Univ. to reform student health care

By Amanda Ayers

News Editor
While students often complain about subpar care provided by Student Health Services, the University is taking notice by examining new health care models.
At a faculty meeting on Tuesday, the University announced that it has plans to develop a new health care model for its students, perhaps coupled with a wellness program. A key step for the development of this new and improved model will be the exploration of possible partnerships with outside groups, such as Geisinger Medical Center and Evangelical Community Hospital.
According to Andy Hirsch, Director of Media Communications, as soon as some important elements are worked out among those partners, the University will be making announcements in the near future about details of this arrangement.

“We’re not exploring this partnership because we think the University’s current student health service model is unsustainable, but rather because this new model of care partners with local healthcare providers in a way that promises to offer our students better healthcare programs and to offer better wellness programs to the University as a whole,” Hirsch said.

Students have noticed room for improvement at Health Services.

“I don’t go to health services because I know that they’ll just recommend that I wait a couple days and take an Advil. The care could definitely be improved,” Lindsey Ferro ’14 said.

At the moment, the University absorbs all of the health care costs of its students. Administrators are looking at stipulating in the new arrangement that they be submitted to insurance companies.

President John Bravman is an advocate of the new model but has not been a direct party to the negotiations.

“Our goal is to provide the best possible health and wellness program we possibly can, in order to serve students’ and others’ needs most effectively. Therefore we believe it is crucial to engage in thorough reviews of existing programs, benchmark programs elsewhere, solicit expressions of interest from interested parties, and then make the best decisions we can,” Bravman said.

As news of the proposed changes spreads across campus, students have shown support.

“It seems to me that eliminating any flaws from the current system would only be a positive thing. I’m on board,” Laura Neely ’13 said.

As progress into the development of the new model  is made, financial repercussions of the plan will be reviewed.

Director of Student Health Services Dr. Donald Stechschulte was unable to comment.

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