Student Health & Wellness was born in 1999 in the imagination and experience of an Administrator of Student Affairs who thought
UMKC needed a student health center. He convinced fellow Student Affairs Administrators and then convinced students who voted for
a Student Health Fee to fund the Student Health center. A committee selected a Nurse Practitioner model of Student Health modeled on
the existing Student Health at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. They also selected 4825 Troost Building as the “temporary” location.
Space was allocated and remodeled.
In summer, 2000 the Administrator position for Student Health & Wellness was created and a search was conducted. Sandra Handley was selected and began the position on August 15, 2000. Sandra initially worked to determine what services would be provided and what equipment was needed. The exam rooms and offices were equipped and the first patients were seen on October 15, 2000. Shortly after that the staff was expanded by an Administrative Assistant (LaFonda Cousins) and a part-time nurse (Laura Ericson).
The number of students seeking services grew rapidly and it soon became apparent that there was a need for more capacity. In 2003-2004, an
expansion of the clinic was planned incorporating space from an adjacent classroom. This expansion allowed two additional exam rooms so a second
full-time Nurse Practitioner was added (Obie Austin) and space for a part-time pharmacy. This floor plan has continued to the present time.
In January 2007 a full-time Health Educator (Bill Smith) was hired to further develop and expand Health Promotion Services on campus. The Mindbody Connection, a collaboration between the Counseling Center and Student Health was developed during the spring and summer of 2007 and opened its doors in August 2007 in the University Center to provide Health Promotion and Counseling Outreach activities. The MindBody Connection focuses on addressing student stress by providing students a quiet space to relax, use the massage chair, HealthMath, and play Wii. A variety of other activities take place in the MindBody Connection to assist student in identifying their stressors and ways to effectively manage them.
In March 2009, Student Health & Wellness went live with their new Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system. EMR is a way to maintain and secure patient charts without the use of the traditional paper chart. All information is entered and stored electronically to increase efficiency and security of health information.
The UMKC Student Health & Wellness website experienced a complete make over during the Spring of 2010. The new website is much easier to navigate and contains a significant amount of health related information. The launch of the new site also included the ability for students to make on-line appointments, to send and receive secure email from their healthcare provider in Student Health, a new Facebook page, Twitter account, and this blog – The Wellness Reader. The new site also was the debut of the updated logo of the Student Health & Wellness apple.
The future of Student Health is currently being evaluated. The hope is to eventually move Student Health to a more centralized and accessible
location on the Volker campus.
Stay tuned to see what the next 10 years brings…