The college announced Wednesday that Boettcher Health Center will no longer provide services during overnight hours, but will extend the hours that nurse practitioners and their support staff will be available during the week.
“The college began working with Colorado Springs Health Partners in August 2012 to provide services at Boettcher and to review all aspects of the operation,” said John Lauer, Senior Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life, in an email sent to the community. “Given the excellent emergency health care services within close proximity of the college (two emergency rooms less than two miles from the college) and the limitations and expense of overnight services that were previously offered at Boettcher, the college made the decision to end overnight operations.”
The discontinuation of those overnight services means students in need of emergency medical attention after-hours will have to travel to either Penrose Hospital, north of campus, or Memorial Hospital, east of campus. The move could be problematic for students without cars, including first-years who are encouraged to not have a vehicle on campus.
The college did not address this issue in their release to the community.
The health center has traditionally played an integral role in campus life, including for Campus Safety, who worked closely with the health center in the past, ferrying ailing students to and from the circular building at the heart of campus at all hours of the night.
Extended nurse practitioner hours could ease some of the congestion at the always-busy clinic, making more appointments available to students needing healthcare.
“Beginning at the start of the 2013-14 academic year, Boettcher Health Center will extend the hours it is staffed with nurse practitioners and their support staff by two hours per day, Monday through Friday,” Lauer said. “Boettcher will now offer this level of care from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.”
A medical assistant will respond to calls, drop-ins and schedule appointments from 7 a.m. to 10:30 Monday through Friday, as well.
Stay with The Catalyst for more updates on this story and look for an extended version of this article in the first printed issue of the newspaper, published September 6.
Jesse Paul, Editor-In-Chief