Watkins Health Services offers checkups and additional services for students and some of its benefits are covered by the health fee in the required campus fees students pay every year.
But most students are not aware they’re paying a health fee, said Diana Malott, interim director of Watkins.
In the 2019-20 school year, students pay $131.95 in fees for Watkins.
The fee covers students who need check ups, so they can be diagnosed if needed. Additional fees come into play once practitioners discuss conditions and treatments with students.
“Students never have to have money in their pockets when they come see us,” Malott said.
Malott also said most students are first-time health consumers, and they’re used to their family being responsible for any healthcare-related issues or questions. It’s important for students to know what they’re signing up for because they’re making healthcare decisions on their own for the first time.
Watkins offers students some services that do require a payment. Those resources include immunizations, radiology and lab services, among other things. It also gives students the chance to purchase most prescriptions at below average prices, Malott said.
Before individuals run into a health-related matter, Watkins wants to make sure they know preventative steps to take in various areas. Watkins emphasizes health education so students can avoid ailments.
“It’s about equipping people with information, so they can have the agency to make their best choices,” said Jenny McKee, a program manager at Watkins.
If a student does have a medical problem that requires more than what the practitioners at Watkins can treat, then they’re sent to either Lawrence Memorial Hospital or a Kansas City area hospital.
Although many services are available at Watkins, many students still aren’t conscious of the benefits they can receive.
“I didn’t really pay attention to it, but it’s good to know so I can go down if I need a checkup or anything,” said freshman Kasten Green.
Another student, junior Kayla Harbour, says Watkins should make their services more noticeable.
“I think that if they’re going to take money out of my bank account and my hard work that they should really give us a detailed list of what that money goes toward,” Harbour said.
Malott and Mckee said Watkins sends four staff members, including McKee, around the campus to educate people about health benefits at Watkins.