Tenth Mason and Partners Clinic Opens at the Population Health Center
October 17, 2019
More than 250,000 Northern Virginians are uninsured, and many go without necessary health care and make difficult choices between putting food on the table or filling a prescription.
In August, the College of Health and Human Services opened its 10th Mason and Partners (MAP) Clinic in the newly opened Population Health Center (PHC) on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus. MAP Clinics are a unique model, as interprofessional nurse-managed free clinics that serve the uninsured community in Northern Virginia. They provide health care, school physicals, screenings, and behavioral health services for vulnerable populations and those in low-income and medically underserved areas.
In addition to providing free care for patients, the MAP Clinics are an exemplar academic-practice partnership model. They provide hands-on learning experiences for students in nursing, social work, health informatics, and other programs. This experience serving diverse populations at MAP Clinics better prepares students for the communities they will work in when they graduate.
“The MAP Clinics have always had a dual mission: to care for the most vulnerable members of our community and to provide experiential learning experiences for our students,” says Dr. Rebecca Sutter, co-director of the MAP Clinics and director of interprofessional care at the PHC. “Now, being part of the Population Health Center, we bring in the research component. Students can now get clinical and research experiences all under one roof, while providing a critical service to the public.”
In addition to the MAP Clinic, community partners are co-located in the PHC—in the Kaiser Permanente Community Wellness Hub. These currently include Northern Virginia Family Service, NOVA ScriptsCentral, and Partnership for Healthier Kids, and Sutter hopes to expand to include additional community partners.
“At the MAP Clinics, we take into account the whole patient, including social determinants of health,” says Sutter. “Does this person, this family, have access to housing, transportation, food, or affordable prescriptions? If I prescribe a medication will they be able to afford to pay for it, or do they have more urgent needs?”
MAP clinics are responsive to changing health care needs, as care is transitioning from the hospital to the community. They are no-barrier clinics, which means that patients can receive health care or referrals to additional services regardless of their ability to pay.
The MAP Clinic in the Population Health Center is the largest one yet, with a total of nine clinical rooms, including three behavioral health rooms and a group visit room, all with telehealth capabilities. This location will focus on needed specialty care services identified in our network of community-based clinics, starting with women’s wellness exams and school and sports physicals.
For more information about becoming a partner in interprofessional care, contact PHCinfo@gmu.edu.
To make a gift to support the work of the MAP clinic, visit chhs.gmu.edu/give.