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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Campus

Students unaware of health center offerings despite move


Chief Nurse Nicole Robinson inside the Health Center

Chief Nurse Nicole Robinson working inside the UH Student Health Center. | Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

The University of Houston Student Health Center has a new location, but not enough students are aware of it, says Associate Director of the Student Health Center Rodrick Jordan.

The new facility is located inside Health and Biomedical Sciences Building 2, off Calhoun Road and Wheeler Avenue near the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Jordan said awareness has always been an issue for the Student Health Center. 

“We found out that students had gone their entire academic career and never knew we had a health center,” Jordan said. “If they did know, they knew very little.”

History junior Ronnie Garcia says her issue is not knowing where the health center is or the services it provides.

“I don’t go because I don’t know where (the Student Health Center) is,” Garcia said. “I don’t know much about what they offer.”

History junior Kirsten Hilson is uninsured and has never been to the Student Health Center, she says, because of concerns with financial burdens.

The center is purchasing new medical equipment, including a new surgical light for the treatment room, blood pressure equipment and a weight scale better suited for the disabled, Jordan said. The new location is smaller than the old space, which was entering its 50th year of operation.

“We are reducing our footprint as far as square footage, but the newer setup allows us to eliminate a ton of wasted space in our present location and be more efficient in clinic flow as well,” he said.

The new Student Health Center is brightly lit with lots of natural lighting — compared to the older, darker health center — helping with the ambiance, Jordan said. 

“If you walk into a dungeon-like kind of atmosphere, it kind of adds to the negative feelings you associate with going to the doctor,” Jordan said. “You’re coming to somewhere that’s brightly lit, a lot of natural light, it just gives the feeling that you’re going somewhere you want to go.”

The new Student Health Center is set up in a circular form, which is how highly efficient clinics are set up, Jordan said. He said future plans for the facility involve eventually offering more specialists for students. Currently, the facility only provides one specialist — an Orthopedic clinic — and additional specialists require off-campus referrals. 

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