Christine Smith, nurse practitioner at Health, Wellness, Counseling and Disability Access right) administers a flu shot to a UMSL staff member.

Achoo! It’s that time of year when the waiting room in University Health Wellness and Counseling Services at the University of Missouri–St. Louis starts to fill up with patients. Students, faculty and staff headed that way should note some big changes.

Start with the name. HW and C is now HWC and DA Services reflecting the merger of disability access services into the HWC offices. Once construction is complete, all services will be housed in one location, tucked into a corner next to The Nosh on the first floor of the Millennium Student Center.

Nancy Magnuson, assistant vice provost for student affairs and acting associate dean for advanced nursing education in the College of Nursing, oversees the expanding center.

“Our primary mission is to assist students in maintaining their optimum level of wellness so that they are able to achieve their maximum academic potential,” she said.  “We are excited to have disability access services join our area. The renovation allows for more collaboration among our providers and convenience for students in accessing services. It also allows for sharing of staff and resources, which is important for the university in tight budget times.”

Health Services

Marie Mueller, one of three nurse practitioners in health services, ticks off a long list of procedures her office uses to keep UMSL students, faculty and staff in good health. She also has another list for remedies in case they do fall ill.

“It’s flu season and we now have the 2010 vaccine which is designed to protect people against several flu viruses including H1N1,” said Mueller.

The Center for Disease Control recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu. Cost for the flu shot at health services is $20.

Immunizations are also provided for Hepatitis A and B; meningitis; measles, mumps and rubella; tetanus and tuberculosis skin tests. Screenings are available for HIV, diabetes, cardiac risks, sickle cell anemia, strep throat, sexually transmitted diseases and many other health risks. Minor illnesses such as colds, headaches, pink eye, flu and rashes can be treated. Women’s health care includes contraception, breast care, emergency contraception, pap smears and pregnancy testing.

Call 314-516-5671 for an appointment or more information.

Wellness Resource Center

Kathy Castulik, health educator at the Wellness Resource Center, tries to tell each of her clients,  “What you know can save you. What you don’t know can hurt you.” Whether she’s doing a diabetes assessment, offering HIV pre-counseling and testing, or a dozen other health education programs, she wants them to learn enough so they can make healthy choices.

For example, once a month you’ll find Castulik in the MSC atrium at a table with a sign, “Free HIV Testing.” She conducts HIV pre-counseling and free HIV testing thanks to collaboration with Metro AIDS, part of the City of St. Louis Health Department. And, like the rest of the medical community across the U.S., Castulik has seen an increase in Type I and Type II diabetes among UMSL students. She performs diabetes assessments and works with patients on a nutrition assessment, helping them choose a healthy diet.

The center also provides alcohol and drug addiction education and intervention. They conduct smoking cessation programs, blood drives, CPR classes and are the driving force behind awareness weeks for heart health, breast cancer and skin cancer.

Call 314-516-5671 for an appointment or more information.

Counseling Services

Sharon Biegen, director of counseling services, says they have expanded its mental health services to include issues facing athletes and international students.

“The expertise of two replacement staff, has provided the opportunity to enhance our services to underserved groups of students,” said Biegen. “We have two new psychologists – one who helps athletes look at non-drug ways of increasing performance. The other psychologist helps international students get through the culture shock and added anxiety of being away from home in a foreign country.”

The unit offers counseling services for a wide variety of problems and concerns. According to Biegen, in addition to a team of four counseling psychologists, psychiatric care is also available on campus twice a month. Procedures are also in place to deal with major mental health problems on an emergency basis.

“One of our biggest fears is suicide,” said Mueller. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students in the U.S. and is considered a major public health concern on many campuses. Recently, highly publicized suicides of college students add to this concern. Emergencies are dealt with by UMSL Police who are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. UMSL counselors, Magnuson and Mueller are also on call 24/7.

Call 314-516-5711 for an appointment or more information.

Disability Access Service

Adapting to different environments and responsibilities is a challenge to any student. For students with disabling conditions, the adaptation is not always easy. Disability access Services provides help in integrating students with disabilities into the UMSL community. The office makes every effort to make sure that all programs are accessible to students with disabilities, helps them take advantage of accessible offerings and solves disability problems when they occur.

Linder Williams, the new DAS coordinator for program and services says the re-organization and renovation have created challenges, but she looks forward to working with her new partners.

“We are excited about being part of a great team and being able share services and resources with our students,” Williams said. Among its many services DAS provides a computer lab equipped with accessible software and adaptive testing accommodations for students with disabilities in cooperation with each professor, instructor or teaching assistant.

Call 314-516-6554 for an appointment or more information.

More information:

Maureen Zegel

Maureen Zegel

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