As you are reading this, you might be thinking about the essays, exams, and discussion posts that you have to get done this week. The life of a full-time student can be overwhelming, and “time management” for many often just means making time to finish coursework. However, it’s important to remember that a healthy lifestyle contributes not only to our immediate well-being, but a healthy future long after graduation.
It’s important to know that the on-campus Health Services office acts as a guide in providing free resources to students including consultations, referrals, and educational programs to keep us healthy throughout the semester. Terri Calhoun, the nurse that leads the charge in this office spoke to The Knight News and said, “These past two years, there’s been a huge lag in anyone on campus. No one seems to know we’re here or what services we provide.”
Now that campus is open again, Calhoun hopes more students recognize the range of services the campus offers such as, “General first aid, vital sign checks, fever, strep tests, pregnancy tests, distributing condoms, health fairs, health events,” Calhoun said, as she only listed a few of these health events, with these varying by month often bringing awareness to specific health conditions.
On Wednesday, October 18, Planned Parenthood will set up shop near the Student Union, bringing their mobile unit to campus from 10am to 5pm. Their visit aims to make healthcare accessible to all the students by offering GYN exams, pregnancy tests, and birth control right on site. As Calhoun said, “Anything that the normal clinic has, they do it right in the unit.”
AIDS Center of Queens County also provides Health Services with free HIV testing every other Wednesday. Health Services makes combating the flu season easy, as if you take a stroll to the third floor of Frese Hall Wednesdays or Thursdays, you can get your flu shot. These are available free of charge, first come first serve.
Moona Syed, the health insurance navigator, visits campus every Tuesday to assist students with the confusion of the healthcare system. “She’s really quite fabulous,” Calhoun said. “For those that don’t have health insurance, she can guide you through the process, fill out the applications, and find the most affordable option for your needs.”
For more basic needs, Health Services also provides vision tests for the DMV, ensuring students meet all requirements for driver’s licenses. These specified services are given on top of over-the-counter medications like Tylenol, Advil, Benadryl, and allergy medications.
Being a commuter school presents unique challenges in reaching students effectively. As Calhoun notes, “I feel that, prior to COVID, [Health Services] was much busier.” To address this, Health Services has been actively organizing tabling events with QC Counseling Services to raise awareness of their presence on campus.
While there isn’t an on-site doctor, Calhoun would be able to easily refer students to outside medical assistance when needed. She emphasized that, when students are in emergencies they should call Public Safety to ensure the proper attention.
Though there are many services available to us, Calhoun still has big dreams for Health Services. “My goal is to change this from just health services to more of a wellness center,” she said. “Preventative medicine is just where it’s at these days.”
Until then, Terri Calhoun is available every day except Tuesdays with no appointment necessary.