Student Health & Counseling Earns Recognition as a Leader in Community Healthcare - Humboldt State Now

Student Health & Counseling Earns Recognition as a Leader in Community Healthcare

The Humboldt State University Student Health & Wellbeing Services (SHWS) has earned prestigious re-accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).

The SHWS business unit within Enrollment Management consists of Medical Services, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and Health Education and includes a range of campus wellbeing programs. The announcement recognizes high-quality work over the past three years and affirms SHWS as a top-notch outpatient program that meets hundreds of nationally recognized standards of quality care as determined by an independent process of evaluation.

Earning accreditation from AAAHC requires participation in rigorous ongoing evaluations, peer review, strategic planning and assessment, and education to continuously improve the care and services provided to HSU students. Led by SHWS Executive Director Dr. Brian Mistler, the HSU Student Health & Wellbeing Services team completed the final step in the process for this cycle with its on-site survey this Fall 2019, and will re-apply for accreditation again in 2022.

“We believe our patients deserve the best,” says Jennifer Sanford, CAPS Director and SHWS Associate Director. “When you see our certificate of accreditation, you will know that AAAHC, an independent, not-for-profit organization, has closely examined our facility and procedures. It means we, as an integrated organization, care enough about our patients to strive for the highest level of care possible.”

In HSU’s Student Health and Counseling Center students can receive a range of basic physical and mental health services at no charge as well as other augmented services at discounted rates. Mistler explains that services offered to HSU students include scheduled and acute medical care, x-rays, laboratory services, pharmacy, individual and group counseling, and a range of other services that have all been improved this year.

“I’m proud that we have expanded services and reduced wait-times for students seeking physical and mental health support through a number of strategic changes,” Mistler says. “Those include an easy welcome window to help students the moment they enter, walk-in-Wednesdays for counseling, quicker same-day medical triage systems supported by more providers and nurses and better technology, online appointments, more psychiatric appointments including an innovative telepsychiatry program, a dedicated multicultural specialist and a confidential case manager, vending machines across campus offering 24/7 access to important over-the-counter items like emergency contraception, enhancing our OhSNAP! Student Food Programs, thrift stores, and more. And we’re continuing to make it better every year.”

HSU’s counseling team saw the highest number of students for individual, couples, and group counseling in its history, with demand growing about 5% each year after controlling for enrollment, and combined with the medical team and health education program students had over 60,000 total contacts with Student Health and Wellbeing Services combined in the 2018-2019 academic year, directly impacting the vast majority of our students to help them succeed while they’re at HSU. SHWS has also continued to grow successful peer-led programs like asymptomatic STD screening, OhSURE! insurance signup and navigation assistance, and Choose-It-Yourself courses and online Interactive Wellbeing Map. Increasing these peer-led programs continue to increase important student employment opportunities at the same time.

“We are honored to receive this important recognition from AAAHC,” says Dr. Mistler. “It’s an empirically validated testament to the incredible hard work of so many the past three years, especially that of Jennifer Slye Moore, Dr. Karen Selin, Dr. Jen Sanford, and our entire team of dedicated physical and mental health professionals. Our mission is to help students succeed in their personal and academic paths by supporting the overall health and wellbeing of every student. While our journey of continual growth is never-ending, this recognition is an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come.”

Learn more on the Health and Wellbeing Services website.

Use the Interactive Wellbeing Map, an online tool and one-stop-shop to guide students toward healthy habits and quick, easy connection with the right health and wellbeing support services.