Continuing Care and New Faces at Clark’s Health Center

By Liepa Bračiulytė in News

Clark provides numerous health and counseling services for students and staff, from immunizations to STI testing and from personal to academic counseling.

“We can diagnose, treat, give out prescriptions, and do blood work—the blood work is really affordable,” said new Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Ashley Schumacher.

Most of the health services come with a fee, but all counseling is free, Schumacher said.

The health services office doesn’t bill insurance. However, people who are below a specific income level may qualify for reduced fees for immunizations, she said.

“We can complement people’s regular health care providers,” Schumacher said. “It’s not like if you have insurance, you can’t come here.”

Health services can also “help students in the health occupation programs get their immunizations done,” she said.

According to Dean of Student Success and Retention Matthew Rygg, not enough students take advantage of the services provided. “I think it’s a combination of not having enough time or not prioritizing their own wellness and not being aware of the services.”

The counseling is short term, confidential and solution-focused, Rygg said.

Rygg said students may come in for a variety of academic issues, like whether to stay in school or get a job, and anxiety about graduation or future employment.

Among the personal issues that might prompt a student to seek counseling are loneliness, confusion, relationship problems, depression and dealing with perfectionism and other unrealistic expectations, Rygg said.

Rygg said the college has three counselors seeing students for personal and academic issues and one counselor for career advice in the Career Services office.

Rygg said the college will be hiring a new director of Health Services to replace Tami Jacobs, who left Clark this summer to become the dean of Student Success at Pierce Community College south of Tacoma. Rygg said college officials are in the process of formulating the job. “There is a budget shortfall so we are trying to get creative about how we can fund the position.”

Schumacher came to Clark from Portland and has 13 years experience as a nurse.  She became a nurse practitioner five years ago.

“I’m really excited about working with college students just because I think that I can focus more on prevention,” Schumacher said.

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The health and counseling services are located in the Health Sciences Building in room 124, and can be contacted at 360-992-2614. The office is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. More information is available at http://www.clark.edu/campus-life/student-support/counseling/health.php.

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