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March 28, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

Health center joins esteemed company

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -Slippery Rock University's student health center is among the standout higher education health centers in the country, having earned a three-year renewal of its accreditation from Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

Only 196-student health centers in the country that are members of the association earned the accreditation, said Kris Benkeser, SRU health center director.

"This means we are in esteemed company," she said. "Maintaining accredited status is an indicator of the health center's commitment to providing quality health care to students."

The three-year accreditation is the longest accreditation period available from the association.

Benkeser said SRU achieved a 99 percent compliance rate in the following categories:

patient rights and responsibilities,



quality of care provided,

quality management and improvement,

clinical records,

infection control and safety,

facilities and environment,

anesthesia and surgical services,

health education and

teaching and publication activities.

SRU's health center employs 15 registered nurses, three nurse practitioners, one health promotion coordinator, two clerical staff and student employees.

Benkeser said more students are taking advantage of the center's services. So far this year, center staff have delivered 14,009 clinical hours - 648 hours more than the same time period a year ago.

"This is the fifth consecutive year of an average visit length of 30 minutes, Benkeser said. "Although total enrollment has decreased, we are providing more hours of service. The data reflect a growing trend in student health. Patient visit length is in increasing secondary to the complexity of presenting issues."

Upper respiratory infections are the most common reason for a visit, including bronchitis, ear infections and sinus problems. The center has also seen a doubling of appointments for psychological services, she said.

Students surveyed reported a 98 percent satisfaction rate. The vast majority of students indicated they would use the health center again, Benkeser said.

Students said they most appreciated nursing care, physician appointments and prescription services.

"We believe that health and wellbeing are vital to a student's academic success," she said. "Student health services fulfills our mission by providing quality health care, and adhering to ethical, professional and legal standards."

The health center also contributes to SRU's wellness initiative and ongoing health education programs, including the Step Up! Bystander program.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.