Changes to Colgate’s Student Health Services this academic year will increase clinical care availability on campus while also bolstering sports-medicine support for Division I athletes, student club teams, and intramurals.
Student Health Services Director Dr. Merrill Miller will add to her staff the expertise of two new physicians, in addition to a clinical practice manager and a new medical office assistant. Student Health Services will also increase clinical availability by providing additional summer coverage and weekday walk-in hours.
As part of this investment, a newly established agreement with Upstate Medical University will result in the creation of a fellowship program for two sports-medicine residents to provide added care and training for Colgate’s 25 Division I athletic programs and the many club and intramural sports.
“We are very excited about our new relationship with Colgate. Our Upstate Emergency Medicine and Sports Medicine physicians look forward to providing quality sports medicine care for Colgate's student-athletes. In addition, Colgate will provide a perfect setting for training primary care sports medicine fellows. Being able to provide care to elite student-athletes in such an intimate, small school setting is fairly unique in the world of DI sports. The availability of mentorship from an experienced, high-quality athletic training and physician staff, particularly Dr. Miller, who is a legend in collegiate sports medicine, will offer an unparalleled training experience for future fellows,” said Upstate Emergency Medicine President Dr. Gary Johnson.
Dr. Paul F. Klawitter, a member of the faculty at Upstate, will take on the role of overseeing the Upstate fellows and sports medicine, and alumna Dr. Ellen M. Larson ’94 will work closely with Miller and the rest of the health services team and Colgate Athletics’ sports medicine athletic training team. Klawitter, an emergency medicine physician specializing in primary care sports medicine, comes to Colgate from previous roles practicing sports medicine and non-operative orthopedics at Bassett Healthcare, Internist Associates in Syracuse, and Ithaca Orthopedic Group. Larson joins Colgate after a distinguished career as a full spectrum family medicine practitioner at Bassett Healthcare in Hamilton.
I feel strongly about this team, their devotion to the wellbeing of our students, and the potential of an integrated model of wellness at Colgate.Vice President and Dean of the College Paul J. McLoughlin II
“This is a wonderful example of perfect continuity,” said Miller, who remembers when Larson was a student on campus. “I was delighted when she chose a medical career and became even more delighted to find out she was coming back to Hamilton to go into family practice. It has been a pleasure watching her career path. I know Dr. Larson and Dr. Klawitter will be fabulous colleagues and great additions to the health care we provide to students.”
The continued approach to improve access and interaction between student wellness programs at Colgate is directly connected to the University’s recently adopted Third-Century Plan, which lays out a vision for an integrated model that ties together all of Colgate’s health-related services under one umbrella.
“We are attending to many of the needs related to staffing, efficiency, structure, and also capacity for student health care,” said Vice President and Dean of the College Paul J. McLoughlin II, who commissioned an external review of Colgate’s health services in 2018. “I feel strongly about this team, their devotion to the wellbeing of our students, and the potential of an integrated model of wellness at Colgate. I look forward to working with these colleagues, in addition to colleagues in counseling and psychological services and the Shaw Wellness Institute, to provide outstanding care and support to students.”
These changes are expected to result in extended hours of service for students and the creation of new weekday walk-in care hours, McLoughlin said. Health insurance, including Colgate’s student health insurance, is accepted at nearby Community Memorial Hospital’s urgent care facility, which is open between 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and until 5:30 p.m. on weekends, to provide students with another option if they are unable to secure a same-day appointment in student health services or have a non-emergency medical concern that develops after hours. Community Memorial Hospital’s emergency department offers yet another option for more serious student health issues.
In other wellness news, Colgate’s Counseling and Psychological Services received accreditation from the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS) this summer, following a semester-long accreditation and review process in the spring of 2019. Director of Counseling and Psychological Services and Director of Sexual Violence Support, Dawn LaFrance said IACS accreditation is one of the most comprehensive and stringent review processes available to colleges.
"I am thankful that I work on a team that is dedicated to supporting students' growth and wellness,” said LaFrance. “Each member brings a unique set of talents and skills to our work. We are fortunate to work on a campus with others who care and collaborate as we strive to offer the highest quality mental health care to our students. This accreditation speaks to the quality of our current service, as well as the work of those who worked here before us."