National Cover the Uninsured Week is April 27-May 3, and School of Nursing students have been working at several locations across Central Texas helping screen and enroll the uninsured into health programs such as Medicaid and CHIP.
According to Trish O'Day, clinical instructor of public health nursing at the university, 47 million Americans, including nine million children, are living without health care coverage.
The situation in Texas is even more critical as one in four Texans do not have health insurance, said O'Day.
"Individuals and families without insurance will delay seeking needed health care and often end up in the emergency room, which is much more costly care," she said.
Nursing students in their clinical public health nursing rotation have been conducting screenings at Webb Middle School and Pickle Elementary School in northeast Austin. The outreach activities are coordinated by Julie Weeks.
The School of Nursing also is involved with advising the uninsured at the Children's Wellness Center and Family Wellness Center on a routine basis.
Cover the Uninsured Week, a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a national effort to highlight the fact that too many Americans are living without health insurance and to demand solutions from the nation's leaders. Thousands of activities across the country will take place during the week.