Health Services awarded for patient care

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Caitlyn Oliver

Georgia Southern University’s Health Services has been accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) as one of the best in the state for walk-in health care.

GSU was also recognized as the first in Georgia to be a certified Patient-Centered Medical Home.

The only two other schools in Georgia that have achieved AAAHC accreditation are Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“It took over five years to put everything in place to have a team come in to evaluate the facility and they were impressed we could do so much with limited resources,” Paul Ferguson, director of Health Services, said.

The current facility was built and established in the year 1977 to accommodate a student population of approximately 11,000 students.

A new facility on Plant Drive and Chandler Road will start construction over the summer and be open by mid-2015 to care for the 20,000 students attending GSU.

The new Health Services building will be almost twice the current size. Students will be able to have same-day appointments rather than make appointments for minor problems.

“Part of the problem was that we have limited exam rooms. The new facility will have forty rooms to see patients, whereas the current building has only thirteen rooms and we can only handle about one-hundred fifty students per day,” Ferguson said.

The current Health Services building will not be torn down but it is uncertain at this point what will be done with it.

“Many of our students are from over one-hundred miles away. We want to offer enough services that students won’t have to go off-campus for anything,” Ferguson said.

The new facility will offer a full retail pharmacy that will expand on the variety of medicines currently offered. The pharmacy now only offers generic medication.

Health fees count as a one-time co-pay. Health Services negotiated with insurance companies to allow the one-time co-pay instead of paying each visit.