Over the last 10 years, Health Services has increased the size of its staff and nearly the doubled the number of patients it sees.
Now the department is faced with finding a new director as it seeks accreditation.
On Jan. 21, after more than 16 years of service at WKU, Libby Greaney left for a position at Boise State University.
Ann Mead, vice president for Finance and Administration, said WKU is accepting applications through February and hopes to have the position filled by some time in April. Joe Harbaugh, captain of professional standards for campus police, is leading the search committee.
WKU bought Health Services in 2001, after the outsourced management firm that owned Health Services went bankrupt, Interim Director Stacie Sutter said.
Sutter said at that time, Health Services offered only one doctor and a part-time nurse practitioner.
Since then, she said the staff has grown to two family medicine providers, a nurse practitioner, a psychiatric nurse practitioner and an internal medicine provider.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Kim Phillips and Family Medicine Provider Michael Stephens are the latest additions to the staff.
“The addition of another provider on staff is huge,” Sutter said. “It’s going to take some time to get them fully up and running, but at the same time we’re headed in the right direction.”
Throughout the last 10 years, Health Services has seen a great increase in patients.
It saw 1,142 patients in September 2001, but in September 2009, Health Services saw 3,440, Sutter said.
“We’ve seen an increase in faculty and staff, as well as student visits over the last several years,” Sutter said.
This in part is associated with the opening of the new medical facility in January 2008, she said.
“The facility was huge when we opened,” Sutter said. “That helped business and put us in a more professional realm.”
Health Services is midway through the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care accreditation process, Mead said.
The AAACH develops standards for health care providers to meet in order to promote patient safety and quality through peer-based accreditation processes, according to its website.
Health Services is in the middle of the three-year process, which started in 2009 and is expected to be complete by 2012, Mead said.
During the first half of the process, Health Services personnel analyzed current performance, Sutter said.
The second half will be dedicated to meeting each of the core standards of the AAACH, Sutter said.
By December, Health Services hopes to be compliant to all eight standards, including rights of patients, government, administration, quality of care, quality management and improvement, clinical records and health info, infection prevention and control and safety, facilities and environment, Mead said.
She said the AAACH accreditation would be another great stride for Health Services.
“When that hits, we’re going to have a big party,” Mead said.