The University Health Center turns 20 this year and offers more medical services than the University of Georgia has seen before.
Built in 1997, the UHC replaced the tight quarters of the Gilbert Health Center, now known as Gilbert Hall on North Campus, which served as the university’s first medical center for over 50 years. Gilbert Hall, like other buildings on campus, has been repurposed and is now the home of the Department of Romance Languages.
Located at 55 Carlton St. , the UHC occupies 16.58 acres from the corner of College Station and East Campus Road. The medical center originally cost $10.5 million to build and is now valued over $26,387,000.
Located in a prominent spot on East Campus, the center strives, according to its mission statement, to advance the well-being of the students and faculty of UGA through primary and specialty health care, prevention-oriented services and research opportunities.
Through students’ semester health fees, which were $196 for the 2017 spring semester, the university is able to offer students and faculty numerous top accredited services ranging from primary care and physical therapy to vision and psychiatric care.
Despite the additional services offered, some students still see the health center only as an option for quick treatment and prescriptions when they are ill.
“ I have only gone to the health center once with the flu…,” says student, Elizabeth Slater, “if I am planning to go to the doctor, I usually make my appointments at home over [the] break, but it is nice when I have the flu and don’t have to drive [to get care].”
The fee also goes toward health promotion and prevention efforts at the center, such as the programs offered through Be Well UGA. Be Well UGA offers students free wellness and prevention classes with their student IDs covered by their health fees. Tobacco cessation, alcohol and drug awareness, nutrition and other health promotion programs are offered through the health center.
Students are not always pleased with the services that the UHC offers.
“It was fine. It was what I expected [from a university clinic]. I am very surprised that they have high accreditations,” says Slater on her experience at the UHC. “When I went the wait was kind of long, but that makes sense for how many people they were seeing.”
The University Health Center tries to resolve these experiences by forming the Student Health Advisory Committee, which provides students with a voice on operations at the health center and a channel for an open dialogue between the UHC staff and students.