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Student Health Service

GW announced that the new Colonial Health Center will open Jan. 5.

The center will bring Student Health Service, the University Counseling Center and the Center for Alcohol and other Drug Education under one roof. The University also announced that the GW Parenting Initiative, which researches breastfeeding and parenting education, will have a space at the new location.

The move to the space that once held the Marvin Center bookstore has been in the works since November 2013. University President Steven Knapp announced at the time that he supported then-Student Association President Julia Susuni’s push for GW’s health and counseling centers to move from their K Street locations to the heart of campus.

As the waitlist for counseling has grown over the years, administrators and student leaders have lauded the new location for its larger space. The new center will have features like opaque glass and separate waiting rooms to ensure privacy for patients.

The center will be closed from Dec. 22 to Jan. 2, and services at the former locations will end according to their regular semester schedules.

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Sen. Nick Gumas, CCAS-U, sponsored both bills at the Monday meeting. Erica Christian | Contributing Photo Editor

Erica Christian | Contributing Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Anuhya Bobba

The Student Association will hold a campus-wide vote on whether to move the campus health center and counseling services into one building on campus, just days after a top administrator said relocating the offices was not feasible.

Senators unanimously approved the resolution, which did not provide alternative on-campus locations for the offices.

The SA’s effort to rally support comes days after Senior Associate Dean of Students Mark Levine told The Hatchet that the University does not have any on-campus locations to accommodate both departments at this time.

Sen. Nick Gumas, CCAS-U, who sponsored the bill, said he predicted an outpour of support for the plan – which could sway administrators to make other space available.

“We aren’t just asking something for the sake of asking something. We are asking something because research shows that this is the best thing for our students,” he said. “We wanted to put this issue into vote so students themselves can directly show their support. Administrators can then get a hint that we want this.”

Senators will set a date for the vote within 20 days, according to the body’s constitution.

Levine, the University’s top health administrator, also said merging both departments on campus was unlikely because of the steep costs of moving and switching building leases.

Student Health Service is located at 2141 K St., while the University Counseling Center is located at 2033 K St. Levine declined to say how many years remained in GW’s leases with the buildings.

The last SA referendum was held last fall, when the majority of voters choosing to increase the student activity fee. About 14 percent of the student body took part in the online voting.

Gumas also sponsored the second bill of the night, which called on the University to conduct a campus-wide study of hazing by the National Collaborative for Hazing Research and Prevention.

He said that the University has not taken a “proactive” stance on hazing, and that the survey would help students fight the issue with concrete data rather than anecdotes.

This post was updated Tuesday, Oct. 8 to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the student health legislation did not initially call for a referendum. That initial legislation did include a referendum, but senators voted to change the non-binding resolution into a bill.

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SHS will hold a flu shot clinic from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Jan. 17. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons License

Vaccine shortages have been reported in the D.C. area, but Student Health Service has ordered additional flu shots as the peak of flu season nears.

Walgreens on 22nd and M streets said Friday that it will likely exhaust its supply of flu shots this week, and is not expecting an additional shipment of the vaccine, according to a store pharmacist.

A pharmacist at CVS at 2000 Pennsylvania Ave said Friday that the store expects to have enough vaccinations for the next few weeks.

The University’s student health center will hold a flu shot clinic Jan. 17 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Isabel Goldenberg, director of SHS, said.

Last fall, SHS provided 800 flu vaccines, which cost $20 for students not covered under the University’s insurance plan.

The Center for Disease Control has predicted this winter to be one of the worst flu seasons in a decade, reporting an increase in cases in early December. Flu season typically peaks in January and  Feburary.


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Nurse practitioner Callie Johnson waits for students in Thurston Hall room 110 Thursday afternoon, where Student Health Services held free walk-in office hours to give advice on staying healthy in the midst of a norovirous breakout on campus. Michelle Rattinger | Senior Photo Editor

Updated Feb. 16, 9:57 p.m.

Student Health Service offered a five-hour block of free walk-in assistance at Thurston Hall this afternoon to help treat students suffering from the norovirus outbreak.

A nurse practitioner was stationed on the first floor of the residence hall from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Student Health Service’s existing satellite office to answer students’ questions and perform triage.

Isabel Goldenberg, medical director of Student Health Service, said the office “chose Thurston because it houses freshman students who may need more support while being sick.”

Office hours have not been scheduled for other locations on campus, Dean of Students Peter Konwerski said.

A public health notice issued by the University Wednesday estimated that about 85 students had been affected by the virus. University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard declined to provide an updated case total Thursday, saying it was difficult to measure because most students have decided to stay home and wait out the virus after learning about the outbreak.

Symptoms of the norovirus – passed through contact with infected individuals or contaminated areas – include diarrhea, throwing up, nausea and stomach cramping.

There are no plans to cancel classes.

“We continue to clean and spread the word about hand washing and other prevention protocols that help stop the spread of the
norovirus,” Konwerski said.

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Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011 11:07 a.m.

Pneumonia cases spike this fall

Pneumonia, flu shots, sick

Then-senior Brandon Mansur receives a free flu shot during free clinic offered by the University in 2009. File photo

GW has seen higher than usual rates of respiratory illness this fall, a University spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Since the end of July, 46 cases of pneumonia were reported to the GW Student Health Service, an uptick from the average two to three cases per month last fall. The most recent case of pneumonia was reported Nov. 18.

University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said students affected included both undergraduates and graduates living on and off-campus, adding that the cases have generally been mild to moderate and were resolved within seven to 10 days through treatment with antibiotics.

“Every few years these situations happen in university settings and the GW Student Health Service constantly monitors for any student health trends,” Sherrard said.

She said a single cause of these cases has not been identified, but University officials are working with the D.C. Department of Health to track the cases and monitor the situation.

To help prevent the illness from spreading, GW has encouraged students, faculty and staff to wash their hands regularly, cover their coughs and get flu shots at campus clinics and has made extra efforts to clean high-traffic areas.

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After months of attempting to procure H1N1 vaccinations, the University began administering the vaccine to students Wednesday afternoon.

Isabel Goldenberg, director of the Student Health Service, said 277 students received the H1N1 vaccine from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, adding that an additional 550 doses remain.

An Infomail was sent to the University community at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, telling students that SHS received the H1N1 vaccine and would start distributing it to students in the SHS office on a first-come, first-served basis. By 2 p.m., SHS was filled with students hoping to receive the vaccine.

“We have 550 doses left, mainly nasal spray,” Goldenberg said in an e-mail. “We are expecting more allocations from the Department of Health. Most likely they will come after the Thanksgiving holiday.”

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