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Thu December 6, 2012
Morehouse School of Medicine Mobile Research Unit Ready to Roll
The Morehouse School of Medicine now has the only clinical mobile research unit in Georgia.
It wasn’t hard to spot.
Parked on the campus of the Morehouse School of Medicine, the 30-foot square eco-friendly bus is painted with the words "Medical Miracles Start with Research".
Inside the rolling medical lab are granite countertops which allow for easy cleanups. The floor of the bus is a sleek hardwood.
High above are matching compartments that allow for storage of anything from a researcher’s lunch to specimen samples.
Dr. Priscilla Johnson reflects that the medical school has come a long way from its old nine-passenger research van.
“That’s like those little clowns are in the car. How many clowns can you get out a car? That’s exactly what we were doing.”
Dr. Johnson is the associate director for clinical research.
She now beams with pride about the new $600,000 mobile unit that she personally helped designed.
From concept to design, the customization of the mobile unit started April 1st of this year.
The National Institutes of Health kicked in more than half of the funding.
“We have exam rooms here. We can process our specimens and then we can reach the folks out in the rural communities where’s there is some disproportionate health disparities there,” says Dr. Johnson.
That’s directly in line with Morehouse School of Medicine’s mission to help the underserved gain access to healthcare.
And as always, Dr. Johnson says patient safety and confidentiality remain important.
Researchers can also perform ultrasounds, echocardiograms, EKGS and phlebotomies.
There’s even a treadmill for a clinical participant to be assessed while attaching to electrodes.
The Morehouse School of Medicine mobile unit had to be certified to meet specific criteria.
Dr. Johnson says it’s already been inspected.
When not in use the mobile unit will stored in special place on the Morehouse School of Medicine campus.
It gets about 12 miles to the gallon.
As for the treadmill Dr. Priscilla Johnson mentioned, it got a preliminary workout.
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