical services, among other things.
The clinic is slated to open in January, Vasich says.