Changes coming to the University Health Center

The University Health Center offers campus the opportunity to  seek advice about health care and engage in new programs.
Annie Goodman/The Lion’s Roar

There are several changes within the University Health Center this year that are intended to better service the campus community.

“We have expanded some services, so we have more walk-in services available,” said Andrea Peevy, a nurse practitioner and director of the University Health Center. “We prefer for students to schedule all of the appointments online, but we do have more walk-in availability. We are offering HIV screenings this year, which is new. We also have expanded health promotion and education programming for campus.”

They have added two graduate assistant positions along with their student workers and interns.

“They are the ones that are responsible for our health education and promotion and student outreach,” said Peevy. “Students would rather hear from other students than hear from me. We also have interns here as well. We have interns from the health education and promotion undergraduates that do their internships here. They all have a health-related project that they also have to do. So, we also serve as a site for their internships.”

The health center is partnering with the University Counseling Center in search for a psychiatric nurse to hire as well.

“We’re doing that in conjunction with the counseling center,” said Peevy. “We’re working with them, but psych nurses, psych practitioners, any mental health professionals are very hard to come by. We really want to add that service because we think that’s really needed on campus.”

Peevy feels students should have access to a health care professional better trained in mental illness.

“I have no problem treating some depression and some anxiety, but there are students that have some mental health needs that really require somebody with a little more experience in a little more specialized area,” said Peevy.

This endeavor is to help students with psychological issues in tandem with the free counseling offered at the UCC already.

“I would like to add that our students have access to excellent mental health counseling at the University Counseling Center, UCC,” said Peevy. “The addition of a psych NP will expand existing services by increasing access to medical management of mental health conditions.”

Peevy hopes these changes can better educate students on health.

“I think the purpose of the health center is we’re not here just to treat your strep throat or your flu,” said Peevy. “Part of the purpose of the health center, really I think, that health education and health promotion is just as important ’cause that’s really key to keeping the students healthy. That’s our goal: to keep students healthy, which helps students succeed.”

Peevy believes knowledge acquired at this point in life about health will follow students throughout their life.

“Education and knowledge is power,” said Peevy. “That really is something you carry for the rest of your life because making changes now and learning a healthy lifestyle now really does carry on. When you’re 50 years old, it may prevent people from suffering from a lot of chronic illnesses.”