Student Health and Wellness splits up

In order to best serve student care, Student Health and Wellness has decided to split into two new entities, Student Health and Student Wellness.


Michael Guhin

The Westlawn student health and wellness building is seen on Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2019.

Alexandra Skores, News Reporter

After months of discussion, University of Iowa Student Health & Wellness will now be divided into separate units — Student Health and Student Wellness — to create more of an emphasis on the campus-wide movement toward a holistic approach to student health care.

Sarah Hansen, the UI associate vice president for Student Life, said in an email both units would remain in their locations at Westlawn. Student Health will also maintain its current IMU nurse-care location, and Student Wellness will keep the wellness service suite at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center.

Hansen said officials decided to create a Student Wellness unit as its own entity, rather than have it embedded in the clinical Student Health.

“This allows Student Wellness to become an important and equal focus in the approach to helping students develop healthy lifestyles,” she said in an email. “The two units continue to collaborate through patient referrals and shared progress updates. Each unit has its designated website for students to conveniently reference targeted services.”

Students will be alerted of the change in an email distributed the beginning of May from Angie Reams, interim associate dean of students, Hansen said. Additionally, an email will be sent to campus partners via the Student Wellness and Student Health staff during the same time period.

The new websites are up and available for use through the Division of Student Life.

“The staff is in the lengthy process of segmenting the unit names throughout websites [including MyUI], campus materials, and all communications,” Hansen said.

Student Wellness Associate Director Trisha Welter said the unit supports students’ learning through health-promotion services aimed at helping them develop healthy lifestyles now and in the future.

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“Free consultations are offered on nutrition, fitness, alcohol and other drug support, stress management, tobacco and e-cigarette support, and sleep enhancement,” she said in an email. “Services include: health workshops for groups, Healthy Hawk Challenge, online programs and screenings, Red Watch Band training, Health Ninjas, condom distribution, health fairs and events, and light therapy.”

Staff will include certified health educators, dietitians, fitness specialists, and substance-abuse counselors, she said.

Lisa James, the assistant director of quality improvement and strategic communication for Student Health, said in her email that it provides primary medical care for registered UI students — the same clinical care offered at standard health-care providers.

Student Health also currently seeks an individual to fill a director position to play a key role as a campus-health leader supporting students, the new website said.

James said staff would include board-certified physicians in family medicine, gynecology, and psychiatry, physician assistants, registered nurses, medical assistants and support staff.

“Services include allergy treatment, illness and injury care, physicals and chronic-disease management, gynecology, immunizations, lab procedures, nurse line service, psychiatry, eating-disorder intervention, weight management, and sexual-health services,” she said.