In 2003 nurse practitioner Mona Counts, PhD, CRNP, FNAP, FAANP, received one of the first Cherokee Inspired Comfort Awards – for mortgaging her home to establish the Mt. Morris Primary Care Center, a nurse practitioner-run clinic in Appalachian Pennsylvania.
But Mona and her staff realized they sometimes wouldn’t see some patients for months. Treacherous weather, bad health and lack of transportation kept them from making the trip to the clinic, they told her. To prevent these from going without vital healthcare, Mona conceptualized and obtained funding for a mobile health unit with the goal of taking healthcare to these residents of southwestern Pennsylvania.
Today with two student nurses and one nurse practitioner, the mobile unit traverses the county in an attempt to span the gap between those who need quality healthcare and those who can provide it.
When residents of southwestern Pennsylvania can't visit her clinic, Mona Counts (bottom left), a recipient of the 2003 Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award, takes the clinic on the road – in a new mobile unit.