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(Kansas City, MO – September 1st, 2017) – Avila University has partnered with St. Joseph Medical Center to run its on-campus health center. 

Avila University partnered with St. Joseph Medical Center, to enhance the health services offered on campus. SJMC began co-operating the college’s on-site student health center as of September 1, 2017. The partnership combines traditional on-campus care with expanded access to award winning hospital, specialty care, outpatient services, and a variety of outreach programs.

Previously the Health Center was operated by an Avila employed registered nurse. “Our nurse operated health center was a fantastic resource for students but, when nurse Jackie decided to retire we wanted to look at other options to expand services at the Heath Center” said ____ President of Avila University. St. Joseph Medical Center and Avila University were both founded by the Sister of St. Joseph Carondelet. Both institutions have kept their Catholic identity and have official agreements in place with the diocese of Kansas City.

___________, FNP-C, will be the full-time nurse practitioner in the clinic. She is familiar with college level student care and provides day to day oversight for on-campus diagnoses, treatment, and prescription services for common illnesses and injuries for students and employees of Avila University. She will also partake in several health-related committees on campus along with being involved in education through their well-known nursing program. The Health Center is a satellite office connected with Kansas City Family Medical Care, within SJMC and under the direction of consulting physician, Neal Erickson, MD.

The move expands services to students, including adding more hours that the center is open. The main reason for the change at the health center was to improve service provided to our students and faculty, said ______ vice president for finance and administration. “Our top priority, our mission, is our students,” he said. The clinic will now be staffed by a nurse practitioner employed by SJMC. Avila is fortunate to have a neighbor like SJMC that is a leader in health care to partner with, he said.

The Health Center, which opens under SJMC management on Sep. 1, will now be open five days a week instead of four and a half and will operate all summer long. “We’re very excited to partner with Avila,” said Jodi Fincher, SJMC’s Administrator. “We believe this agreement can pave the way for a much broader relationship to serve the campus and the community.”

One of the benefits of working together is that students with more complex conditions that require treatment beyond what the health center can provide will have access to all the services available within the hospital system, Fincher said. “We will be able to more easily connect students with other services available in our system in a coordinated model of care”.

Student and facility’s response has been largely positive, especially to the expanded hours of operation, according to _____, vice president of the Class of 2017 and a Student Senate member. “Many students have expressed that they are happy to see service have expanded and it has become more accessible by adding additional hours. To my knowledge, there has not been much concern among students about the change,” he said.

The partnership is a great example of the kinds of collaborations schools are engaging in to cut costs and focus on their missions, said ______, president of the _______ Council for Higher Education. Wittenberg is a founding member of the council. “Those kinds of strategic partnerships, I think we’re going to see more of that, especially at smaller institutions,” ______ said.