If you are a junior or senior here at Towson, odds are you knew what used to reside on the grounds that the current Health and Counseling Centers at Ward & West now call home. Before 2013, the building was used for student housing and was the first residence halls on campus for men when it opened in 1951. The closing of Ward & West Halls signified the end of a historical building’s days of housing students, but opened the door to bigger and better things for the rapidly growing needs of the Health Center on campus.
While the little building that was the Dowell Health Center was well known across campus, many agreed that it was time to make a change. One of those in favor of the change was Associate Director of the Health Center Kelli Remo. “It had been in the plans for years to bring Health and Counseling together into a state-of-the art facility,” Remo said, “This space allows us to deliver our services more efficiently, with more patient privacy and comfort than were previously possible.” Before the renovations the health and counseling centers were separate, but now they share a home, with the counseling center upstairs and the health center on the ground floor. Despite the upgrades, some students like sophomore Justin Fisher did not care where it was located. “I’ll always go there (Health Center) for help no matter the renovations,” Fisher said.
So what makes the new facility such a significant upgrade?
Along with a much more new and spacious venue, the facility is located right next to the Residence Tower and the inside has undertaken a massive overhaul. The downstairs area, not known by many people, is meant to be used as a hangout spot for students to do homework, eat, or even use your laptop. Vending machines are provided and picnic tables rest outside for those gorgeous Maryland spring days.
Once you walk into the building (main floor), there is a comfortable seating area with leather couches designed for relaxing. To the left is where you check in and this may be the biggest upgrade from the old facility. Now instead of having to wait in long lines at the front desk, it is now available for students to make their appointments online to ensure they get seen right away. The process has become completely electronic, all you need is to provide your insurance card and Towson ID number, and you will be seen by a doctor in no time. You can sign up for an appointment online at http://tigerhealth.towson.edu or you could do it the old fashion way by setting up an appointment on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Behind the scenes, the offices for staff members have been revamped and are easily accessible if needed to be reached. This is where Family Studies and Biology major Sarah Hogge does most of her work as an intern. If you’re looking for an on campus internship, this may be something to consider. “The best part of being an intern at the health center is being able to educate and help my peers,” Hogge said, “I believe that individuals and society function better when they are healthy and well. Being able to make a difference in someone’s health is amazing.”
Upstairs is now where the counseling center resides and it offers a nice view of campus from the roof. The counseling center has been moved here to make it a more private setting for students who do not wish to be seen in a counseling session. Whether you are having minor problems like stressing out over upcoming finals, you are feeling homesick, or something more serious like battling depression or anxiety, the counseling center will provide the necessary information and resources to help overcome these obstacles. The coolest part about this floor is that there is a rooftop view where you can sit on lawn chairs surrounded by flowers as you enjoy the view. Yes, you read that right, there is a garden on the roof of the health center.
The health center provides services for anything a college student would deem necessary including birth control services, diet and nutrition counseling, physical exams, and even minor surgery. For those everyday illnesses, Towson provides a Health Center Fast Track Clinic where students can be seen for sore throats, pink eye, poison ivy and more. The patients are then taken in order upon arrival.
While the center is used primarily for sick or struggling students, it also houses many conference rooms where student groups or clubs can have meetings. For Fisher, the conference rooms provided a much more convenient home for his group to meet “Our advisor is one of the psychologists,” President of the Towson chapter of Active Minds Justin Fisher said, “I knew it was being moved last year through my involvement in Active Minds.”
In order for a student to take full advantage of the opportunities presented, Kelli Remo suggested that all students should “Go to our website —www.towson.edu/healthcenter – and check it out. You’ll find a description of our full offerings there. Also, special events come up all the time and are announced on T3.”