Arriving at the tail end of the year with the onset of autumn, winter and seasonal illnesses, students might do well to remember the Health Center at Weber State University and the care and service opportunities it makes available to students.

On WSU’s main campus, the Health Center is located in Room 190 of the Student Services Center, and the facility provides lab, X-ray, pharmaceutical and health promotion services. All students who are registered and have a Wildcat card are eligible for Health Center assistance.

“We’re funded by student fees,” said Juliana Larsen, clinic director of the Health Center. “So most of our services are available at either no cost or low cost to students.”

Some of the available services include outpatient medical care, disease prevention and health promotion, some minor surgeries and suturing, X-rays, flu shots, and physical exams. In addition, the Health Center has a pharmacy to provide low-cost medications — both common prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines, such as cough drops, antihistamines or multivitamins.

For example, a student injured with a sprained ankle or broken foot may purchase a pair of crutches for $14, which is less than usual rental costs for crutches, Larsen said. A student may also purchase many medications from the pharmacy for $4 or less.

“We believe in our mission, which is serving students so they stay healthy and well and can show up at class ready to learn,” said Larsen, emphasizing again that the Health Center is completely focused on providing cost-effective, quality care aimed at the well-being of WSU students.

One large factor in student’s well-being might be the affordability — or, rather, non-affordability — of health insurance. Larsen said many students are young, between 18 and 30, and don’t see great value in having health insurance until they sprain their ankles or get appendicitis or similar ailments. The Health Center at WSU doesn’t do any billing to health-insurance companies, so students without health insurance are able to take advantage of its services at no or low costs.

“We know students are not rich,” Larsen said. “We want to help them stay healthy and graduate so they can go out and get good jobs.”

Ryan Marx, a WSU employee with Sodexo, said he isn’t too concerned about illnesses and that he’s never really had any serious seasonal sicknesses. During the illness-inducing months, though, Marx said he likes echinacea tea and takes it frequently, especially when he comes down with minor colds.

“It’s an immune-booster, and it works really well for me,” he said.

Similarly, Scott Brown, a chemistry major at WSU, said he gets sick maybe two or three times a year, but seasonal illness isn’t something he gives much thought to.

“I probably should get a flu shot, but, you know . . . ” he said.

Larsen said the Health Center is always looking for new opportunities to provide for students and taking ideas from students. She said a nontraditional student came to the Health Center with the idea for the pharmacy in the center, and the center was able to implement it.

“It’s a good place to be,” Larsen said. “It’s a privilege to serve students.”

More information can be found on the Health Center’s website at www.weber.edu/healthcenter. Students can call the center at 801-626-6459 or visit it in Room 190 of the Student Services Center.

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