The USF Health College of Nursing and Port Tampa Bay have partnered to create a first-of-its-kind on-site nurse-managed clinical outreach to provide direct care for the thousands of seafarers whose global maritime routes bring them to the port each year.
Part of the collaboration establishes a clinic to offer health and wellness services to the maritime workers who pass through the port in Tampa. These international workers are often at sea for months at a time, without routine access to healthcare or spiritual and emotional care. To celebrate the start of construction for the new clinic, USF Health College of Nursing and Port Tampa Bay held a ceremonial kick-off demolition at Tampa Port Ministries Seafarers’ Center, where the clinic will be housed.
The college also plans to develop a global telehealth component that will allow practitioners to provide follow-up care to patients after they have returned to a cargo ship and are out at sea. Tampa Port Ministries objective is to meet the physical, social, and spiritual needs of seafarers and others who use the facilities of the Port Tampa Bay.
Over the last four years, the College of Nursing has established a strong collaboration with Port Tampa Bay by implementing COVID-19 infection control mitigation standards at the Port, offering best practices in a Return-to-Work webinar for Port employees, collecting needed toiletries for seafarers, and hosting two on-site clinics to administer COVID-19 vaccinations for Port employees and their families. To date, more than 1,500 total COVID-19 vaccines were administered to seafarers representing over 35 nations.