Kansas University students who make use of the medical services on campus this fall will find some changes at Watkins Health Center.
The changes aim to improve services and address students' major complaints about the health center, says James Strobl, director of the student health center.
The No. 1 complaint among students always has been the wait at the campus pharmacy at Watkins, Strobl said. To cut down on the wait, a fourth pharmacist has come on board and will work longer hours. With the new pharmacist, Watkins' pharmacy will be open until 9 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. The pharmacy opens daily at 8 a.m.
"The fourth pharmacist will work during our busiest time, in the late afternoons," Strobl said.
In the past, students who needed medications after hours only could receive a 24-hour supply from one of Watkins' physicians. Then they had to return the next day to receive the full prescription. As long as students come in before 9 p.m., that problem will now be solved, Strobl said.
"We're tickled pink," he said.
THE PHARMACY also will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. The health center is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Watkins closes its doors only on four holidays in the year Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day and Memorial Day.
During breaks, the center is open with reduced hours, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
Students with seven or more credit hours pay a $69.50 per semester fee for health care, which is included in the student activity fee. The fees get students unlimited doctors and nurses visits. There are additional costs, at a reduced fee, for such services as laboratory procedures, X-rays and prescriptions.
ANOTHER complaint students have expressed in the surveys Watkins conducts is lack of parking. This fall, additional, one-hour meters will be installed to ease parking shortages around the health center. Strobl said parking problems stemmed from students who parked at the center during classes. He said the meters are specifically provided for ill students who need to park close to Watkins.
Also this fall, nine of Watkins' 10 physicians will be board-certified. Strobl said that figure is "far higher than most college health centers." One new physician will come on board this fall.
In addition to general medical care, Watkins also offers a sports medicine clinic, a gynecology clinic and a Counseling and Psychological Services center.
To be eligible for services at Watkins, students must provide their immunization records. If they are not up to date, a hold is put on their enrollment until they are brought up to date.