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Student Health Services opens on Gainesville Campus

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Student Health Services on UNG's Gainesville Campus opened for the first time Jan. 13.

A Student Health Services facility on the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Gainesville Campus, which opened Jan. 13, provides a wide array of services to students.

For the $65 per semester student fee, a student can visit the Student Health Services clinic and expect no other out-of-pocket costs for the clinic's routine services throughout the semester. The clinic will handle acute medical issues such as a cold, flu, bronchitis, or asthma attack.

Student Health Services is located in the new campus expansion, across from the Student Center on the Gainesville Campus. A ribbon-cutting is set for 4 p.m. Jan. 27.

Transcript

Dr. Alyson Paul, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students on the Gainesville Campus, said the clinic will be convenient as all services are on a walk-in basis that allows students to come before or after classes. The goal is for each student to be seen within 30 minutes or informed if the wait is longer so they can come back later.

For students who lack health insurance or face other health care obstacles, Paul said this new service can take a weight off their shoulders and allow them to focus on their studies.

"This is going to be such a great service," Paul said. "It makes them more likely stay in school and graduate."

Dr. Richard Oates, vice president of UNG's Gainesville Campus, is excited for the new services.

"Providing comprehensive student health services on our Gainesville Campus is consistent with the university's mission to provide the best educational experience possible for our students," Oates said. "When our students feel better, their academic engagement and performance increases."

Paul said the fee will cover all of the most commonly needed medical services. Previously, students on the Gainesville Campus could pay the student health fee and drive to the Dahlonega Campus for service. Karen Tomlinson, UNG director of Student Health Services, said about 20-30 Gainesville students per semester used that option. Now they have a health care option that is a short walk across campus.

Student Health Services hours (same in Dahlonega and Gainesville)

  • 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday
  • 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday

In addition to services such as flu shots and flu tests, the Student Health Services clinic will have a self-care center that provides over-the-counter medicines such as allergy remedies and ibuprofen. Students can take three items per day from the self-care center.

"It will be a one-stop shop for students," Tomlinson said.

Some antibiotics will also be available if a medical provider sees a student and deems antibiotics necessary.

Jelma Flores-Mota, the Student Government Association president on the Gainesville Campus, sees the potential for students' medical costs to plummet substantially. Even co-pays can add up quickly in other health care settings.

"This is going to help out a lot of students," said Flores-Mota, a junior seeking a degree in political science. "It's a sense of excitement and relief."

Through surveys and questionnaires, students showed overwhelming support for the clinic and the accompanying fee. The student health fee is now $65 for the Dahlonega Campus and $65 for the Gainesville Campus. It was previously $70 for the Dahlonega Campus. All students on those campuses with six hours or more of class credits in a semester pay the fee and have access to the services on both campuses.

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