Letter to the Editor: April 4, 2013

I would like to respond to Student Body President Corydon Fish’s incorrect statements in the March 28 Spectator article “Student Health Services could face changes.” He stated that SHS has regularly requested double digit increases to its budget.

SHS budget increase requests have not been in the double digits for over ten years.

Also, when he stated that these budget increases have primarily been to increase salaries and to purchase equipment, I would beg to differ.  As state employees, any increase in salaries has been in line with state mandated raises negotiated with our state legislature.

In actuality, these “increases” have been minimal or nonexistent for at least the past six years.  There have been some fluctuations in our salary requests, as there have been staffing changes that occur as people retire, change positions, etc.  One important staffing change was adding a psychiatrist to our staff (with Senate approval) for two days per month. This increased level of expertise has been a tremendous benefit to the students who have needed it.  However, this did not increase our budget request into the double digits.

SHS has direct accountability to student leadership for our funding, and we are appreciative of their continued support over the many years (75 this year) we have been in

The cost of healthcare in general has risen exponentially and we put out a great deal of effort to continue to make our service affordable and accessible.

Medical Director at Student Health
Services, Joanne Mellema