Women’s Clinic covers wide range female health concerns, tests


Cassie Pegg-Kirby, the assistant director of the Women’s Center, discusses the use of the lamp behind her to treat seasonal affectedness disorder. Pegg-Kirby said that the lamp can help treat those affected, but shouldn’t be seen as a cure to it.

Kelsie Britton

University Health Services’ Women’s Clinic provides a wide range of care and treatment options for students.

Kim Myford, nurse practitioner at the Women’s Clinic, said students are often surprised to learn of how many services are offered through the clinic.

“They don’t view us as being for routine care, really, more for just the problematic issues,” Myford said.

She said the clinic offers roughly 15-20 different services to students, faculty and staff.

“If they wanted to start birth control or get a refill on existing prescriptions they have from a home doctor, we could do that,” Myford said. “If they have a yeast infection or a bacterial infection, then we can see them for that.”

While the Women’s Clinic offers breast examinations, pregnancy testing and general gynecological check-ups, Myford said Pap tests are one of the most important services students should take advantage of.

“The Pap test screens for cervical cancer,” she said. “Women should begin getting screened annually starting at age 21.”

The Women’s Clinic also offers STI screenings.

“It’s recommended for any girl under 25 to get annual STI screenings,” Myford said. “Once a year, or with any partner change. We have a lot of Chlamydia on campus and it’s always been that way, and that’s something that can cause you to be infertile so you don’t want to have that for a long period of time. About 80 percent of people don’t have any signs or symptoms of Chlamydia.”

Patients who have been diagnosed with an STI, or given abnormal test results from a different facility may receive follow-up care at the Women’s Clinic, as well.

“For people who live far away from home or out of state, it’s just easier,” said Myford.

Myford said that University Health Services’ pharmacy is another excellent resource for students away from home.

“We have quite a few prescriptions here,” said Laura Damicone, University Health Services’ chief pharmacist. “If there’s something we don’t have, we often can order it. But when you have so many students on campus, there aren’t too many products we haven’t stocked yet.”

Damicone listed vitamins, pregnancy tests, antibiotics and birth control, including Plan B, as some of the women’s health products available.

“We usually tell them if they’ve never been here before to call in and speak to one of us, but they can also schedule online,” Myford said.

Online scheduling makes appointment scheduling convenient for students, especially considering that same-day appointments are rare, she said.

Myford said privacy is a common concern that tends to stop students from visiting the clinic.

“A lot of students are afraid of their parents finding out,” she said. “We don’t communicate anything to any parents at all.”

Visibility on campus is the one thing most clinic staff says hinders the use of the facility.

“They just don’t know we’re here,” said Brianne Nelson, medical assistant at the Women’s Clinic. “I think (students) are very aware of the general medicine downstairs, but we kind of get mixed up in the chaos.”

For students still apprehensive about coming to the Women’s Clinic, Myford suggests asking around for positive recommendations from friends.

“We do get a lot of people who have come in because of their roommate or somebody that they know who’s come in and liked it and felt comfortable,” Myford said. “And some people come in and say we’re nicer than their own doctors, so that always helps.”

To learn more about the Women’s Clinic, visit http://www2.kent.edu/uhs/Medical/WomensHealthCare.cfm.


Contact Kelsie Britton at [email protected].