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January 28, 2002

Contact: Patricia Adams

University of Maryland School of Nursing Inaugurates Newest Wellmobile

Expansion of Governor's Wellmobile Fleet Brings Added Health Care Options to the Underserved

Anapolis, Md. – Assisted by Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and legislative leaders of Maryland, the University of Maryland School of Nursing cut the ribbon today on the latest addition to its fleet of Governor's Wellmobiles.

Like the other Wellmobiles already operating throughout the State of Maryland, the new addition is a 33-foot van outfitted as a full-service health clinic. Operated and staffed by nurse practitioner faculty and students from the University of Maryland School of Nursing, the Wellmobile travels throughout Maryland, bringing primary health care services to uninsured and underserved Marylanders in their communities.

Leading the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Dr. Barbara R. Heller, Dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, remarked: "The Governor's Wellmobile program advances our School's mission by providing our faculty and students with real world, hands-on practice opportunities in the community."

Marla Oros, the School's Associate Dean for Clinical and External Affairs, stressed the role of the Wellmobile in providing health care options for some of the most vulnerable populations in Maryland. Typical Wellmobile clients, she said, are adults and children without health insurance; residents of geographically remote areas and other underserved communities; and those with other economic, geographic, or cultural barriers to traditional health care.

Services range from diagnosis and treatment of acute illnesses to management of chronic conditions; from family planning and women's health to well child care; and from immunizations and vaccinations to screenings for early detection of breast, cervical, and prostate cancer. The Wellmobile also offers health education programs, smoking cessation and drug abuse prevention programs, and diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted disease. Follow-up care and referrals for additional services through local providers are available.

Also speaking at the event were Speaker of the House Caspar R. Taylor, Jr., Senator Arthur Dorman, and Delegates Michael Busch and Marilyn Goldwater. In addition, two private funders presented generous checks to the School of Nursing to support the newest Wellmobile.

Thomas Barbera, president and CEO of Mid Atlantic Medical Services, Inc. (MAMSI) donated $25,000 on behalf of his firm. Headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, MAMSI is one of the mid-Atlantic region's largest health services companies. In 1999, it founded the MAMSI Children's Foundation, Inc., to assist children whose health care needs are not covered by private health insurance.

A $600,000 check from Connect Maryland was presented by its founder and president, David Oros, who is also the founder and CEO of Owings Mills-based Aether Systems. Connect Maryland is a nonprofit organization that pools the resources and talents of Maryland entrepreneurs to support children's social issues. The organization invests long-term in programs with a record of success in improving the education, health care, and social development of Maryland youth.

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