Health and Counseling Center introduces new staff and new virtual resources
After a semester full of transitions, the Health and Counseling Center (HCC) is in the process of re-staffing and is more prepared to serve students, according to Director Carol Dell’Oliver, who was hired in August. Additionally, the HCC is rolling out two new programs to help serve students after business hours.
, but the after a series of departures. The late November hire of interim physician assistant Joe Buck marked the end of that staffing drought, and the HCC has begun to rebuild its primary care staff with the hire of family nurse practitioner Courtney Rau and registered nurse Miko Hoy. Kyli Mathies, who previously worked in the HCC in 2015, was rehired as the medical office administrator.
Dell’Oliver said that the new hires should significantly boost the number of students the HCC is able to serve during the business week when it is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and new services like Providence RN and Providence Express Care Virtual are available to help students after hours.
, which is free to students, is a nurse advice line that students can call to “discuss health-related issues and receive guidance on next steps for care,” according to HCC staff. This service also can help connect students with local resources or medical referrals if needed. According to the HCC website, this service is available all day, every day.
allows students to virtually connect with a licensed nurse practitioner who can help make treatment plans and prescribe medications. Although this service typically costs users, it is free to enrolled students every day from 8 a.m. to midnight.
“My thinking is that we will be able to serve more students when we have more providers,” Dell’Oliver said. “We’ll be able to do more education and outreach.”
Dell'Oliver said the amount of students seen per week will depend on the quality of care available, not a fixed number.
“I really want to emphasize providing that excellence in care so I don’t want to have a quota (for students seen per day) since we don’t need to be profit-driven here,” Dell’Oliver explained. “It comes and goes in waves with the students needs.”
Rau, who earned both her undergraduate nursing degree and her nurse practitioner degree from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, comes into this position with experience caring for college students. Before moving to Portland, she lived in Austin, Tex. and worked at a clinic near the University of Texas.
“My goal is that students aren't turned away when they come to the Health and Counseling Center,” Rau said.
Hoy doesn’t come from a collegiate background, but has experience working in urgent care settings. She completed her schooling at University of Oregon and Hawaii Pacific University, and has experience working in a vascular surgery unit at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Portland.
“The (new staff) have relevant experience to handle a broad array of medical issues for our student population,” Dell’Oliver explained. “They are also really interested in doing more education and outreach to our students so I would love to have our medical staff have a more visible presence on campus.”
Dell’Oliver said that she and Rau will soon make a guest appearance in a health psychology course with a lecture about integrative medicine and evidence-based natural remedies. On Wednesday, the HCC will host an event called “Let’s talk about sex,” with counselor Staci Wade-Hernandez and physician assistant Joe Buck.
The director of primary care position that was vacated by registered nurse Susan Chisum in the fall has yet to be filled, but Dell’Oliver said she plans to do that soon. Additionally, she said she plans to hire one medical assistant.