Claflin University conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Student Health Center on Monday. University officials were effusive in describing its value to the University community.
The University renovated one of its existing buildings, Millwood A, into a Student Health Center after the center had to be relocated to make way for the new student housing complex under construction near Claflin’s Goff Avenue entrance.
“We saw a great opportunity to enhance our student services,” Claflin President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale said at the ceremony. “So we decided to do an extreme makeover of one of the existing Millwood cottages, transforming it into our new student health center.”
The 1,500 square foot building was completely renovated and the layout reconfigured, said Adrian Parks, general manager of facilities and engineering at the University. The new center includes a lobby, two exam rooms, nurses’ station, two bathrooms, lab, conference room, office for the doctors, small break room and file room.
The building also boasts new windows and doors, as well as new plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, and hot water systems.
“We also renovated the exterior by replacing the existing roof, installing an exterior soffit and exterior lighting,” Parks said. “We then added a stucco façade to the exterior block walls, and landscaped the entire building."
“Accenting the interior are a new energy efficient LED lighting system, new vinyl composition tile flooring throughout, new custom ceramic tile in the bathrooms, custom cabinetry and counter tops,” he said.
President Tisdale said the new Student Health Center will provide the overall primary health services for the University’s students, as well as offer services to its faculty and staff.
“We believe the ambiance of the waiting section, the private examination rooms, the consultation rooms and staff offices combine to create a center for which we can all be proud,” he said. “I hope the realization of a new health center will make you feel that the University cares deeply about its students.”
Dr. Ester Hare, medical director of the Student Health Center, said for many students, particularly freshmen, visiting the center will be the first time they have gone to a doctor’s office alone.
“Now, they are required to tell us about their health,” she said. “We try to be understanding, especially with those students whose parents are away. When their child is sick, they are very worried about their child, and we try to talk to them and call them and tell them what’s going on so they understand that we really do care.”
Juliette Satterwhite, the Student Health Center’s senior staff nurse, said the center’s purpose is to promote healthy lifestyle habits and encourage the development of responsible self-care.
“Our staff collaborates with local health providers in the community, as well as residential life, campus security and the counseling center” at Claflin, she said. “We are committed to fostering a campus environment of healthy individuals.”
Dr. Leroy Durant, vice president for student development and services at the University, said the center serves between 200 and 300 students a month.
“We have to provide the best care on a college campus for students,” he said, "and I believe this facility reflects our commitment.”
“We pride ourselves on being student-centered, so know that this health center is not just another building – it’s another point of pride, it’s another center of excellence on our campus, and represents a dedicated center supporting the overall health and wellness of our campus community,” President Tisdale said.