By SIDNEY SULLIVAN June 2, 2015
Hall Health West is located on the corner of 40th Street and Brooklyn Avenue Northeast within Alder Commons. It is a satellite to Hall Heath Center located on North Campus. (Photo by Sidney Sullivan)
The 15 minute trek from West Campus to Hall Health Center can be miserable if unwell.
“Admittedly, when I am sick the trip is quite inconvenient,” said Stephanie Rey, a freshman resident of Mercer Court.
Fortunately for Rey and other West Campus dwellers, Hall Health West exists to help alleviate the hassle. HHW is a satellite consulting-nurse clinic located within Alder Commons in Alder Hall, and it works to provide accessible health services to students in need of wound care, counseling, health guidance and next step assessments.
HHW is stocked with small wound care, patient education, pamphlets, sinks, basic medical tools, a computer and a printer. Registered nurse Margaret Gill attributes that HHW stays in contact with HHC through the computer system, EPIC. This system allows nurses from both HHW and HHC to access the same client information and medical history files.
HHW has been operational since the fall term, and current hours are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Resources are available throughout the fall, winter and spring quarters. However, the pilot project still has trouble attracting large numbers of students.
“It is very much of an outpost,” explains Lynn M. Sorensen, the nurse manager of Hall Health Center. “It is a great resource, but so far it’s underutilized.”
Sorensen reports that HHW served 50 students in the fall, 73 students in the winter and 48 students in the spring, as of May 29.
“I have never utilized Hall Health West, because it is not all-encompassing,” comments Mercer Court resident Gina Durst. In comparison to the HHC parent counterpart, HHW offers limited health services, as it lacks the ability to provide x-rays, immunizations, pharmaceuticals, physical exams and labs. Sorensen attributes this issue to room capacity and affordability.
Despite the slow introduction, the prospects for HHW still remains high, because the pilot project is very positive overall. Sorensen reveals that HHW has sparked enough response, and a memorandum-of-understanding with Housing and Food Services has been signed for another year.
“I can see it evolving,” said Sorensen, when asked about the future of HHW in relation to West Campus. “There are thousands of students in that area because of the residence halls and apartments. That is a population we can serve.”
“We are trying to find ways to advertise and expose the service, in hopes we can provide more efficient services for students that are convenient to them,” said nurse Gill.
Additionally, Sorensen expects that the anticipated Hall Health mobile friendly website update should help navigate students to HHW.
Sorensen attributes that an open house for HHW was held on April 1. While a few students did drop by Alder Commons, the main targeted audience was administrative types such as HFS and Health and Wellness.
Hall Health, as an entire unit, is supported by Student Activity Fees. Sorensen explains that Hall Health representatives annually present the Student Activity Fee Committee with a budget for approval. Afterwards, SAFC members discuss the budget, and the student committee drafts a letter to the Board of Regents for final approval.
“There is a great cohesiveness with student life and Hall Health” said Sorensen. “That is why this speaks so student centric. HHW is an important service to students.”
“We are an essential service,” Sorensen continues. “So even when the campus is closed, we are expected to be here and provide services in emergencies: emergency response, emergency operations and disaster response.”
“We are here for everything for the student,” enthused nurse Gill. “Their health, their goals and their schooling –– we love it all!”