VANCOUVER — On Mon., March 20, a new Health Services clinic on the Washington State University Vancouver (WSUV) campus — the Student Wellness Center: Counseling, Health and Access — will open and begin offering basic health care services at no cost to WSUV students.
“Throughout the process (of opening the clinic), we have continued to meet with students in various focus groups so as to make sure the student perspective is heard,” said Patience McGinnis, lead psychologist and manager of the new Student Wellness Center. “In fact, students helped identify a new name. We are now the Student Wellness Center: Counseling, Health and Access.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the clinic on March 7, and it will officially open to students on Mon., March 20. McGinnis said that in 2014, Nancy Youlden, vice chancellor of student affairs and enrollment, formed a Health Services task force. Members of the task force included both a graduate and undergraduate student representative, nursing faculty and counseling services staff. This group then contracted with the American College Health Association to conduct a peer review.
“Not surprisingly, this peer review recommended the addition of health services on our campus,” McGinnis said. “Through the request for proposal process a partnership with The Vancouver Clinic was formed. With their input, we renovated an existing space located adjacent to our counseling and disability services office.”
As a part of the partnership, The Vancouver Clinic will provide qualified nurse practitioners to evaluate and treat basic health concerns for students currently enrolled at the WSUV campus at the new health services clinic. McGinnis 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; and confidential STI/STD (including HIV) testing.
Additionally, McGinnis said a women’s health clinic will be held each semester.
Providers will refer higher acuity medical needs to a specialist and Health Services staff at the clinic will work with those students to connect them to a primary care provider in the community for follow up.
McGinnis said these health care services offered are funded through the Services and Activities Fund at WSUV, which are funds used to support non-academic student activities, programs and projects on the campus. The source of this funding comes from a portion of WSUV student tuition that is earmarked as “Services and Activities (S and A) Fees.” According to the WSUV website, for the next academic year, the amount anticipated for possible allocation from these fees is in excess of $1.5 million.
As it is currently difficult to determine how many students the Health Services clinic will serve, McGinnis said they plan to meet regularly with Vancouver Clinic staff to evaluate the numbers and determine whether they need to increase staff or clinic hours, etc.
The new Health Services clinic is located in Classroom Building, Room 160, on the WSUV campus, 14204 NE Salmon Creek Ave., Vancouver. McGinnis said they plan to hold an informal open house this semester so students can learn more about the Health Services clinic and the location of the clinic.
The clinic is open during the fall and spring semesters on Mondays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. It will be open during summer sessions on Thursdays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. only. The clinic will offer same-day and scheduled appointments. To make an appointment, students can call (360) 546-9238. A 24-hour advice nurse is also available any time of the day at (509) 335-3575. For additional information on the Health Services clinic, visit https://studentaffairs.vancouver.wsu.edu/health-services.