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Faculty Recognition

Professor Awarded Major Grant for Women's Healthcare Access

The grant will help improve Cal Poly Mobile Health Clinic's services for Indigenous women.

Cal Poly Kinesiology and Public Health Department Professor Suzanne Phelan recently received $30,000 in grant funding from the Santa Barbara Foundation to improve the Cal Poly Mobile Health Clinic’s services for women in northern Santa Barbara County.

The Mobile Health Clinic, launched in 2018, offers free medical and preventive healthcare services for uninsured women and serves about 250 patients per year, including ongoing care and follow-up visits. Spanish is the most prevalent language among the clinic’s patients, but around 20% speak the Mixtec or Zapotec Indigenous languages, which are not often translated in medical forms and literature. Phelan and Mobile Health Clinic staff aim to change that.

“It's wonderful to hear expressions of gratitude from patients receiving care sometimes for the first time in their lives," Phelan said. "Our staff and students are incredible, speaking multiple languages and managing several competing tasks sometimes simultaneously during peak hours of the clinic.”