Student Health Services and the staff behind it

There are many things that happen at SHS that students are not aware of

Oludare Obadiya

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Photo by Alee Erickson

Student Health Services offers more than vaccines and COVID-19 testing

As the name suggests, Student Health Services is primarily concerned with the health and physical well-being of students on campus. 

According to their website, SHS provides services to students so they can better the health and wellness of the community with care that is affordable and accessible.

They offer services such as general medical evaluations, sexually transmitted disease screenings, women’s and men’s healthcare, and more. 

Along with the rest of the world, SHS has been occupied with COVID-19. They offer vaccinations as well as information on the virus.

They offer a wide range of immunizations, like vaccines for hepatitis A and B, tetanus and influenza. This list can be further viewed on the SHS web page.

SHS even has allergy shots as ordered by a student’s allergists. This information can all be found on the school website.

One of the main people who work for SHS is Amber Anderson, it’s director. She plays an important role on campus.

“I’m actually an operations manager at Mayo Clinic and part of my role is to manage student health services,” Anderson said. “On campus, I manage staffing and financial and budgetary issues in the clinic.”

Anderson said that she works in tandem with Dr. Kim Frodl, the medical director of SHS. 

“I am a medical doctor, formally trained, so part of my time is spent in the clinic practicing with patients and the other part is spent in an administrative capacity,” Frodl said. 

 

Anderson spoke about what the goal of SHS is. She said they hope to ensure that they are providing the best care for students on campus. They want to be the first line of defense when something is impacting their health. 

Frodl added the goal of students is to be present and get their education. SHS wants to make sure students’ health doesn’t adversely affect the ability to do that. 

Amelia Gailloux, a second-year graphic design and communications student, compared SHS to the services that are offered in high school through school nurses.

Frodl emphasized how they offer more than that.  

“I think we’re a little bit more involved than a school nurse. … We are able to see various complaints from general health physicals to acute concerns like COVID related illnesses, injuries and sexually transmitted infections,” Frodl said.

 

Apart from Anderson and Frodl, according to the SHS website they have a qualified staff including several nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians and health educators. They also employ students in a student nursing assistant role. This information can be seen on the SHS page on the school website as well. 

In recent times, mental health awareness has become a greater issue across the nation. 

According to Mental Health America, almost 20% of adults experienced some form of mental illness in 2019, just before the start of the pandemic. 

Frodl said  SHS is involved in the mental health of students through their close work with Counseling Services. They meet with them regularly and often share patients, Frodl said. The SHS is oriented closely with the medical management. 

Frodl also mentioned they can prescribe antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. However, they also encourage holistic approaches to managing mental health. Frodl counsels patients to get plenty of sleep, to exercise, have a healthy diet and how to develop support systems. 

SHS has also been making efforts to try and connect to students and inform them of how best they can benefit from the services offered by the school.

“We want (students) to utilize us,” Frodl said. “Most of our services are at no cost or very little cost when you compare it to what you’d be paying in the community.” 

To answer potential student questions and to reach out to the student population more, Dr. Frodl and other staff members make podcasts which can be found on their Facebook and Instagram.

More information regarding medical concerns can be found on the SHS website.
Obadiya can be reached at [email protected]