Campus health departments seek to holistically heal

Photo of the Health Center doors
J Frank / The Mossy Log

Tucked away in the basement of Fowler Student Center is Lewis & Clark’s Health Center. They are dedicated to the well-being of LC students, staff, and faculty, yet many may not know all that they have to offer.

“The Health Center’s mission is to support the health of the LC community and provide compassionate and comprehensive medical services that support students in reaching their academic goals and in living healthy, well-balanced lives.” according to the LC website. 

The Health Center is a mini-clinic on campus, offering a large variety of services. Staff can tend to many needs, whether it be a treatment of illness and injury, physical examinations, pregnancy screening, birth control counseling and supplies, gender-affirming care, physicals and vaccines for overseas travel or lab testing. The Health Center also offers referrals to off-campus healthcare and specialists. 

Though the clinic itself is only open 8 a.m. to 12 a.m and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday the Health Center does offer after-hours resources. One such service is a nurse consultation hotline, which students can call to receive urgent medical advice when the Health Center is not open. This service is offered from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays and 24 hours a day on weekends and holidays at 1-877-617-9531.

The Crisis Counseling Service is also available through the Health Center. The Crisis Counseling Service is available when the counseling center is closed or when the staff is unavailable.  Students can reach The Crisis Counseling Service at 503-265-7804.

Currently, the Health Center is experiencing a staffing shortage, which has resulted in many students experiencing delays in appointment availability. If the Health Center is not able to accommodate a request for an urgent health concern, it is encouraged that students seek an off-campus evaluation. 

Neighboring but separate from the Health Center is the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness (HP&W). The two are often confused for one another but are separate, if similar, offices. HP&W’s focus is not strictly medical, but rather seeks to provide for students’ holistic well-being, including their emotional, physical and sexual health. Their work includes educational programming and prevention resources, as well as frequent collaboration with other campus organizations. Outside their office, students can pick up free condoms, internal condoms, dental dams, finger cots, Fentanyl test strips and other resources.

HP&W’s services include Zoom Rooms that students can reserve 24 hours in advance for private Zoom calls. The rooms are typically used for telehealth appointments or virtual interviews for jobs and internships. 

HP&W also has a few new health-based initiatives that have been launched in the 2023-2024 academic year concerning sexual health and harm reduction. 

“There have been a couple of new programs that have been launched this year. First would be our LoveSHAC initiative, which took place in the Fall and was a series of workshops that covered many different topics around sexual health and consent such as sexual decision-making, contraception, pleasure, consent and substance use, and more,” said HP&W director Michelle Callahan over email. 

They elaborated the additional ways that their office has expanded their support networks and opportunities.

“We’ve worked with athletic staff to get students trained on bystander intervention for sexual violence prevention. We’ve developed anonymous online self-assessments that students can take at any time to reflect on their relationship with substance use,” they said. “And finally, this semester, we’re working with the Harm Reduction Community Outreach Club and offering a drop-in peer recovery group for those who experience substance-related challenges happening weekly on Wednesdays in JR Howard 114 from 3:30 – 4:30.” 

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