NEWS

Campus Health History: A look back on 100 years

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Courtney Talak | The Daily Wildcat Nutritional sciences students Kiersten Kunkle, left, and Macie Andrews, right, walk out of the Campus Health Center.

The University of Arizona Campus Health recently celebrated their 100 year anniversary of serving the student body and the Tucson community by promoting health, wellness and safety.

Campus Health began because of a flu epidemic that was affecting people worldwide in 1918. The entire UA campus was quarantined and they turned a wing of Old Main and one floor of the Agriculture building into a hospital to help care for the sick patients. This was the first development of healthcare on this campus.

In 1919, Campus Health was an infirmary in the Schweitzer Building, which is now the Science and Engineering Library. From 1936 to 1951, Campus Health was located on the UA Mall, on the NW corner of University and Cherry Ave. It was not until 1995 when Campus Health built a new building on the UA mall and renamed it Campus Health Service. Now in 2018, Campus Health is located at the Highland Commons Building, NW of 6th St. and Highland, after the building was finished in the fall of 2003.

In a 2018 survey, 68 percent of the more than 5,400 students polled said the services available at Campus Health had helped them remain a student at the UA. Also, 99 percent of UA students say they would recommend Campus Health to a friend, according to a 2018 patient satisfaction survey. 

As long as a student is enrolled in 1 credit unit at the UA, they can seek services at Campus Health.

UA Campus Health has more than 70,000 patient visits, fills more than 32,000 prescriptions and takes more than 2,000 x-rays every year.

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The University of Arizona Campus Health celebrated their 100 year anniversary at an event on October 18th, in the courtyard of the Highland Commons. Festivities included a performance by Fred Fox School of Music's Speakeasy Ragtime Band, which played popular music from 1918. Notable speakers included UA President Robert C. Robbins, dean of students and assistant vice president for student affairs, Kendal Washington White and Tucson mayor Jonathan Rothschild.

Lee Ann Hamilton, assistant director of health promotion and preventative services at Campus Health, was a prominent speaker at the 100 year celebration of Campus Health. She said, “We have excellent integration here and are in a good position to address the most common health issues students have, such as upper respiratory infections, injuries and testing for sexually transmitted diseases.” She also added that on average, Campus Health sees about half of the student population a year.

“Outreach, education and prevention are key here, and that is something that sets us apart from other health clinics,” Hamilton said.

Amanda Kraus, the assistant vice president of campus life wanted to thank the entire Campus Health Department for the dedication to the health and safety of not only students, but the entire Tucson community. 

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“It is because of your exemplary service and dedication that our students and our on-campus housing residents stay healthy,” Kraus said. She also wished the department luck on the next 100 years of service.

Aaron Robinowitz, co-director of the Student Health Advocacy Committee (SHAC) said that the commitment to the well being of the student body is seen within every member of the Campus Health Department. He also wanted the thank the department for their guidance and support throughout multiple collaborated projects throughout these last several years. The SHAC teamed up with Campus Health to make the UA a tobacco free campus and increase Meningitis B vaccinations.

“We feel fortunate to attend a university that wholeheartedly cares about the health of its students and faculty alike,” Robinowitz said. “Beginning college is a vulnerable and confusing time for many students; Campus Health mitigates these concerns by providing access to an on-campus pharmacy, emergency psychiatric services and counseling, and online appointment scheduling.”


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