Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 12-17-2021

Submission Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program


School of Nursing

Faculty Mentor

Denise Lucas



Background: Health care access disproportionately affects certain populations. Health care opportunities for uninsured adult members of a rural community can be limited. Suwannee County is a rural community with a population of 43,814 of which 40.8 % live below the 200% poverty income level (WellFlorida Council, 2020). Problem: In 2016, 23.8% of adults in Suwannee County were unable to see a doctor in the past year due to the inability to pay and lack of insurance (Florida Department of Health, 2020). Community-based health care initiatives can address such issues by targeting underserved individuals, reducing barriers, and making health services more obtainable. Setting: This quality improvement project took place with an organization called Shepherd’s Hands. The QI project was conducted at three separate locations in Suwannee and Madison County in Florida. Shepherd’s Hands provides free health care to uninsured adult patients who meet the federal poverty guidelines. Method: The needs and specific interests of the stakeholders were identified, strategies for increasing visibility of the organization were developed and implemented using the Plan-Do-Study-Act framework. Strategies included an advertising campaign and patient satisfaction surveys. Purpose: The primary purpose of this quality improvement project is to implement a sustainable strategy to increase the visibility and patient volume of a community-based free clinic. The secondary purpose is to assess and measure the patient and volunteer perception of the available services with the purpose of improving the health service delivery. A look into the volunteers’ perception of the services provided was useful in reaching potential populations.

Keywords: community health, underserved population, free clinic, community impact



Included in

Nursing Commons