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New CSU Health and Medical Center opens its doors to students and the community

*Correction: A previous version of this story did not clearly state that CSU is an in-network provider with many insurance companies. Additionally, Associate Director of Communications for the CSU Health and Medical Center is Kate Hagdorn and the construction company who built the building is A&P Construction. 

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The new Colorado State University Health and Medical Center, located at 151 West Lake Street, opened its doors to the public on Monday, June 26.

The mission of the new center according to Anne Hudgens, Executive Director of CSU Health Network, was to keep up with the growing student population and community need.

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Average student need based on last fiscal year: 15,000 students, 100,000 encounters, 250 medical and counseling visits a day. Infographic by CSU Health Network.

 

“We see 52 percent of student population every year and the average number of visits per year to our services is six, so it’s as if we were the medical service for a town of 30,000,” Hudgens said.

The $59 million dollar building was funded in part by CSU student fees, CSU Health Network revenue, tenant leases and private donations, including a $5 million gift from UCHealth, a $5 million gift from Bob and Kitty Wilson on behalf of Columbine Health Systems, and gifts from the Griffin Foundation, the Boettcher Foundation, and Pat and Larry Kendall.

“All enrolled students have full access to our services regardless of their insurance plan. We can bill private insurance and we are an in-network medical provider with most major insurance carriers,” said Kate Hagdorn, Associate Director of Communications for the Health and Medical Center. “So, students who have their own private insurance can access our services just like the students who have the CSU sponsored insurance plan.”

The building was designed by BWG architects, the same group that designed the Behavioral Sciences building on campus, and built by A&P Construction. As part of the University’s green initiatives, the new facility is LEED silver certified — though Hudgens notes they are working towards a LEED gold rating.

There are several interesting aspects of the building including unique designs such as an open spiral staircase meant to invite patients to take the stairs, and conference rooms that stick out from the building and light up at night, a design which the architects call “lanterns.”

Key features of the new facility:

Full service pharmacy available to students and community.

Commuter shower stalls available for staff who want to commute to work.

2 full classrooms for health education.

Women and Gender clinic connected to WGAC

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The first floor of the medical center is dedicated to both student, faculty and community health services. The second and third floors contain services focused on students only. Map courtesy of the CSU Health and Medical Center.

 

The first floor of the medical center is dedicated to both student, faculty and community health services including UCHealth Associates in Family Medicine, Poudre Infusion Therapy, a pharmacy, the Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging, and the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center.

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One unique service of the new facility that is available to the general public is the Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging.

“We want to keep people as healthy, as cognitively well-functioning, living in one place, successfully aging for as long as possible,” said Lise Youngblade, Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives for the College of Health and Human Sciences.

Melissa Wdowik, Director of the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center, notes that the healthy aging center and nutrition center expect patient overlap to promote a healthy lifestyle for local community members. Additionally, a conference room on the first floor will be utilized for outreach.

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“We are going to be holding seminars and events for the community. We even have a dance class for adults with Parkinson’s,” Wdowik said.

Despite the focus on community patients, the first floor of the center will have plenty of resources for students as well.

“Part of our mission is to educate our students, both graduate and undergraduates,” Wdowik said. “We have a wonderful work-room for our students, we usually have about 20-25 students with us.”

The second and third floors contain services focused on students only, including student medical services, optometry, immunizations, student counseling services, student health education and prevention services, and student dental services.

Interestingly, the immunizations center even has specialists for student and faculty travel.

“Travellers can come in for a consult and they will tell them what vaccines they need if they are going to places like the Congo,” Hudgens said.

CSU Health and Medical Center Staffing:

CSU student health network has about 200 total employees total. 17 medical providers: MD’s, Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners

26 full-time psychologists, 40 part-time counselors, 24-hour on-call emergency counselor

6 pro health education staff working in conjunction with student orgs CREWS (Creating Respect, Educating Wellness) and SHAC (Student Health Advisory Council) and Active Minds

Student health services, originally available in various buildings on campus, have permanently moved to the health center, including counseling services originally housed in Aylesworth Hall, and even dental services. For both areas, it is an upgrade in both space and quality.

The bigger area for counseling services will allow part-time counselors to take notes in another area, thus freeing up additional counseling offices for patients. Student patients receiving dental care will now be able to see out their window from the dental chair, rather than receiving care in a darker basement setting.

The new CSU Health and Medical Center also has a parking lot with 72 spaces dedicated solely to patients. Parking is free for both student and community patients but is not intended for use by medical center employees, who have their own lot, or the general public. The center hopes that by utilizing parking attendants to welcome and inquire about driver’s destinations, there will be greater accountability for those trying to use the parking lot to attend classes on campus. Additionally, there is a MAX stop for community members and an Around the Horn bus stop for students, should patients prefer public transportation.

For many staff members of the new health facility, it has been a project many years in the making.

“This opportunity to have all of our services in one place was important to us,” Hudgens said. “Aylesworth Hall was built in 1950 as a residence hall, and our student counseling services have been in there. Hartshorne Health Service was built in 1964 as an overnight infirmary, and we had grown big enough, we actually integrated services, medical, counseling, and health education, in 2008. So, really for a long time we have been talking about wanting to get all of our services under one roof.”

Ultimately, Hudgens hopes that consolidating their services to one place will allow for more communication between medical staff, and greater convenience for students and community members accessing care on campus.

“Our vision has been that students come to us as whole people and all of our services then are available to them for body and mind,” Hudgens said.

Collegian digital production manager Mikaela Rodenbaugh can be reached by email at mrodenbaugh@collegian.com or on Twitter @mikarodenbaugh.

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