For Immediate Release:
February 13, 2007
Contact: Patricia Adams
Baltimore, Md. – The Governor's Wellmobile program, operated by the University of Maryland School of Nursing, recently received a $50,000 contribution from CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield (CareFirst) to help support the program's operation. This is the second time CareFirst has made a donation to the Wellmobile program, the first being a $250,000 gift in 2005.
The Wellmobile program, begun in 1994 as a public/private partnership, consists of four mobile health clinics that travel throughout the state of Maryland providing primary health care services to uninsured and underserved citizens. Staffed by family nurse practitioners, the Wellmobiles also serve as venues for School of Nursing students – at both the undergraduate and graduate level where clinical skills are honed – to gain experience in a community health setting. In 2005-2006, the Wellmobile program provided services to more than 6,000 Marylanders, saving the state an estimated $1.6 to $2.1 million in avoided emergency room visits.
“CareFirst understands and supports the need to address health disparities by providing basic primary care to underserved communities,” says Gregory A. Devou, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for CareFirst. “We are proud to partner with the School of Nursing to offer health care to those communities and to help provide ‘hands-on' learning experiences for nursing students.”
“We are grateful to CareFirst for their continued support of the Wellmobile program, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them,” says Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing. “As a health care organization, they understand and are willing to invest in quality health care for all members of our society, as well as optimal educational opportunities for the next generation of nurses.”