Women’s health services available, inexpensive

Marissa Mikolak

Women on campus have a convenient way to keep up with women’s health issues and annual exams.

DeWeese Health Center, located on Eastway Drive behind the Ice Arena and across from Beall Hall, offers many services at its Women’s Clinic.

“We do a lot of annual exams, STD testing, prescriptions for birth control, birth control counseling, pregnancy testing, prescriptions for morning-after pills or emergency contraceptives, deal with breast problems and any other complaint related to the reproductive system,” said Lori Christopher, a certified nurse practitioner.

According to the University Health Services Web site, the Women’s Clinic is staffed by nurse practitioners, nurses and a supervising physician.

A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice nurse who is able to diagnose, treat and prescribe medication for medical conditions, Christopher said.

Christopher recommends that women have an annual exam, including a Pap test, once a year beginning at age 18 or at the onset of sexual intercourse.

“The Pap test tests cervical cells for abnormalities,” Christopher said.

The Women’s Clinic tries to educate students on healthy habits at home.

They especially try to educate students about such things as breast self-exams, birth control and STD protection and treatment, Christopher said.

In June, University Health Services began accepting outside health insurance, whereas in the past they only accepted Kent State student health insurance, said Nicholas Sukalac, coordinator for University Health Services Information.

“It’s important to bring your insurance card,” Sukalac said.

The staff at the University Health Services has been working for the past year to accept other health insurance, which they hope will make students’ use of the Women’s Clinic and other health services offered at DeWeese easier.

“This is a pretty big operational change,” Sukalac said.

University Health Services is also offering a new insurance policy to students this semester.

The policy, available to students enrolled in six or more credit hours, can be purchased by semester or academic year, Sukalac said.

When students arrive at DeWeese, they go through a computerized self-check-in and name their insurance carrier.

Although this mostly applies to the estimated 80 percent of students who have an outside insurance provider, students do not need to have insurance to use DeWeese.

“Students without insurance can still come to the Health Center,” Sukalac said. “Our services are open to all Kent State students.”

University Health Services also staffs an on-site pharmacy. Students may be able to save money by using this service as well.

“Generally, we charge as our everyday price what most pharmacies would charge as their sale price,” pharmacist Jim Hostler said.

The pharmacy supplies most medications, including birth control.

Hostler said they are able to get a contract price on birth control and make more brands available at a less expensive price.

Along with filling prescriptions, the pharmacy also offers more than 170 over-the-counter products.

Students can obtain almost any medication within a day because they get daily deliveries, Hostler said.

Overall, University Health Services enables Kent State students to stay well and healthy.

“People in here genuinely enjoy working with students,” Sukalac said.

Contact medicine, mental health and religion reporter Marissa Mikolak at [email protected].