University Health Center (UHC) shares goals for 2023

The front of the University Health Center. Sunday, January 15, 2023.
(Photo by Adam De Lisser)
The front of the University Health Center. Sunday, January 15, 2023. (Photo by Adam De Lisser)

Written by: Genesis Ventura

According to Southern Adventist University’s Strategic Plan, a document released in 2022 that outlines the school’s future goals and objectives,  Southern is planning to move the University Health Center (UHC) to a new location and implement several new objectives. 

According to Dennis Negrón, vice president for Student Development, there are three goals in the strategic plan regarding the UHC, one of which will not be implemented. 

The first goal Southern wishes to administer is adding a general health fee, which would be charged to students each semester. However, Negrón explained that this has not been approved by the university yet. Right now, students have to pay a fee every time they visit the UHC. With a general health fee, students would be able to go to the UHC multiple times without having  to pay the visitation fee every time. 

“[The] University Health Center loses money,” Negrón said. “The university has to supplement [it] and give $210,000 a year. We don’t try to make money off students. One of the things that we know is that university health centers all over the country are losing money as well. Other universities have decided one way of dealing with that loss of money is to charge every student a general health fee.” 

Negrón said  the university wants to ensure that the UHC has the correct amount of staff to care for Southern students. 

  The second goal outlined in the strategic plan involved  a collaboration with McKee Foods. Negrón said this collaboration is no longer planned. 

The strategic plan set a third goal of finding a more convenient location for the UHC. The options listed in the plan include the current Collegedale Spanish-American SDA Church (SuCasa) building, Collegedale Academy Elementary and Fleming Plaza. 

Negrón said Southern is gearing towards the current SuCasa location, but has not confirmed anything yet. 

“We are looking at finding a way to make the UHC more convenient and accessible to our students in our big picture planning,” Marty Hamilton, associate vice president for Financial Administration said.  “We just don’t know where or when yet.”

Atzy Lopez-Avila, junior biology major, shared her thoughts on the possible relocation of the UHC in an interview with the Accent. 

“When I had COVID for the first time during my freshman year, I did not own a car, and that made it more difficult for me to get to the UHC,” Lopez-Avila said.  “It was January, and it was too cold to walk. [I didn’t go] until my roommate came back, and she took me to the UHC. It is nice to hear that Southern is thinking of having a more accessible and closer location to campus.”

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