Health Services provides quality care

By Kristin Caveretta

It’s on-campus, inexpensive and professional. Their staff can help smokers quit and prepare partygoers for Spring Break.

Plus, students don’t have to be full time to get the free stuff they have.

Just one hour of credit on-campus makes a student eligible to take advantage of services offered by NIU’s Health Service facility (UHS). But just because 25,000 people on this campus can use the UHS, doesn’t mean they do.

Like most college health facilities, the UHS faces the challenge of proving their credibility to students. Beverly Espe , assistant director of the UHS, believes that the UHS is as good as any other health facility.

“We are constantly striving to prove our quality,” she said. “We extend ourselves to the students.”

The UHS is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Healthcare, which Espe believes proves their credibility.

The majority of UHS services are already covered by student fees. Some exceptions apply, such as prescription medicine and immunization. Those services and others not covered by student fees are offered at a discounted rate.

Marneshia Hiner, a senior child development major, also agrees that the UHS provides quality equal to that of an off-campus facility.

“I have been there every year that I have been here,” she said.

Hiner said that she would recommend the UHS to other students in need of medical care.

Although sophomore pre-elementary education major Colleen Walsh has never been to the UHS, she said that she has not been discouraged from using the facility and would go there if she needed medical attention while on campus.

Espe believes that some students may be reluctant to seek care from an unfamiliar face when they have established relationships with their family health care provider.

“We encourage students to see just one doctor when they come here,” Espe said. “Then they can build a relationship with us.”

Not only does the UHS provide medical care, but the UHS Health Enhancement Services works as a health educator on campus.

“We have an excellent health enhancement service,” said Sandra Belman, the coordinator of the health enhancement department. “We educate students about things that commonly affect this age population.”

Health enhancement provides information sheets to educate students about health and also provide health-related resources, such as nicotine patches.

Belman said students often come in to obtain health information for class related research, but hopes that students will also come in for personal information.

She is concerned that there be a good perception of the UHS so that students take advantage of the services that are there for them.

“I think that students may not realize what a benefit it is to have these resources here and how good the resources are,” Belman said. “The access is good, we have a lot of experts here, the student insurance is good, and they have a great network to refer students.”

For more information on the UHS facility and the services offered, visit their Web site at