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Pitt State students have expanded health care access through new partnership

Pittsburg State University students, faculty and staff will have expanded access to medical care, pharmacy, and mental health services on campus and in the region, thanks to a new partnership with Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas (CHC/SEK).

CHC/SEK assumed operations this week of the Bryant Student Health Center, located at 1801 S. Broadway on the Pitt State campus. The clinic will extend hours to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters and from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays in the summer.

“This partnership aligns perfectly with the culture of success we are building for our students because it will make the Bryant Student Health Center even more accessible,” said Pitt State President Dan Shipp. “It’s clear that students who have greater access to physical and mental health care have a better overall college experience, which ultimately helps them to achieve their academic and professional goals. We are fortunate to have a nationally recognized community health partner right here in Pittsburg!”

Providing school-based health care is not new for CHC/SEK.

“CHC/SEK was founded in 2003 to ensure children were ready to learn and have always collaborated with Pittsburg Community Schools to provide on-campus medical, nursing, dental and mental health care,”  said Krista Postai, the agency’s CEO. “Our care is now available in 18 different school districts.”

“We have cared for Pitt State students and their families, along with their faculty and staff, for years but this will more closely connect us to the campus community,” she said.

Pitt State students, as well as faculty and staff and their family members, can call, walk in, or make appointments to get medical care and/or mental health services. They also can receive care at any of CHC/SEK’s 15 locations across the region — six of which are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week — including two in Pittsburg. A medical provider also is on call to students whenever the clinics are closed.

The Bryant Student Health Center telephone number, 620-235-4452, remains the same and now will be answered from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Benefits for students will be similar at all CHC/SEK locations, with student health fees helping to offset any copays or deductibles. All insurances will be accepted, allowing students, faculty, and staff more on-campus access. Discounted services are available for those meeting financial guidelines. Everyone is welcome, regardless of insurance or economic status.

As in the past, a limited number of prescription medicines will be available at BSHC; all other medications may be obtained at any of CHC/SEK’s six Apothecare pharmacies or the pharmacy of the patient’s choice. CHC/SEK does have access to discounted medicines through the federal 340B drug program, which makes them affordable to all.

Most immunizations will be available – especially those geared toward young adults – on a walk-in basis during all hours the clinic is open.

Additional resources coming to the BSHC include relocation of The Gorilla Pantry, which provides free access to food staples to students; those staples will be supplemented by CHC/SEK’s food programs if needed.

CHC/SEK will employ a full-time Campus Advocate to help students who are the victims of violence, as well as offer education on relevant topics.

Transportation also will be available through CHC/SEK’s CareVan transportation service, which can be reached at 833-228-7433.

“I’m excited for the extended hours, which will make it much easier for students to get care on weekends and later in the day,” said Anna Thompson, a rising senior in Social Work.

“I also really appreciate the mental health services we’re going to have access to — that will be really beneficial. Our health center was great, but now there’s even more. Moving the pantry over is also very nice because it will be more visible.”

Postai and Shipp said the partnership would not have been possible without a dedicated transition team of about 25 individuals headed by CHC/SEK President Jason Wesco, Chief Operations Officer Lori Rexwinkle, and Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Linda Bean.

“Our goal was to have everything in place in time for the fall semester,” said Postai, adding that the BSHC staff — most of whom have transitioned over as CHC/SEK employees — have been instrumental in the planning and implementation.

“We’re excited about what this means for Pitt State and the health of our region,” said Shipp.


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