By Cassandra Lucyk
With the constant change of weather and stress this time of year, Youngstown State University students are often more susceptible to illness.
Dr. Nancy Wagner, director of the Centofanti School of Nursing, said illnesses are common on campus this time of year.
“For our students, in addition to COVID, which we still see somewhat off and on, we see the flu,” Wagner said. “We’re seeing viruses, we’ve seen a fair amount of gastrointestinal illnesses, sometimes just due to viruses and also anxiety.”
YSU offers on-campus services for students to utilize when they’re feeling unwell.
Joy Polkabla Byers, the associate vice president of Student Experience, said several resources are offered for students dealing with health issues.
“We have an assessed student’s healthcare fee that provides access to the student health clinic, Mercy at Wick,” Byers said. “As a student, they have access to see primary care physicians or they can walk in off the street to see a doctor.”
The student healthcare fee is included in tuition. It is $34 per semester, which reduces students out-of-pocket costs. It allows students the opportunity to be seen without a co-pay.
YSU also offers free vaccinations and testing to students. Byers explained when those are offered and to look out for it.
“We will have different time periods throughout the semester from the COVID to flu shots, I know we’ve done HIV testing before. So, I encourage [students] to continue to look at social media or websites for the health clinic, Student Experience or for campus to see when they’re available,” Byers said.
YSU works closely with the Youngstown City Health Department. There are often free clinics offered off campus, but close enough that students can take advantage when they need a vaccine or testing.
Wagner said there are preventive measures students can take to stay healthy.
“All of the regular things we encourage our students, faculty and staff to do. Wash your hands, wear a mask if you have a cough, try to stay away from people who are sick, don’t come to campus if you’re sick,” Wagner said. “The simple things really do keep people healthy.”
Staying healthy prevents students from having to use the health services offered on campus, and allows them to perform better in their classes.
Nicole Kent-Strollo, the dean of students and ombudsperson, said what students should do when they feel sick on campus.
“It depends on how sick or unhealthy, but if they’re in need of healthcare definitely see someone at Wick Primary Care to see what’s going on,” Kent-Strollo said. “Otherwise, just practice using common sense. You know if you have a fever, you’re not feeling well or you’re coughing a whole lot. Make sure you’re not spreading that around to anyone else. But you could always just ask us.”
To receive treatment on a possible illness, visit Wick Primary Care at 330 Wick Ave., on the corner of Wick and Lincoln Ave. Students can call the center at (330) 747-4660.