Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Health and Wellness services switch gears

Article by: Angela Bray

The Health and Wellness Office has been known for their lack of availability among students, causing problems for those who start to get ill overnight or on weekends, but recent changes and updates to the health office may help fix the problems.

“Walk-in hours are inconvenient, and once, when it was an emergency, I wasn’t able to see someone,” said sophomore Jamie Pestana. “Because of that, I was out of class for two weeks with strep throat, and I had to drop a class because I missed it so many times.”

However, weekday hours are limited and the office is closed on weekends. Some students have found it difficult to seek help when developing a cold or illness when the office is closed.

“They’ve been really good to me. I had bronchitis once, and they helped me get better,” said freshman Kay Dosu.

An extension of hours is said to be coming soon to the office. “There is a plan to extend our hours in a way on weekends and beyond our regular office hours for students,” said Liz Drexler-Hines, a health educator at the Health and Wellness office. As Suffolk health services do not provide emergency care, students are referred to local hospitals in the event of an emergency.

Health and Wellness Services has received a limited number of H1N1 vaccine doses. “Last semester, we followed CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommendations,” said Drexler-Hines. “We had to contact students with high risk, such as asthma or diabetes, first.” There are a lot of vaccines left over, and they are free of charge. “Any student can come get one. We’re really encouraging it and it doesn’t hurt anyone.”

Students should also be reminded that the university does not accept every health insurance plan. “It is a Massachusetts state law to be covered. Suffolk automatically enrolls students to cover them,” said Drexler-Hines. The Suffolk Student Health Insurance Plan is offered through University Health Plans with an annual student rate of $1,300. “Students should waive it every year if they are on their own plan, such as their parents’.”

Other changes are being made in the Health and Wellness office besides hour extensions. As of January 2010, “Consistent with University policy and the Office of Student Affairs, Health and Wellness Services will no longer be providing excuse notes to students” (according to the Suffolk website). “Students would come get notes for excused absences if they missed class. It’s up to the professor to excuse it or not,” said Drexler-Hines.

Drexler-Hines also works with SUPER, the Suffolk University Peer-Health Education Resource. The SUPERs are undergraduate students who undergo training and educate their peers on issues such as sex education, nutrition, drugs and alcohol, and eating disorders. The group goes out and leads programs on campus. Upcoming activities will include safer sex jeopardy, condom candy grams, and safe spring break programming. “We are recruiting, and anyone can be one,” said Drexler-Hines. “It is also great for students who are interested in a health career.”

In addition to Health and Wellness Services and SUPERs, Suffolk supports Healthy Monday, a national public health campaign. Healthy Monday events at Suffolk include nutrition presentations, healthy food giveaways, raffles, and yoga.

Beginning in March, Suffolk’s 30 Day Wellness Challenge is a healthy competition among the university community to improve wellness. “Basically you develop a team or work individually, and recruit points. It’s a whole model of health, not just physical,” said Drexler-Hines. Participants will compete in areas such as highest scoring and most improved to win numerous prizes.

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    NancyJan 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Angela Bray’s “Health and Wellness Services” article proved very informative. Walk-In hours need to be need to be extended, expecially during this flu and H1N1 season.

    Thumbs up to “Super”, “Healthy Monday” and “30-Day Wellness Challenge”.

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Health and Wellness services switch gears