By Amanda Joerndt
Students with insurance will be able to avoid an additional copay, and those without insurance now have a resource to ensure that they are healthy with the recent opening of Wick Primary Care at Youngstown State University on March 19.
The health center is equipped with physicians available for daily walk-ins and appointments on 300 Wick Ave. A behavioral health specialist will also be on staff for YSU students by appointment.
A student health center fee of $34 per student, per semester was passed by YSU students during the 2018 Student Government Association election, which generated revenue to help outsource the former Mercy Health Student Health Center in Kilcawley Center.
The $34 fee is included on the tuition and fees bill, which is distributed to students electronically every semester, and allows nearly unlimited health care service such as treatment of minor injuries, immunizations, nutritional diagnosis and wellness visits.
Ernie Barkett, president of SGA, said the association played a large role in helping the new health care facility come to life.
“Seeing this project come together has been amazing, and it shows the cooperative relationship between students and university administration,” he said.
Barkett said students should use the facility to take better care of themselves, physically and mentally.
“It is important for students to use the center and get the worth out of the health center fee,” he said. “This is also a primary care facility, not just a student health center, so students can receive access to better care.”
Jonathon Fauvie, public relations and communications manager at Mercy Health, said he hopes the students will take advantage of the new facility.
“Once you have access like this, not only to services on campus, but being tied to a health care organization that provides a full continue of care from the start of life to the end of life, is really something that I think students might not know the full impact of yet,” he said.
According to Fauvie, the student fee for the services at Mercy Health is very affordable in health care terminology.
“To know again that I can come to this facility and not be charged anything for the services that are rendered is something as a student I would be incredibly grateful for,” he said. “Having access to a network of expert clinicians is something not only the campus, but the downtown community can’t really put a value on.”
Deanna Ford, director of mission and values at Mercy Health, said as a parent of YSU student, the Mercy Health facility gives her reassurance with her child’s health care.
Ford said one of the most important aspects from the new facility are the psychiatric services being offered.
“Health and primary care is important, and I’m very excited about the behavioral health piece to this because we know this age group could be in need for some help to think and talk things through,” she said.
In Ford’s opinion, bringing attention to the younger generation in the community is vital for future successes in the area.
“Our youth in the community is our future so paying attention to that and making sure they have the right services is huge and important to us,” she said.
Lisa Johnson, vice president for human resources at Mercy Health, said the new facility was constructed in the heart of the Mahoning Valley to allow people from all around the area to use the facility.
“We are creating the future leaders and employees, so it’s very important that we have a community that is healthy which starts from YSU,” she said.
Johnson said this will give students the opportunity to learn more about maintaining their health and wellness.
“We’re just excited for the start, and now it’s a matter of education. And it’s not just that something’s wrong, but that they want to maintain their wellness,” she said. “Any support and partnership we can do to maintain that is important.”
Services offered at Mercy Health Youngstown Primary Care include:
- Diagnosis and treatment of minor injuries and administration of first aid
- Counseling services by appointment
- Continuation of allergy shots, administered if serum and written instructions are provided by an allergist
- Nutritional diagnosis and counseling
- Orthopedic evaluation of injuries to bones, muscles and joints within the scope of a primary care practice
- Dermatological problems
- Initial diagnosis and need for simple physical therapy
- Immunizations limited to Hepatitis B and Tdap
- Mantoux (tuberculosis screening)
- Point of care testing for rapid influenza, rapid strep, urine pregnancy, urinalysis, mononucleosis, glucose, hemoglobin and fecal occult blood testing
- Basic gynecology services
- Well care visits
- Acute care visits