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Clemson’s state-of-the-art mobile medical clinic provides access to underserved, rural area patients


The first-ever solar powered medical unit is tackling America’s rural health care crisis one patient at a time.


OCONEE COUNTY —


The first-ever solar powered medical unit is tackling America’s rural health care crisis one patient at a time.

The unit is the mobile arm of Clemson’s Joseph F. Sullivan Health Care Center. When parked, it is powered entirely by the sun. The solar panels used are monocrystalline panels which are the most efficient solar panels on the market right now.

“They're effective even when it's raining even during a cloudy day," says Logan McFall, the Health Extension & Mobile Unit Coordinator.

McFall works primarily in preventative medicine, with the goal to shift the mindset from “sick care” to “well care.”

The unit offers classes like healthy nutrition and how to stay active.

It also offers more hands on care such as breast and cervical cancer screenings.

Megan Kyle, the Outreach & Nurse Practitioner with Joseph F. Sullivan Health Care Center began her work with mobile units as a graduate student at Clemson. She became so passionate about the work the units do with rural health care that she came on full-time after graduating. She says every day as well as every community is different.

"We really do try to meet the gaps that are in the communities that we reach,” Kyle says. “We're not trying to replicate services but we want to be the stop gap. We want to meet the need that's missing in the community."

The unit is also used as a teaching mechanism for students in dealing with underserved populations.

"(It) helps them wrap their brains around people who are different than you and that people have different limitations; they have different opportunities; they have different resources than you. So how can you troubleshoot and find out how to make this person healthier where they're at," Kyle says.

The 23-by-16-foot truck has eight solar panels on the roof that charge the entire clinic. It also runs on diesel fuel. Both of these eliminate pollution like fumes and noise.

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