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Division of Student Affairs

Student Health Clinic updates include new staff, equipment, partnerships, student leadership

Posted on Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner joins Student Health Clinic staff

The UNI Student Health Clinic welcomes Jo Ellen Kubik, who joined the staff this semester as Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.  In that role, Kubik will meet with students who seek medical attention for mental health conditions.   The position extends mental health care which will continue to be provided by Dr. Abdur Rahim, M.D., F.A.P.A., who serves UNI students through a contract with the UNI Health Clinic. 

Shelley Matthews, Director of the Student Health Clinic, said the additional commitment to mental health services evolved from tracking the number of student visits for this level of care and tracking the amount of time for a typical series of appointments.  “Dedicating a staff person with a psychiatric specialty to serve students will bring a higher level of continuity of care and makes it possible to re-allocate physicians’ time for other students’ health care needs,” Matthews said.

Students will access an appointment with the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner through professional referral from other health care providers at the Student Health Clinic, students’ previous care providers, the UNI Counseling Center counselors and professionals who work with students on the UNI campus.  Kubik will also serve on the Assessment and Consultative Team, a group of employees who work with students throughout campus and who help identify needs and opportunities for intervention to promote student success.  “It is not unusual for untreated mental health issues to become a barrier for continuing college.  We offer support that helps students find fulfillment and success at UNI by treating temporary or ongoing mental health conditions,” Kubik said. 

“Adult onset of mental health conditions usually happens in the ages that correspond with the age of the majority of college age students,” said Matthews.  “Adding Kubik to the staff allows us to respond quickly to mental health conditions that are seen more frequently and are more complex than in previous years,” she said.

Health Clinic expands capacity to test blood

New equipment that assesses blood chemistry profiles has been added to the Student Health Clinic.  To maximize the value of the equipment, Student Health Clinic staff members will be evaluating the blood profiles of UNI staff through an established program organized by UNI Wellness Services.  Previously blood samples were evaluated by Allen Hospital for the employee program.  Reports will now be handled by the UNI Health Clinic and mailed to participants’ home addresses.

Two new partnerships enhance learning for UNI students

UNI students who are have earned a Medical Laboratory Technician degree from Hawkeye Community College and are completing coursework at UNI for a degree in micro biology to prepare for a career as a medical technologist are gaining valuable lab experience at the UNI Student Health Clinic.  This is a “win-win” for UNI because these students gain experience in a high-complexity laboratory, help our staff work through a large work load and benefit from the convenience of an on-campus job,” said Matthews.

A second educational alliance that has mutual benefits is a program granting access to clinical rotation experience for Allen College of Nursing students.  It is available to students preparing for the Bachelor of Science Nursing degree with a focus on public health.

“These programs give UNI additional opportunities to make a very direct contribution to the education of future medical professionals,” said Matthews.

Leah Wafful will lead student group that promotes health

Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) has 23 members and a full schedule of events for fall semester.  Leah Wafful, a senior communications major, is the 2010-11 president.  The group meets twice each month and organizes health education events at the Student Health Clinic, Maucker Union, residence halls and dining centers. 

Fall promotions include hand washing awareness in September, and STD prevention and “Avoid the Stork” birth control awareness in October.  When flu vaccinations are available for UNI students, SHAC volunteers will promote distribution of the vaccine and assist at flu vaccination events.