March 2, 2015; Ventura County Star (Ventura, CA)
Continuing our trend of covering stories of refurbished motor vehicles, nursing students from Camarillo, California, converted a forgotten, discarded trailer into a community health center, to be up and running at the end of last week.
Fifty students from the California State University Channel Islands worked with Assistant Professor of Nursing LaSonya Davis and the B.A. Huggins Outreach and Worship Center to create a health center specifically for the area’s poor and homeless.
The idea for the collaboration came when Broderick Huggins, the minister leading the worship center, bought a building to help him minister the poor in the area. The property came with a sorry-looking, dilapidated trailer.
“I said, ‘This is an eyesore, I’m going to have it hauled away,’” said Huggins. “And LaSonya said, ‘mobile health clinic!’”
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The collaboration soon became the “capstone project” for Davis’s students—an ambitious academic endeavor for CSU undergraduates, similar to a senior year thesis. But how could the students finance the project, which would also require investments of manual labor and time to accomplish?
Nursing student Andres Ives applied through the university for a grant of $500 as part of a $45,000 sum available through the CSU Office of the Chancellor. The sum is distributed to each of the university’s campuses with the intention of funding programs that both promote learning and also give back to the community.
With just a $500 grant, the students gutted the inside of the trailer and enlisted help from the school’s art students to paint a mural inside. The project was completed in December and was named the Frances Huggins Community Health Clinic, named after Huggins’ mother, who raised him in poverty.
The mobile clinic will open for the first time this Saturday as part of a health fair for the community. Students will be providing “free health screenings for blood pressure, hemoglobin and blood sugar.”
We are interested to see where the students, Huggins, and Davis take the mobile health center project—or what they will convert next.—Shafaq Hasan