School of Nursing Partners to Open Local Nurse Managed Clinic

After several months of planning with partner, M-POWER Ministries, the School of Nursing launched the PATH (Providing Access to Healthcare) Clinic in May 2010 utilizing the M-POWER Health Center clinic facility in Avondale. The Nurse-Managed PATH Clinic provides primary care, management of chronic illnesses, referral and patient education to clients who are impoverished or homeless.  Referrals to the clinic are made by Blanche McIntyre, M-POWER Health Center Clinic Director, who identifies patients seen in M-POWER’s evening clinic that need follow-up and long-term management of their health problems. Unlike the evening walk-in clinic, patients receive appointments to the PATH Clinic to see School of Nursing faculty, Lygia Holcomb, Brenda Iddins, Michele Talley, Loretta Lee, Lana Nealand, Jean Ivey, Julie Cash and/or Doug Oliver.

Dr. Cindy Selleck, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Partnerships, notes, “M-POWER Ministries is a wonderful partner in this venture. Ryan Hankins, Executive Director of M-POWER Ministries, saw the huge need for primary care and chronic disease management and invited us into their clinic facility.” M-POWER provides the facility, supplies and additional staffing for the PATH Clinic and the SON provides the faculty clinicians. “It is truly a win-win situation for us,” agrees Ryan Hankins.

Besides the direct care, PATH patients can attend a series of classes designed to increase their knowledge of health problems so they can more effectively manage their own care.  Dr. Lygia Holcomb provides classes on the management of hypertension.   Michele Talley, who is a Certified Diabetes Educator as well as an acute care nurse practitioner, provides classes in diabetes management.   Dr. Jean Ivey offers classes in weight management.  Recently, Dr. Amanda Brown from Nutrition Sciences at the UAB School of Health Professions joined the group and plans to offer dietetic interns opportunities to work with the clients.  Dr. Ron Orso is the collaborating physician for the clinic. He learned about the Nurse Managed Clinic while volunteering for M-POWER’s evening clinic and was excited about the opportunity to help.

“These faculty are trailblazers!  In just a few months they have started the clinic from scratch and are improving access to quality health care for those in our community with huge need by collaborating with community and interprofessional partners,” comments School of Nursing Dean, Dr. Doreen Harper.  “Their work is unbelievably impressive,” says Dr. Selleck. “I marvel at all they have accomplished in such a short time.”  

Plans for marketing the clinic to potential funders and writing grants and seeking donations for funding the clinic are underway.  Additional faculty are needed for triage, medication counseling, and expansion of other clinic activities.  Contact Dr. Selleck or any member of the PATH Clinic faculty for further information, or to donate time or financial support to the project.