Posted on Dec 9, 2020

College of Nursing, Port Tampa Bay Partner for On-site Health Clinic

College of Nursing, Port Tampa Bay Partner for On-site Health Clinic

A new partnership between USF Health College of Nursing and Port Tampa Bay will improve COVID-19 infection control and safety measures for maritime workers and establish the country’s first on-site nursing faculty practice at the port to provide health checks to the vulnerable seafarers population.

Nurse leaders anticipate the multi-phased project, “Supporting Healthy Infection Prevention Practices (SHIPP),” will be implemented over three years and give nurse practitioner students in the adult-gerontology, occupational health, and family concentrations the opportunity for hands-on clinical training with a wide range of maritime workers.

Organizers gave an overview of the SHIPP project and explained its importance during an hour-long webcast on Dec. 3.

“This is unique and ground breaking. It is very exciting to have an embedded health care clinic at the port. We will be the model for port maritime healthcare across the country. We are very excited about that,” said Tracey Taylor, associate dean of graduate clinical programs at the College of Nursing.

Dr. Taylor said the project’s first phase is nearly complete. The team identified the needs of the port with an emphasis on COVID-19 infection control practices. The college collaborated with Port Tampa Bay produce a Return to Work webinar that outlined important safety measures employees should follow during the pandemic.

With the increased infection control practices, organizers hope Port Tampa Bay, its employees and surrounding businesses will be able to work in a safer COVID-19 recovery environment, as well as see a decrease in environmental and occupational health risks.

The project’s second phase involves opening an on-site health clinic located in renovated space at the port’s seafarers center. Port Tampa Bay is converting office space into clinical rooms. The vision for the future clinic includes a separate entrance, two exam rooms, a check-in area, a waiting area, a lab room, pharmacy room, and a nurses’ station.

Assistant Professor Marcia Johansson, director of the adult-gerontology acute care concentration, said the on-site clinic will give educators and nurse practitioner students the chance to manage an urgent care clinic, offer events such as health and immunization fairs, as well as make site visits to evaluate infection control practices.

Health care providers will also offer a global telehealth component so nurse practitioners can check in with patients who need follow-up care when they have returned to a cargo ship and are out at sea.

“We’re very excited to partner with the College of Nursing,” said Dennis Martin, general manager of operations, safety, and training at Port Tampa Bay. “It would give the students the opportunity to be in an occupational health situation, and we’re excited about telehealth and the ability to offer extended care.”

The SHIPP project is being funded through the college’s Leaders in Care campaign, that supports a faculty-led student impact project each year. Fundraising continues toward its $35,000 goal, and USF alumni Dr. Janet Fansler MS ’88 and Richard Fansler MEd ’00 have offered to match the first $15,000 in gifts made by Feb. 1, 2021.

Those interested in supporting the SHIPP project can make a donation here or contact Ashley Souza Gerb, for more information. The campaign ends Feb. 1, 2021.

Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing