Women’s health care services are now more convenient for Eastern Kentucky University students.
EKU and the Madison County Health Department have partnered to open a Women’s Health Clinic on the Richmond campus. The clinic is now open to students every Tuesday the University is in session during the fall and spring semesters, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. in a section of Student Health Services in the Rowlett Building.
“Comprehensive women’s health services are essential to the wellness of our female students,” said Dr. Marites Buenafe, staff physician/assistant medical director with EKU Student Health Services. “In the past, Student Health Services has been able to provide only some of these services. Our young women now have easy campus access, which means we are much better equipped to address and impact their overall health and wellness.”
Many students had requested the service, according to Todd Burgess, office manager for EKU Student Health Services. “Last spring semester, we surveyed nearly 200 female students and asked them if they would utilize a women’s health clinic and asked them specifically what types of services they would like to see within this clinic. All of them said they would utilize the clinic in some capacity.
“The convenience factor,” Burgess added, “is very important. Students will no longer have to drive to the health department (216 Boggs Lane in Richmond or 1001 Ace Drive in Berea) or find a ride. Some students had to drive to their hometowns to see their doctor for certain needs, and now they can do that here on campus.”
Services available at the clinic include, but are not limited to STD exams, breast exams, cancer screening, pregnancy tests and counseling, contraceptives, HIV testing and counseling and, in some cases, PAP smears. STD testing is done in conjunction with the reproductive health evaluation if requested or deemed necessary. For STD-only testing, students should use the on-line appointment scheduler at www.healthservices.eku.edu.
A co-pay may be charged to those students with private insurance; however, the University will pay on behalf of the students any co-pay assessed. The clinic will accept the Kentucky Medical Card, but non-Kentucky medical cards are not accepted. Out-of-pocket costs, if any, for those students with or eligible for a medical card, are likely to be minimal. Students with no insurance or inadequate insurance will be charged on a sliding scale. No student will be denied because of inability to pay.
“When school is in session, we can definitely tell a difference in the number of visits,” said Nancy Crewe, director of the Madison County Health Department. “The clinic will provide better access to services and better health outcomes. It’s all about the women we serve.”
The Madison County Health Department has enjoyed a long and fruitful association with the University, also providing programs for smoking cessation and diabetes prevention, among other services.
“Quality, affordable and accessible care is what the Madison County Health Department does with excellence,” Buenafe said. “They have been enthusiastic since the beginning, and Student Health Services is confident this will be a long-term partnership.”
The clinic will accept walk-ins, but prefers that students schedule appointments in advance by calling 859-623-7312 or 859-986-1192. Students should specify if they want to be seen at the EKU campus site. “Students don’t want to miss class,” said Jean Powell, nurse administrator for the Madison County Health Department. “We can work around their schedules.”
The same women’s health services are provided at the Madison County Health Department locations and other county health departments throughout the Commonwealth every weekday. For more information about services offered by the Madison County Health Department, visit www.madisoncountyhealthdept.org.
For more information about all the services available at EKU Student Health Services, visit healthservices.eku.edu.
Burgess said the opening of the women’s health clinic at EKU is in keeping with the University’s steadfast commitment to student success and campus revitalization.
“President (Michael) Benson calls on all of us to ‘make no little plans,’” Burgess noted, “and I think this is one great example of that.”