Though the start of flu season is weeks away, the waiting room in University Health Services was sprinkled with students seeking medical care on a recent weekday afternoon—among some of the first undergraduates and graduate students to visit the relocated UHS, up and running better than ever at 2150 Commonwealth Ave.
“We’re very happy in our new space,” said Director Thomas Nary, MD, who has been on the UHS staff for some 18 years. “Now we look like what a well-run clinic should look like and are in line with our peer institutions. We have state-of-the-art equipment and facilities that allow us to operate using best practices.”
University Health Services, which officially opened in its new location on June 27, can be accessed via a separate entrance on St. Thomas More Road to the right of the main entrance of the new Thomas More Apartments.
The 12,000-square-foot facility is not a lot bigger than Health Services’ previous home in Cushing Hall, noted Senior Construction Project Manager Edward Stokes, but “it’s a much more efficient layout.” It is also more environmentally friendly, with a dedicated HVAC system and lighting and faucets with motion sensors.
The technology associated with UHS has greatly improved, according to Dr. Nary. Students can now make appointments online. When entering the facility, students with an appointment can self-check-in at one of the computer stations.
The exam and treatment rooms feature advancements such as movable tables with adjustable lighting, new electronic vital sign measurement panels, and improved diagnostic tool stations. Dr. Nary said more storage space and the addition of meeting rooms also represent significant improvements.
Boston College is one of only a handful of colleges and universities in the country to maintain an in-patient health care unit. There are 10 beds at UHS for students who need a place to recuperate.
Having such facilities is a considerable advantage, said Dr. Nary. For example, he cited its use by students recovering from mononucleosis who manage to still attend classes and then return to rest in the infirmary. Last year’s norovirus outbreak would have gone on longer and affected more people, he said, if the connection to the Chipotle restaurant had not been so readily discovered via the cluster of patients in the BC infirmary.
“The value of the in-patient unit cannot be measured,” said Dr. Nary.
—by Kathleen Sullivan | News & Public Affairs