U.S.M. Opens First Student Health Center in Long Beach

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The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park opened its very first student health center Tuesday, after petitions and multiple meetings between students and administration.

The facility allows students to access multiple healthcare needs right on campus in hopes of providing some of the same care to Long Beach students as the students in Hattiesburg. April Mazepa, a student, says, "We’re excited to have it on campus. It’s exciting to have access to medical services in Long Beach as well as in Hattiesburg."

Last April, students began petitioning for more services on the Long Beach campus. The administration answered their requests by opening three new facilities, including the health center. Doctor Virginia Crawford is excited to be a part of the expansion. Dr. Crawford says, "We are eager to provide a culture of wellness on all of campuses, and this has been a talking point for a long time and this building became available and we decided it needed to happen."

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As of now, the health center is only open on Tuesdays. Dr. Crawford also says, "It’s a pilot project. We’re coming once a week and seeing what the real need and desires of the students, and faculty, and staff really are, and we’ll develop programming around those findings."

The student health center offers integrated health services, which include mental and physical care. They also have a registered dietitian on staff. Mazepa also says, "Students have a lot of stress to deal with, and mental health services can really help students with their success rates during their college career."

So whether it’s a sore throat or a broken heart, the new student health center is ready to meet the needs of its students.