By: KENDALL ASBELL
IU South Bend is getting an abundance of new additions to its health sciences department thanks to the largest single donation ever bequeathed to the school.
The Vera Z. Dwyer Charitable Trust donated a whopping $5.8 million to be used for the College of Health Sciences at IUSB and part of that money is going to student health care.
IUSB is combining its Wellness Center clinic with a program called Health Link to create a better, cheaper option for healthcare. This is not just for students and staff, but also for the lower-income community of South Bend more broadly.
Since St. Joseph County cut funding for Health Link last year, IUSB has taken the program under its wing with the hopes of revamping it.
“One of the goals is to serve the under-served,” said nurse practitioner Christine Hawkins. She is one of the three nurse practitioners who work at the Wellness Center and teach on campus in the Health Sciences department.
The clinic now offers the same services as most doctors’ offices, including sexually transmitted infection testing, counseling, prenatal care, Pap smears and physicals. The new clinic will expand these services and add new programs, such as radiology for X-rays.
Out of the $5.8 million donated, $1 million has been specifically set aside to revamp IUSB’s health services. Currently, the IUSB Wellness Center and Health Link share a facility tucked away in the back of the SAC, ostensibly hidden to most eyes unless you know what you’re looking for. This will change in August 2017. Health Link and the Wellness Center will combine into one entity called Health Link at IUSB and move into the building next to the river, across the street from Northside Hall, previously known as Riverside Hall.
Until then, Health Link and the IUSB Wellness Center are still two different entities sharing the same facility. For those interested in the services, this breakdown can help in deciding which program is the best fit:
1. What are they?
Health Link is a program for people of the community, including students, with low income or no insurance. Health Link provides care for people who have severe or chronic problems, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. An intake coordinator can also help you navigate through the process of obtaining insurance and the optimal way to manage your health.
The Wellness Center is a program just for students and staff. Normally you would see them for a less severe condition such as a cold or to refill a monthly prescription.
2. What are the price differences?
Health Link has a sliding scale based on your income.
The Wellness Center varies between $20-$30 depending on the service.
*Payments can always be charged to your bursar account.
3. What is the difference in open hours?
Health Link is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Wellness Center is open Monday through Wednesday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
*Once the new facility opens, hours will expand into the evening and possible to Saturday mornings.
4. What services can I receive?
You can receive the same services as you would at any doctor’s office through either program, but if it is a chronic illness, you will most likely go through Health Link.
5. Takes insurance?
Health Link: Yes
The Wellness Center: No
Navigating your way through the endless options for healthcare can often be confusing, time consuming and expensive. There’s already so much on your plate as a student that taking the time to figure it out might not seem worth it. Save yourself the time and trouble and visit the Wellness Center. It’s cheap, the people are friendly and the clinic can address your health needs.