Elms College to Hold Ribbon Cutting and Blessing Ceremony for “caRe vaN”

The mobile nursing unit will provide healthcare services to the homeless and underserved of Chicopee.

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“The caRe vaN is a great asset to the community, and a terrific idea that we are happy to support,” said Peter A. Picknelly, Peter Pan Bus Lines chairman and CEO.

Chicopee, Massachusetts (PRWEB) January 04, 2013

In partnership with the Conventual Franciscan Friars, Elms College will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the recently retrofitted “caRe vaN” at 11:30 a.m. on January 13, 2013 at 187 Exchange St., Chicopee, Mass.

The Elms College caRe vaN provides free healthcare to the homeless and underserved of Chicopee, including blood pressure checks and monitoring, blood sugar checks, foot care, episodic first aid, minor wound care, patient education on these and other topics, and other healthcare needs that may arise. The caRe vaN is actually a 32-foot camper bus retrofitted by Peter Pan Bus Lines that functions as a mobile nursing unit with two blood pressure stations, an exam room, and a workstation.

“The caRe vaN allows us to bring basic but important health services to the most underserved people in Chicopee, and gives our students the opportunity to perfect the skills necessary for successful nursing careers,” said Michael Duffy, M.S., R.N., A.N.P-B.C., Elms College coordinator of the accelerated second degree in nursing program and assistant clinical professor. Duffy is a Franciscan Friar who implemented the caRe vaN as his capstone project doctorate of nursing practice (DNP).

The caRe vaN allows Duffy and Elms College nursing students to provide services in the former CVS parking lot from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. every Sunday, and will begin making an additional stop at Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen and Pantry 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.

The costs of purchasing, renovating, and operating the caRe vaN are funded by grants from the St. Anthony of Padua Mission Aid, Toronto, Canada; St. Anthony's Bread, Ellicott City, Md., and St. Anthony of Padua Province, USA; as well as through a generous donation from Peter Pan Bus Lines.

“My aunt, Sr. Peter Maria Picknelly, was a Sister of St. Joseph, and Elms College was an important part of her life until she passed away in 2008,” said Peter A. Picknelly, Peter Pan Bus Lines chairman and CEO. “The caRe vaN is a great asset to the community, and a terrific idea that we are happy to support.”

Following the ribbon cutting and blessing ceremony, the caRe vaN will provide its regular services until 1 p.m.

Elms College is a co-educational, Catholic college offering a liberal arts curriculum that gives students multiple perspectives on life. Founded in 1928 by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Elms College has a tradition of educating reflective, principled, and creative learners, who are rooted in faith, educated in mind, compassionate in heart, responsive to civic and social obligations, and capable of adjusting to change without compromising principle.

The mission of the caRe vaN is to provide quality healthcare to those who come to our door, homeless, vulnerable and/or underserved in a professional manner; to provide a service learning opportunity to all who volunteer their time and talent in this care of others; and to do this mindful that in attending to the least of our brothers and sisters, we, in fact, encounter our God.


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