'We are here to help you succeed:' A Q/A with LU Student Health Center director Shawn Gray

LU Student Health Center

The Student Health Center is an on-campus healthcare service that provides healthcare and preventative healthcare for all currently enrolled students at Lamar University and Lamar Institute of Technology. In this Q & A, Shawn Gray, director of the LU Student Health Center, talks about the importance of the SHC for the campus community as Cardinals gear up for the start of the fall semester. 

Q: What is the mission of the Lamar University Student Health Center?
A: The Student Health Center is committed to providing healthcare services that support Lamar University's mission of engaging and empowering students with skills and knowledge to thrive in their personal lives. This is accomplished through an integrated approach of medical, psychological, and health education appointments and programming activities. These various avenues of healthcare delivery and education help students develop life skills in successful navigation and utilization of healthcare resources in society and beyond.
Q: What services are offered?
A: The LU Student Health Center several services for our students: Examination, diagnosis and treatment of acute illness; lab work; gynecology/well woman exams; immunizations; confidential STI (sexually transmitted infection) testing and treatment; and injury care including sutures, wound care and splinting.

Telemedicine appointments are available on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings for the following reasons: abnormal lab results; conjunctivitis (pink eye); insomnia, medication follow-up; medication refill; urinary symptoms; and nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea without abdominal pain.
The SHC also offers confidential mental health counseling services with counselors that can provide in-person or virtual sessions.
Q: Who can access these services? Shawn Gray
A: Anyone who is registered in the current semester at Lamar University or Lamar Institute of Technology can access our services.
Q: About how many students utilize the Student Health Center in an academic year?
A: More than 10,000 students access our medical and counseling services and the entire campus has access to our health education programs on campus. 
Q: Can you tell our audience more about the counseling aspect? Who is it geared toward?
A: Starting college is a major life event and many times students experience challenges that overwhelm them.  The SHC counseling services are offered in-person and via Zoom by licensed mental health counselors that specialize in issues specific to a college population. All services are confidential.  Our focus is short-term, cognitive behavioral therapy that will assist students in returning to an active, healthy, social and academic life. 
Q: What does success look like when working with a student both from a medical and therapeutical aspect?
A: Success is living life at its maximum potential for each individual.  This may not look the same for everyone.  It takes time, commitment and hard work to grow into a responsible individual that operates at their highest level. 
Q: What would you say to students who are hesitant to utilize the Student Health Center?
A: We are here to help you succeed. We are here to listen to and support your beliefs and help you decide the best path to good health. Our services are confidential as required by HIPAA.  We enjoy seeing students succeed and want to be a foundational resource for the campus.  
Q: Why is it so important to have a Student Health Center along with its various resources available to students?
A: Experiential learning encompasses academics as well as social, health, wellness and communal living.  The Division of Student Engagement and the Student Health Center provides the life skills to help students succeed and become productive citizens who have earned a degree.  Every department in Student Engagement provides areas pertinent to learning and living a well-balanced, healthy life during and beyond college.   
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A: Whether it’s learning about wellness and health maintenance, treating physical ailments or supporting and guiding students with emotional issues, the SHC is here to help guide, treat and support the campus in engaging in a holistic approach to wellness and community living.