If you ever find yourself feeling sick, you might head to the College’s health center. Unlike at some institutions, the Colleges runs Hubbs Health Center through an agreement with Finger Lakes Health, the same organization which runs Geneva General Hospital. Finger Lakes Health, or FLH, has recently “affiliated” with University of Rochester Medicine, one of the larger medical systems in the region.
The partnership between the Colleges and FLH has been ongoing, though the announcement that they would run Hubbs came in 2019. When asked what motivated the partnership between the colleges and Finger Lakes Health Becca Barile, Vice President of Campus Life said “The partnership between FLH and Hubbs was designed to enhance the network of providers our students have access to, from testing (such as X-Rays and labs) to specialists, as well as RNs, NPs, and medical doctors available to staff Hubbs at higher levels. By becoming part of the FLH network, we became better able to provide comprehensive services.”
The intervening years have obviously raised a number of health-related challenges. A global pandemic, challenges to reproductive health, and a growing mental health crisis all call for a response from the Colleges. Students have raised concerns, including a petition and resolution from student government demanding increased access to reproductive healthcare. As a result of those efforts, Hubbs now provides emergency contraception, and the school publicized existing partnerships with Folx Health and HeyJane to provide hormone replacement therapy and medication abortion, respectively.
Faced with these challenging times, how does the partnership with FLH hold up? Assessing the success of this partnership, Barile said that “ We have greater access to medical staff than in the past as a private entity. In the past, if staff were sick or unable to be at work, we didn’t have the staff to keep the center fully operational. With FLH, staff work collaboratively to provide uninterrupted service to campus, as well as bring new services to us, such as TeleHealth and online portals. This partnership also allowed us to have greater access to COVID-19 related supplies and testing, and to host a variety of vaccination clinics.”
The future is likely to hold similar challenges to the health of college students. The Colleges have recently announced their intent to become a “JED Campus”, a partnership with the Jed foundation to makes the campus more supportive of mental health issues.
“Health and wellness remain a priority for HWS and partnerships have been a productive way for us to provide students the services they need on campus. For example, a recent partnership resulted in a psychiatrist on campus which has been very beneficial to students. We are currently exploring other partnerships that will make Hubbs a satellite for additional local providers. We also are working with the FLH staff to provide more proactive programming to educate the campus community on health-related issues. “ Barile said.
The affiliation with UR Medicine also has implications for the future. Besides changing the logos, “The partnership creates a wider network of providers for our students giving them the services and resources they need here on campus.” according to Barile.