April 21, 2020
Though the campus may be closed, many vital facilities remain open and operational through virtual meetings. Tasked with providing students health services and counseling appointments, the Gallogly Recreation and Wellness Center continues to offer counseling and check-ups during the stay-at-home orders.
The transition to Telemedicine appointments began on March 23 in response to the campus-wide stay-at-home orders. The Wellness Center’s virtual operations include assistance for known STI exposures, nausea, rashes, birth control consultations, refills for prescriptions and other minor physical ailments, in addition to nutrition and mental health services.
The $20 price for services at the Wellness Center has remained the same through the transition to online services. According to Stephanie Hanenberg, the executive director of health and wellness, seeking care through the Wellness Center is more affordable than many urgent care facilities, providing a flat rate to students regardless of their insurance status or provider.
The move to Telemedicine also provides a degree of safety through social distancing, allowing students to receive health care without having to physically go to a health facility.
“[Telehealth] also limits an individual’s exposure to people that may have been ill since telehealth is provided to someone in the safety of their home,” Hanenberg said.
According to the Telemedicine Flyer released by the Wellness Center on April 3, students have access to treatment for over 16 physical conditions through the virtual services.
“Anyone with any of those concerns would be an ideal person to reach out for services as we can see them the same day,” Hanenberg said.
However, treatment for ailments such as migraines, chest pain, dizziness or physicals cannot be provided through the Wellness Center’s Telemedicine services.
Despite the continuing operations, the Wellness Center has seen a decrease in appointments for physical health services. According to Hanenberg, health services receive around one person a day requesting an appointment, with the majority being for illnesses and skin issues. Requests for counseling and mental health services, however, have remained steady.
“We are also busy providing appointments for counseling and medication management with our psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners,” Hanenberg said.
According to Hanenberg, counseling professionals and psychiatric nurse practitioners are just as busy as they were when providing in-person services. Mental health services remain a vital part of the Wellness Center’s operations through the quarantine, with counseling and nutrition appointments being made available through virtual meetings.
Virtual health and nutrition appointments became available remotely on April 9 and can be accessed through the Medicat portal. Mental health services are also continuing through the quarantine and can be scheduled through Medicat, with the exception of group counseling sessions which have been suspended until in-person campus instruction resumes.
The virtual meetings take place on Microsoft Teams, and downloading instructions are available on the Wellness Center website. To make a Telehealth appointment, students can log on to their Medicat account to schedule a meeting in Teams.