Navigating the complexities of health care can be confusing; particularly for college students who may be dealing with a health crisis alone for the first time. McPherson College will make it easier for its students to access health care and counseling resources on campus with a new student health center that will open in the fall of 2019.

Construction on the new facility will begin before the end of this year on Gordon Street across from Morrison and Metzler residence halls. When completed, the new building will house the health clinic and counseling offices. Currently, the offices are located in converted residence hall rooms in Harter Hall.

“Often cost, convenience, and office hours can prevent students from seeking medical attention off campus,” McPherson College President Michael Schneider said. “We offer our students the most comprehensive health and counseling services among colleges our size in the state. Our new clinic will allow greater access to high quality wellness resources on campus.”

Access to health and counseling services on campus was consistently the top concern on student surveys. In 2014, the college responded to students’concern over the lack of on-campus health services by contracting with Partners In Family Care to provide physical health services to campus. Partners In Family Care, based in Moundridge, Kansas, is a practice run in part by Drs. Paul and Marla Ullom-Minnich, both alumni of McPherson College.

Health services are currently available to students, faculty, staff and community members Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and provided by Ashlee Pauls, P.A., another McPherson College alumni, as well as Dr. Marla Ullom-Minnich. The new clinic building will provide an opportunity for the practice to bring a full-time physician on staff.

The college also works with Client Centered Counseling, a full-licensed practice in McPherson, to provide counseling services on-campus, at its downtown location, and in the event of a crisis. Linda Helmer, a McPherson College graduate, owns the practices and is one of the therapists that works with students.

Health and counseling services at the college are highly utilized by students and staff members, according to the clinic records. Student fees will include unlimited health care office visits for full-time students, as well as four visits with the counseling office at no charge. Clinical services, like laboratory work, are also available, but will be submitted to insurances.