Inside the new walk-in clinic at the campus recreation center. MARIE MATSUNAGA/THE STATESMAN
Inside the new walk-in clinic at the Walter J. Hawrys Recreation Center. Over 2,000 students visit the clinic everyday. MARIE MATSUNAGA/THE STATESMAN

Student Health Services and Campus Recreation have opened the new Student Health Walk-In Clinic in the Walter J. Hawrys Recreation Center to provide students with easier access to health services.

The clinic, which opened on Feb. 21, is open to all full-time undergraduate and graduate students and offers students care for minor illnesses and injuries, vaccinations for the flu and HPV and health coaching. The clinic is on the second floor of the Rec Center, which is frequented by over 2,000 students daily.

“There are many students who schedule time in their day to exercise, and the Walk-In Clinic makes it easier on our busy students to pay a visit before or after their workouts,” Director of Campus Recreation Jay Souza said in a press release.

Students can make appointments or walk-in visits to the clinic, which is covered under the Health/Counseling broad base fee and staffed by a nurse practitioner every Tuesday and Friday from noon until 4 p.m..

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For more severe medical issues and other services such as lab testing and prescription medications, students will be referred to the Student Health Center.

“By partnering with Campus Recreation, we are offering an integrated approach to student health and wellness,” Dr. Marisa Bisiani, assistant vice president for student health, counseling and outreach services said in a press release. “Student access to care is a priority. We’re bringing health services to the student, rather than the student seeking the services, making it more convenient for our students to use them.”

Graduate students, faculty and staff do not need to have memberships to the Campus Recreation Center to visit to the clinic. Students may tell the receptionist they will be visiting the Student Health Walk-In Clinic and proceed to the second floor.

Because it’s a new concept, Souza says a short-term goal is to educate students as to what a walk-in clinic is.

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“It’s not just if you have a problem,” he said. “You can come in and ask questions about nutrition and health, no appointment necessary.”

Souza said he would like the clinic to act as a way to keep students healthy without the stigma of going to a doctor’s office. Since the clinic is in the Recreation Center, it has a whole different feel and he expects that most students who visit the clinic will be those who frequent the Recreation Center already, with a small population of students who don’t.

Souza’s long term goal for the clinic is for it to be constantly busy and to expand to more than eight hours a week.

So far the clinic has been a little slow to start, but its busiest day saw eight students.

Linda Hamilton, the nurse practitioner on staff at the walk-in clinic, said students have come in for all sorts of issues so far – to check their vital signs, for minor sprains and injuries and just to talk about health. She said educating patients about diet, nutrition and sleep habits will be an essential part of the holistic approach to keeping students healthy.

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“I want students to know that there’s someone here ready to listen in a non-pressured environment,” Hamilton said. “I can take as long as I need with students.”

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