Medical and mental health services at the Health Sciences Campus will be greatly expanded by a new Wellness Center opening next semester.
Loyola students at the Health Sciences Campus (HSC) will see a new Wellness Center open Jan. 18.
The expansion will be offered in Suite 400 of the Cuneo Center, home of the Stritch School of Medicine, in Maywood, Illinois. The facility will offer the same medical services and mental health counseling as the Lake Shore Campus (LSC) and Water Tower Campus (WTC) Wellness Centers.
The HSC Wellness Center medical services will include urgent care, immunizations, lab testing and prescriptions, according to Joan Holden, director of the Wellness Center.
For mental health, it will offer assessment, short-term individual therapy, crisis support, group therapy, psychiatric telehealth and referrals for long-term therapy, according to David deBoer, director of counseling. Allergy injections will not be available at the HSC location, as a physician will not be on site to supervise. According to Holden, this decision is based on best practices.
Among the future staff are an assistant director who is a mental health professional, a social worker transferring from the LSC, a nurse practitioner and a registered nurse, according to Holden.
An open house will be held at the new facility on Tuesday, Jan. 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Students can meet the staff, tour the center and learn about services offered, according to a Wellness Center newsletter sent to Loyola staff and students.
The HSC currently outsources its mental health services to Perspectives Counseling and Psychotherapy, an employee assistance company, and uses the Stritch School of Medicine’s Student Health Services for non-teaching medical services, according to Holden. Three counselors from Perspectives worked one eight-hour shift a week at the HSC, according to deBoer.
Holden said the HSC services are more sparse than at the existing Wellness Centers due to fewer staff hours. She said students at the HSC do not have equal access to services — something that will change with the new Wellness Center.
There are several undergraduate and postgraduate programs offered at the HSC that draw more than 2,200 students to the campus, according to the HSC website.
“We modeled our clinic out of HSC after the Water Tower Campus, which sees a different cohort of students,” Holden said.
HSC students currently use their insurance to pay for lab tests and immunizations, according to Holden. In the Wellness Center system, these students will receive immunizations without going through their insurance. Lab tests will also be more affordable, according to Holden.
deBoer has been involved in the implementation of the HSC’s expanded mental health services.
“We’re hoping that by having an onsite presence that our counselors can do more work of showing up in classroom spaces, at events on campus, to promote outreach,” deBoer said. “By being there, we’ll be able to respond to the needs in a more hands-on way.”
Holden and deBoer both stressed the accessibility of all wellness centers to any Loyola student, regardless of their primary campus.