For USciences students, taking control of personal health paves the way for a responsible future in healthcare. Students are now able to do so at USciences’ Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) where two healthcare providers were recently hired to provide students with more accessible, inclusive healthcare on campus. A larger staff promises a broader range of services and the expected byproduct is the increase in students’ knowledge of the functions of a medical practice.
Paul Furtaw, PsyD, Director of SHAC, explained the impact of Nurse Practitioner Binh Luong, MSN, CRNP , and Anthony P. Acquavella, MD, MPH, the newest editions to the SHAC team:
“They’re high-quality medical professionals and for years, we haven’t had sufficient staffing in order to be able to meet students where they’re at,” Dr. Furtaw explained. “Students need somebody who has expertise and yet is still going to engage them with respect. That’s what we have now.”
Nurse Practitioner Luong and Dr. Acquavella are supplementing Bonnie Packer’s triage services as a registered nurse with a full-range of treatments which consist of medical evaluation, allergy injections, minor emergency care, nutritional counseling, and more. Development will continue in hopes of bringing more specific, but essential, services to students. Anticipated amenities might include services specific to women’s health or sexual health for example.
To assess the ongoing changes, Student Government Association (SGA) members Matt Forman and Toni Primo will act as liaisons between students and SHAC. Their role requires them to investigate the needs of their peers and offer feedback and suggestions for further improvement.
Through the new structure, SHAC is aiming to set an example of how a medical office runs and enables student patients to become self-advocates. Because students expect results and want to be taken seriously, SHAC has positioned itself to deliver to students in a way that was not possible previously. SHAC promises, “…access to healthcare on their level,” as Luong put it.
Most recently, SHAC’s counseling staff launched an online screening initiative on February 6 for students at risk for depression and suicide. Students can also expect evening hours, an online portal for scheduling appointments and accessing immunization records, and additional nurse practitioner hours. The changes will be phased in over the course of the 2012-13 academic year.
To learn more about the changes at SHAC, visit usciences.edu/SHAC/.