Mount Vernon opens health clinic

GW’s Mount Vernon Campus opened a new student health services clinic in Merriweather Hall this month, replacing the clinic in Somers Hall that was closed because of construction last semester.

The new clinic provides similar services as the Student Health Services clinic in Foggy Bottom, but it will not give allergy shots, said Isabel Goldenberg, medical director of Student Health Services. The new facility includes two examination rooms, an office and labs.

Goldenberg said the new facility is cleaner and slightly larger than the old Somers Hall clinic.

GW built the facility partly to prepare for a population growth on the campus when a 180-bed addition to Somers Hall opens next spring, Goldenberg said. The campus, which hosts 260 women, will accept men for the first time and include a branch of the University Honors Program next fall.

“The new health clinic is definitely a necessary addition to the campus,” freshman Mount Vernon resident Lisa Lamberto said. “I think the new facilities will be very beneficial in the coming years.

The new clinic operates from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Students said the clinic’s limited hours do not hinder their use of the new facility.

“It’s only a short time, but most people will clear their schedules to get to the clinic if they are really ill,” freshman Louisa Leuchs said.

Goldenberg said she considered student input to determine the clinic’s hours of operation.

“Students prefer hours during morning and lunch time so they can take care of what they need before class or during free time,” she said.

The Mount Vernon clinic services fewer people than its Foggy Bottom counterpart, which also contributes to the short hours, Goldenberg said. During the 1999-2000 school year, the Somers Hall clinic saw 400 visits, she said.

Students should visit the Foggy Bottom clinic when the Mount Vernon clinic is closed, Goldenberg said.

“The Foggy Bottom clinic has extended hours and the shuttle drops students off right in front of the clinic,” Goldenberg said. “If it is an emergency then students can call the Student Development office at Mount Vernon for an ambulance.”

Students said visiting the clinic at Mount Vernon is more convenient for basic medical services than visiting the Foggy Bottom clinic.

“I think it will be useful to students who know of its existence and
want to be treated in a timely fashion and appropriately, as a person, not a number,” freshman Erin Rogers said.

Freshman Zara Konarski recently visited the clinic to treat a skin infection.

“The facilities are much more up to date and very clean,” she said. “It makes the whole experience a lot more comforting.”

Goldenberg said the Medical Center staff looks forward to holding
workshops at the new center, including classes on nutrition, massage and vegetarian eating.

The clinic will host an open house Feb. 16 from 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. for students and faculty members.

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