A new program being developed at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis will provide care to underserved populations, including Ukrainian and Afghani refugees, in the Sacramento area while educating students on how to holistically care for vulnerable populations.

The Integrated Nurse-Led Mobile Clinic is led by Deb Bakerjian, PhD, APRN, FAAN, FAANP, FGSA, associate dean for practice and principal investigator on the project.

“Everyone deserves equitable health care,” said Dr Bakerjian. “Our goal is to prioritize the health care needs of these patients who come from very different backgrounds. This includes both their physical and mental health needs and requires our providers to use a person-centered, culturally sensitive approach to individualize care.”

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The program will be staffed by the school of nursing faculty and will provide high-quality, evidence-based health care to underserved communities like those experiencing homelessness, refugees, and unaccompanied minors living in underserved urban areas as well as rural communities.

Deb Bakerjian, PhD, APRN, FAAN, FAANP, FGSA

“While our faculty are providing care to patients, they will also be educating and training students to do the same.  Each faculty member will have 1-2 students depending on specialty,” Dr Bakerjian stated. “Students will learn about health promotion and preventive services, mental health screening, primary care practices, diagnosis and treatment along with medication management – depending on their professional role in the clinic (RN, FNP, PMHNP, or PA).  Students will have opportunities to interact with patients, learning their profession under the direct guidance of a faculty member.”

Simultaneously, the mobile clinic aims to deliver clinical learning experiences to the school’s nursing, family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and PA students.

“We need to take the care to where the patients are because so many of them don’t have transportation. That’s one of the reasons why they have such a high no-show rate at the Federally Qualified Health Centers,” Dr Bakerjian noted. “Our focus is people who are unhoused, are refugees, are from low socioeconomic circumstances, or are unaccompanied children.”

The nurse-led mobile health care clinic follows recommendations provided by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) in the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 report, including expanding care with the help of nurse-managed health centers.

The mobile clinic, which organizers hope will launch first or second quarter of 2023, is funded by a $4 million grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). Bakerjian and her team requested a mobile health van and are also exploring use of existing vans or bringing a clinic to an environment where the patients are located, such as a church or community building.


Mobile health program supports refugees, unhoused individuals and unaccompanied children. August 30, 2022. Accessed September 15, 2022.  https://health.ucdavis.edu/news/headlines/-mobile-health-program-supports-refugees-unhoused-individuals-and-unaccompanied-children/2022/08

This article originally appeared on Clinical Advisor