Wellness Takes Off in 2010Jun 4th, 2010 | By admin | Category: Highlights
BY ABIGAIL HILL ’12
The Wellness Center at Wesley is new and improved in 2010. Its purpose has always been to provide free, quality healthcare services on campus so students don’t have to outsource their medical needs. Now however, having recently relocated to the basement of Carpenter Hall, the Center is much better equipped to meet the demands of a growing student population. In addition, wellness at Wesley now means both physical and mental well-being in one convenient location.
Before the move, the College nurse’s office was located on the first floor of Carpenter Hall and needed a keycard for entry. Since the move, health services have become keycard free, meaning no IDs are necessary. Convenience in terms of services offered is the most significant advantage, as both the counseling services and healthcare are now in the same location for the first time in Wesley’s recent history. The central location in Carpenter Hall is still beneficial for all students, since it is in close proximity for commuters coming to and from classrooms and is surrounded by residence halls so it is easily accessible for on-campus students.
But location isn’t everything. Jill Maser, director of health services, appreciates all the square footage they have gained with the move to the ground floor. “We love the space. It’s nice because we now have a triage room, a treatment room, a check-in area, and client inter-office space,” Maser said. The additional space has been a much needed improvement and will allow for increased functionality of the Wellness Center. It now offers six separate rooms for evaluation, compared to the four dispersed dorm rooms that were previously used. Each of the new evaluation rooms is also larger in size and can more comfortably accommodate patients.
The move also has created added benefits for patient confidentiality and practicality. With the space to now serve dual purposes for medical and mental healthcare, having students in one general waiting room provides anonymity of their awaiting services among fellow patients. Ann Rogge, director of counseling services, explained, “The increase in confidentiality has been a really positive thing. The move has been terrific in reserving that confidentiality.” The counseling office was previously located in the Office of Student Life, a very public environment near the main lobby area in the College Center. Rogge feels her clients appreciate the change of scenery and improved sense of privacy. Combining the resources of the counseling center and the health center also makes good sense for treatment purposes, since often times, students with certain medical conditions are struggling with stress and anxiety surrounding that. Now they can seek counseling at the same time and in the same location.
Aside from the new Wellness Center area being a more comfortable and convenient environment for students, the improvements also have changed the way students at Wesley are thinking about wellness as part of their lifestyle. “It is moving students away from just going to see the nurse or the doctor, or the counselor. They are really starting to think about what they are doing to keep themselves healthy, because it is a multidimensional thing,” stated Mary-Alice Ozechoski, dean of students. “So, to us this feels like an opportunity to say to students that as you graduate from college and you think about adulthood, and as you get older, wellness becomes more and more important.”
The Wellness Center has introduced new programming and wellness lifestyle sessions to go hand in hand with the new outlook among students. One new program is a weight loss support group, in which individuals are coming together once a week to talk about what is working for them in terms of dieting and fitness. They are getting more regular exercise, weighing in, and gaining valuable nutritional information as a result. “These are the types of programs that we think this Center will allow us to continue to do,” Ozechoski explained. The Wellness Center staff hopes its expanded services will engage more students and help them to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle one step at a time.