Congressman Ben Cline tours the new onsite student health clinic

Posted on October 15, 2020 by Dana Poleski

Student health clinic

The new Sweet Briar College student health clinic, located in the lower level of the Memorial Chapel, officially opened its doors to students on Oct. 6. Students now have immediate access to medical care through in-person and telehealth appointments.

President Meredith Woo and Congressman Ben Cline

On Friday, Oct. 16, Congressman Ben Cline visited the College to tour the new clinic. He shared with President Woo his recent remarks during a House of Representatives session about the College being recognized by the U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s most innovative schools.

“At Sweet Briar, we are intensely focused on our students and their well-being. That’s why we created the new health clinic. It’s a facility that will not only be used during the pandemic—it will serve our students for years to come.” says President Meredith Woo. 

Jodi Canfield, director of athletics and leader of the COVID task force says, “This timely decision was driven by our focus on the health of our students and was part of the College’s COVID response plan, which was created to safely reopen for in-person classes this fall. To best serve our increasing number of students and to maintain the high level of safety precautions needed for COVID, we made the decision to establish a comprehensive onsite clinic.”

Student health clinic
The new health clinic is conveniently located in the heart of the Quad, amongst the residence halls. “When evaluating the best location for the health clinic, we considered numerous factors,” says Luther Griffith, vice president of finance, operations and auxiliary enterprises. “The most important requirements were to situate the clinic in a location that was easily accessible for students, to create a safe, spacious and welcoming environment and to choose a location that was easily convertible. The lower level of the chapel proved to be the ideal spot. We completely renovated the space, transforming it into an efficient, effective and comfortable clinic. Upon entering, you’ll see a collection of prints by photography students in and around the waiting area. This is their clinic, and we want them to feel at ease.”

Student health clinic
The clinic has four examination rooms, a relaxation room, two behavioral health rooms, a telehealth room, a nurses station and an in-house lab. Health care is provided in partnership with Centra and HealthWorks. Behavioral health care is provided in partnership with Horizon Behavioral Health, a student service that was already established on campus.

The partnership with Centra and HealthWorks began during the early conceptual stages of the health clinic when the design and needs of the facility were discussed such as the layout, environmental management and cleaning, and technology resources. Health care services at the clinic are provided by HealthWorks with Duncan Hughes, MD, as the supervising physician, and Laura Cooke, RN, as the onsite nurse.

“Centra is delighted to partner with the dedicated students, faculty and staff at Sweet Briar College on the new onsite student health clinic. This partnership will make sure everyone has the opportunity to live their best lives as they focus on their education mission. With onsite and telehealth availability; Sweet Briar, we are with you,” says Michael Elliott, senior vice president and chief transformation officer.

Medical care is available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and students can virtually see a health care provider for general, non-emergency needs through a telehealth service, which is available at the clinic 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Behavioral health is available by appointment Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with various walk-in hours during the week. Learn more about the services available and how to access them.

Rep. Cline and Sweet Briar, HealthWorks and Horizon leaders (Left to right) Christina Ferrell, Damien Cabezas, Duncan Hughes, Ben Cline, Meredith Woo, Madeleine McAllister, Jodi Canfield, Luther Griffith