Keeping Kent State healthy

Stacy Rhea

DeWeese Health Center offers more than treatments

Health insurance is a big issue. It’s important for students to understand all the benefits of the health center and how each form of insurance covers the student in a time of need.

The DeWeese Health Center welcomes all students.

“The door is open to all students, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Mary Reeves, director of health services.

“As long as you are a student, you are eligible to receive health care at the health center.”

Here’s a look at what the health center has to offer and how it works:


All students pay a general fee when they register for classes, much like they do for student media or for the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. A small portion of the general fee gets allocated to help offset some of the expenses at the health center. There is no direct health center fee, Reeves said.

“By paying a general fee and tuition, students are eligible to come to the health center,” she said.

The type of health insurance carried by a student – no insurance, university insurance or outside insurance – and the type of office visit determine what and if the student is billed.

Students without health insurance

“If a student is able to demonstrate financial need, we can, on a sliding scale, reduce payment to a self-pay rate,” Reeves said. “We will never deny anyone service for an inability to pay.”

Students with university health insurance

Students are covered for 90 percent of the office visit. The remaining 10 percent, upon the health center’s choice, is absorbed by the university. In the end, an office visit for a student with university health insurance is free. During the office visit, however, a student may need a test (a blood test, X-ray, etc.). In this case, the student is responsible for the remaining 10 percent.

Outside insurance provider

For students with outside insurance, the health center bills the insurance company with the student’s permission. If the carrier provides a partial payment, the health center credits the payment to its own account and absorbs the outstanding amount. Wilson said the health center never bills the student for the balance.


“Based on student feedback from students with university health insurance, Reeves was able to negotiate a $250 increase for prescription coverage,” account clerk supervisor LaMont Wilson said.

The $250 increase raised the student prescription coverage from $500 a year to $750, Wilson said.

Students with university health insurance have a $10 co-pay for each monthly prescription, Reeves said.

For students without university health insurance, the pharmacist will ask the student if he or she has other insurance or a prescription card. Reeves said the pharmacist will then tell the student what the cost is if he or she fills the prescription at the university. The pharmacist will also tell students what it will cost if they use their prescription card at another pharmacy.

“Sometimes it is less expensive for the student to use his or her prescription card at another pharmacy,” Reeves said.

Mental health

Psychologists developed outreach groups for women, Reeves said. They include:

&bull Body image and eating concern group

&bull Monday Montage

“The psychology department is planning on developing a men’s group for the fall,” Reeves said.

Weekend hours

The health center used to be open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“On average, only 2.6 students would come to the health center on Saturday,” Reeves said. “That wasn’t enough to offset the expense of having a full staff scheduled.”

To help offset the cancellation of Saturday hours, the health center extended its hours on Monday and Thursday to include evening hours. The center is now open Monday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“We took into consideration students becoming ill over the weekend, and staying open Thursday evening would benefit the students before they left campus for the weekend,” Reeves said.

24-hour nurse call line

In addition to offering extended office hours, the health center teamed up with University Hospitals to create a 24-hour nurse call line for all students at Kent State.

“After interviewing several companies,” Reeves said, “we chose University Hospitals because they have had, for years, a very successful 24-hour nurse call line and they have all the protocols in place.”

The 24-hour nurse line is staffed with nurses from University Hospitals. When a call comes in, the nurses determine if the situation is urgent and whether the student needs immediate care or if it’s something that can wait until morning, Reeves said. If not, the nurses will refer students to the closest health center.

During the academic year, approximately 60 students a month call the nurses call line, Reeves said.

The DeWeese Health Center is one of four in the state to carry the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

According to the AAAHC Web site, “The accreditation certificate is a symbol that an organization is committed to providing high-quality health care and that it has demonstrated that commitment by measuring up to the Accreditation Association’s high standards.”

DeWeese Health Center

Spring/Fall Hours:

Monday and Thursday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.;

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Additional Services:

Physical therapy, nutrition outreach program, radiology, laboratory, immunization

Off-campus health centers

Coleman Professional Services

3922 Lovers Lane, Ravenna

Office and Crisis Line (24-hour):

(330) 296-3555

Townhall II

123 S. Water Street

24-hour crisis line:

(330) 678-HELP or (330) 296-HELP

Appointment: (330) 678-3006

Important numbers

24-Hour Nurse Line: (330) 672-2326

Akron City Hospital: (330) 375-3000

Akron General Hospital: (330) 344-6000

Robinson Memorial Hospital: (330) 297-0811

Contact news correspondent Stacy Rhea at [email protected].