By Steven Viera || Senior Editor
On Tuesdays and Thursdays since the beginning of the semester, representatives of the College and Lancaster General Health (LGH) have hosted open informational sessions at a table in the Steinman College Center to discuss changes to F&M’s health services and insurance offerings. F&M established a partnership with LGH last year to strengthen the quality of medical care and insurance available to students.
Information sessions, which are often held the hour before and after noon, are facilitated by Margaret Hazlett, dean of the College; Gretchen Masters, student health insurance coordinator for the College; and Robert Drummond, project manager for LGH. They address student concerns, such as the prices for medical services, how to sign up for complementary care, whether students are eligible for Pennsylvania-state Medicaid if they already have out of state Medicaid, and more.
Another question students may have is why the College decided to partner with LGH, especially because F&M already offered medical care and insurance through Appel Health Services.
“Given the increasing [complexity of] medical issues students today are bringing to college campuses, we felt it prudent to partner with a leading medical provider in the area to broaden our services and provide greater access to a network of providers beyond our campus,” Hazlett said.
Hazlett also noted that LGH is one of the largest medical groups in Pennsylvania and that they now have a partnership with Penn Medicine, another large medical system, which gives students means that students will now have even greater access to a large network of specialists and resources that stretches beyond F&M’s campus.
Additionally, the partnership will see the creation of an electronic records system, which will make it easier for LGH to communicate between its health and counseling services departments, as well as local specialists and a student’s at-home medical providers. Other changes include an expansion of group counseling offerings, a return to billing for medical services— which, according to Hazlett, had been done prior to Fall 2013— and billing for counseling services.
And most of these new offerings will come from the same familiar faces from Appel Health Services, as the majority of the staff from Appel have come over to LGH.
“For health services, one staff member retired and one staff member did not make the transition to LGH; the rest of the staff did transition,” Hazlett said. “As for counseling, all staff have remained the same except for two who did not make the transition to LGH.”
Still to come as a result of F&M’s partnership with LGH are an expansion of student wellness offerings and a new home for health services. Currently housed in Appel Infirmary on Hartman Green, Health Services will relocate to a facility in College Square where they will have more space. The increased wellness options and relocation should both be complete by Fall 2016.
For more information on changes to F&M’s health services offerings, insurance, and other policies, students may attend an information session in the atrium of the College Center; the next sessions will be from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sep. 22 and Thursday, Sep. 24.
Senior Steven Viera is a Senior Editor. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.