Health Services to add doctor

When Nashville freshman Ronique Shelton’s half-sister needed a kidney transplant, Shelton wanted to know if she could be a possible donor.

In order to find out, Shelton needed to have her blood drawn and tested. Because she isn’t from Bowling Green, Shelton said she wouldn’t have known where to go for the test if it hadn’t been for Health Services on campus.

As it turns out, Shelton was a match for her half-sister but didn’t donate her kidney because the transplant hasn’t been needed yet. But in the case of an emergency, Shelton now knows she’s a match.

Since moving out of the Academic Complex and into the new Health Services building in January 2008, the center has seen not only an increase in students such as Shelton who may not have known where to go otherwise, but also faculty, staff and their families.

Libby Greaney, director of Health Services, attributes the increase to the convenient location, a general increase in enrollment at WKU and efficient scheduling.

Greaney said the new Health Services building was strategically built to leave room for growth and to be close to the Preston Center.

Health Services, which sees thousands of patients over the course of the school year, is currently staffed by three providers – one nurse practitioner and two medical doctors. A third medical doctor will start very soon, Greaney said.

Patients now have the option to pay the bill for their visit online at the Health Services website, which makes things more convenient, Greaney said.

In addition to being a primary care facility, Greaney said Health Services also has a health education department that does outreach events in the WKU community such as WellU, e-CHUG and HIV testing.

Kathryn Steward, assistant director of health education, said the department is looking to branch out into counseling for sexually transmitted diseases and infections.

The counseling, which will be available later this semester, will allow students to meet privately with a counselor to assess their risk for STDs or STIs, Steward said. From there, the counselor will determine what the student should be tested for if there are no symptoms present.

This will be a free service with the exception of any lab fees, Steward said.

Greaney said outreach is an important part of what Health Services does.

“It’s the commitment to student well-being,” she said. “It’s not just gaining back your health if you’re sick.”

Elizabethtown sophomore Garren Johnson went to Health Services on Friday with his friend who hurt his eye playing basketball.

Johnson said he has never used the center himself, but if he ever got sick while at WKU, Health Services would be the first place he would go because of its accessibility.