Who is eligible to use medical services?
All students who pay the University Health Fee can use the medical services at University Health Partners (UHP), formerly the Swingle Student Health Center. UHP is located at the east end of the SUB, where entrances to the different facilities, including medical services, are directly across from Cobleigh Hall. The University Health Fee covers appointments and walk-in visits with doctors and nurses at the campus clinic. To be eligible, a student must be enrolled in at least one credit at MSU or Gallatin College. Those who are taking seven or more on-campus credits automatically pay the $220.25 University Health Fee as a part of tuition fees. Students at Gallatin College and MSU students with less than seven credits are charged the fee the first time they visit.
What does the facility provide for students?
The UHP Medical Services names 10 general services they provide: acute care, appointment clinic, clinical laboratory, immunizations, LGBTQ services, minor surgery, pharmacy, travel health, women’s health care and x-rays. Every day, there are between nine and 11 practitioners present in the clinic at all times. This includes nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians and orthopedic specialists. To clarify what these opportunities for students entail, Amy Berghold, a nurse practitioner with UHP, broke it down in every day terms.
Acute care is a “walk-in basis” urgent care. Berghold works in the acute care four times a week, and mentioned that it is designed for everyday medical services for injuries such as “concussions, lacerations, abdominal pain, when students run out of medication, etc.” On average, Berghold says they see about 65-85 patients a day in the acute center.
The clinical laboratory is a “comprehensive laboratory.” This is where tests for viruses such as mononucleosis or strep throat are conducted, general blood work including complete blood count and chem panels are performed, and free STD screening is administered along with other specific testing that requires lab work.
Minor surgeries include procedures such as “stitches, removal of lumps and placement of IUDs.” It may be enlightening for students to know they could “see the same professional on a regular basis” if they so choose. If no medicine is prescribed, and students do not have testing done, their visit with a professional is free of charge.
When are medical services available?
The hours for the UHP Medical Services Clinic are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. On Saturdays they are open from 8 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., where appointments are preferred and not all services are offered. When closed, students can call the nurse advice hotline at (800) 607-5501 without charge to get injury and health advice from an on-call nurse, no matter the situation. Berghold explained that, when a student calls, “a note goes in and the next day someone will review it and follow up.”
What students might not know
Recently, the UHP has begun an integration between medical services and behavioral health. Berghold said that staff meetings now include employees from both centers. An emphasis is being placed on the important connection between the mind and body, and how the centers can better treat students by working together.
Berghold disclosed useful services UHP offers that most don’t know about. There is a family practice clinic connected to the medical services clinic. Treatment for chronic diseases are available along with preventative health services. One-on-one advice about different health insurance options are offered. She expressed that not many take advantage of the fact that spouses of students can pay a fee and have access to all of these services, even if they are not enrolled at MSU. Students can pick up devices like crutches, braces, splints and more. The clinic can also performs sport physicals, prescribes birth control and completes routine checks for the Department of Transportation. Perhaps one of the most unknown, yet highly relevant services pertaining to college students, is that once a week “orthopedics can see patients whether their condition is acute or chronic.” This service must be scheduled ahead of time, but it is of no extra charge.
Why should students go there?
Most students pay the University Health Fee and never use the facilities. Many times, heading to a local urgent care or trying to contact home town professionals can be time-consuming, confusing and expensive. Berghold encourages students to use these services, which are specially designed to serve this student population and staffed with equally qualified professionals as any other place in town.