University of North Georgia officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday to celebrate the opening of the new Student Health Center on the Gainesville campus.
The center is the first of its kind to be offered to students on the Gainesville campus, following a health center that has been on the Dahlonega campus for some time.
Dr. Alyson Paul, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students on the Gainesville campus, explained that having a health center on the Gainesville campus is important for several reasons. One reason is the number of non-traditional students who have to pay for their own healthcare.
"This gave them an option where they can have good healthcare, but also have it at a pretty reasonable price," said Paul.
Students will be required to pay a $65 fee to use the center, but that fee is only paid once per semester and allows for an unlimited number of visits.
The center provides care on a walk-in basis, with treatment for ailments such as a cold, asthma attack or even the flu. An in-house dispensary also provides medication for students who display symptoms.
For students who do not require as much medical attention, there is a self-care center for over-the-counter medication. They are allowed to choose up to three items once a day.
In addition, a basic lab is located in the center where students can be tested for glucose levels, influenza and other illnesses.
The center features five exam rooms, and is staffed by nurses, nurse practicioners, physicians and physician assistants.
Although the university celebrated the opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, the center has technically been open for two weeks.
Karen Tomlinson, UNG director of Student Health Services, said that the student response to the clinic has been positive.
"I know on our first week here over a hundred students came in," said Tomlinson. "I felt like that was a very good response to us being here."