Accessible health care brought to campus

Everyone gets sick, but for a college student it is even more challenging to become ill, because finding time to seek care can be difficult. Over spring break, facilities and operations staff were busy putting the final touches on the health services clinic that will make basic health care more easily accessible to Washington State University Vancouver students.

The university recently partnered with The Vancouver Clinic to provide free basic health care to currently enrolled students. Services will be carried out by qualified nurse practitioners who can evaluate and treat basic health concerns for students.

“Basic health care services is available at no cost to students,” Patience McGinnis, lead psychologist for the Student Wellness Center, said. “Basic health care services include: treatment of acute illness and injuries, evaluation of stable chronic conditions, physical exams, immunizations, medications and prescriptions, point of care lab testing, smoking cessation, nutritional counseling and confidential STI/STD (including HIV) testing.”

According to McGinnis, “The providers will refer higher acuity medical needs to a specialist and our Health Services staff will work to connect you to a primary care provider in the community for follow up.”

Services such as diagnostic testing that may require a fee will be provided at a Vancouver Clinic outpatient facility and will be billed directly to insurance or an out of pocket expense to the patient. According to the WSU Vancouver website, “The Vancouver Clinic nurse practitioners will refer higher acuity medical needs and certain medication prescriptions (e.g., benzodiazepines, opioids, narcotics) to a specialist. Our Health Services staff will work to connect you to a primary care provider in the community for follow up.”

The university and The Vancouver Clinic plan to extend women’s health care in an individual women’s clinic that will be held each semester. McGinnis said that the first clinic will be held on Apr. 20.

The new clinic is “funded through the Services & Activities fund,” McGinnis said.

The funds are going to not only benefit the wellness of students, but also to help educate those associated in the health science career path. “We plan to partner with the nursing program and will likely offer a few events each semester for flu vaccinations, cholesterol checks, et cetera,” McGinnis said.

Appointments are available on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Same day and scheduled appointments are provided. The Health Service center is located in the Classroom Building in room 160. To make an appointment with the Health Service center call (360) 546-9238. If no one is available, WSU has a 24 hour advice nurse on call that can be reached at (509) 335-3575. For more information, visit: https://studentaffairs.vancouver.wsu.edu/health-services.

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