The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s Kitty Degree School of Nursing acquired a $26,000 grant from the Living Well Foundation in West Monroe.
The grant will help fund the Mobile Bridge to Health project at ULM. According to Dr. Rhonda Hensley, associate director of the graduate program at the ULM Kitty Degree School of Nursing, the program will provide free medical and counseling services to much of the homeless population in Ouachita Parish.
ULM students and faculty will provide the assessments on location, partnering with Family Promise of Ouachita, the Desiard Street Shelter, and the Salvation Army.
“We’re hoping to be able to reach homeless people in area agencies in Monroe and Ouachita Parish who maybe do not have a trust established healthcare facility, but yet they still have healthcare needs that have not been addressed; or they have mental health needs that haven’t been identified,” Hensley said.
According to Hensley, other than blood pressure checks, the Mobile Bridge to Health project will also provide more elaborate procedures to its patients. One such procedure is an electrocardiogram, otherwise known as an EKG. An EKG is used to gather information regarding the heart’s condition.
“We’ll be able to check oxygen levels for asthma patients; we’ll be able to check of course blood glucoses and some peripheral vascular screenings,” Hensley said.
The project will also provide mental health assessments to its patients. Students from the Counseling and Marriage & Family Therapy programs at ULM will help assess patients for suicidal thoughts and substance abuse issues.