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FSU nursing students to work with We Care Manatee in helping uninsured residents

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BRADENTON, Fla. - It's a place providing healthcare to low income and uninsured patients free of charge. We Care Manatee in Bradenton has just signed a three-year agreement with Florida State University. Talented nurses from the university's Doctorate of Nurse Practitioner Program will now be helping out at the clinic.

"They will be able to do quite a few things in terms of primary care," said Victoria Kasdan, executive director of We Care Manatee. "They will also be able to write prescriptions and do assessments -- a number of things that a primary care physician can do."

Dr. Stephen Johnston with the Manatee Diagnostic Center and many other doctors work very closely with We Care Manatee. He's excited to hear about the partnership.

"We get to see patients that they have, to try to help them with their patients," said Johnston. "And on the other end we get to do the diagnostic imaging and tell them if they have something or nothing."

Officials say at least 25 percent of people who live in Manatee County don't have health insurance.

We Care Manatee has been helping hundreds of people since 1999. They have a specialty referral program, a pharmaceutical assistance program, a breast health and wellness program and their primary care clinic.

Kasdan says the nursing students from FSU will begin their work at the clinic beginning in January.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for them and it's a wonderful opportunity for us to have them here at our clinic," said Kasdan.

For more information, you can log onto www.wecaremanatee.org.