The Office of Student Health Services, located on the first floor of the MountainOne Student Wellness Center, provides health care for students. The health services staff functions as a team. The clinical staff includes three nurse practitioners and a physician. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. when fall and spring semester classes are in session. Gynecological assessment is available through the Office of Health Services. Necessary referrals to off campus specialists can be arranged through the office.
Emergency services are available at Berkshire Medical Center's Satellite Emergency Facility (SEF) in North Adams. The SEF has emergency diagnostic services, including CT scanning, X-Ray and Laboratory testing. In-patient services are available at world class Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, MA. In case of a life threatening emergency or if you become ill after Health Services hours, call ext. 5283 and the Campus Police will assist you in getting medical attention. Students should bring a copy of their health insurance card with them when they visit Health Services to facilitate lab work, off campus health care, and the purchase of prescription medication.
A health insurance policy providing basic health care coverage is required in order to attend MCLA. Coverage under an existing plan must meet guidelines mandated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MCLA sponsors a Student Health Insurance plan through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. The Student Accounts Office will automatically bill for this insurance unless a waiver (proof of comparable policy) is completed.
Required Health Information
The Code of Massachusetts Regulations requires that all full time (those taking 9 credits or more) undergraduate and graduate students provide documentation of the following immunizations:
- 2 doses of live measles, mumps and rubella vaccine given at least one months apart beginning at or after 12 months of age.
- 1 dose of Tdap or Td (tetanus) within 5 years.
- 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine
- 2 doses of varicella vaccine (chickenpox) given at least four weeks apart beginning at or after 12 months of age.
- 1 dose of meningococcal vaccine within the past 5 years.
Students born in the United States before 1957 may be considered immune to measles, mumps and rubella. This exemption does not apply to students in a health science program who may be in contact with patients. In the case of varicella, the student may provide a statement signed by a health care provider that the student has a reliable history of chickenpox disease. Those born in the United States before 1980 may be considered immune to varicella, with the exception of students in a health science program who may be in contact with patients. Exemption from measles, mumps, rubella, varicella and Hepatitis B vaccination is made for students presenting laboratory evidence of immunity (titers). Meningococcal vaccine is required of all new students regardless of whether they are full or part-time. A waiver is available for meningococcal vaccine only. This waiver states that the student has reviewed the dangers of meningococcal disease and the risks and benefits of vaccine and chooses to decline the vaccination. Exemption from required vaccines is also accepted for students providing written documentation that he or she meets the standards for medical or religious exemption set forth in M.G.L. ch 76 s15. International students may be subject to additional requirements.
All students, regardless of age, enrolled in a course load of 9 credits or more are required to submit a completed health form to the Health Services Office documenting a physical exam done within 1 year prior to attending classes. Physical exams need to be signed and dated by a Health Care Provider.
Students are allowed unlimited visits with a Health Services provider. Most visits are on a walk-in basis and there is no charge for services provided in the Wellness Center (with the current exception of vaccines). Payment is required at the time of vaccination. You will be charged for the cost of the vaccine only. No administration fee will be charged. Documentation will be provided so that you may submit the charge to your insurance company. Any patient referrals, Xrays, or other testing sent to a reference lab will be billed to your Health Insurance. MCLA faculty and staff who become ill or are injured on the job are also welcome to visit Health Services. The Health Services staff works as an adjunct to, not a replacement for, your primary care provider.
Services provided include:
- Acute care of minor illness or injury
- Physical Assessment
- Women's Health Care including Gynecologic Exams, Emergency Contraception, and Birth Control Counseling
- Prescriptions and select over the counter medications
- Laboratory Testing
- STI Assessment and Testing
- Sports, work, and travel physicals
- Travel Clinic
- Wellness Programming
- Health Education
- Referral Assistance
- The right to be treated with respect, consideration and dignity.
- The right to accurate information concerning the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of an illness.
- The right to a second opinion.
- The right to refuse treatment, except as prohibited by law.
- The right to know who is caring for or treating you. The practitioner's name and professional qualifications should be visible or stated on introduction.
- The right to privacy and confidentiality of your records.
- The right to review any medical records created by the MCLA Health Services regarding your care.
- The responsibility to provide accurate and complete information about your present complaint, past medical history, and current medication use.
- The responsibility to ask questions and discuss concerns with the provider concerning your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of your illness or any instructions given.
- The responsibility to allow enough time for examination and explanation by the provider (minimally 15 minutes.)
- The responsibility to comply with Commonwealth of Massachusetts Law that requires you to maintain a health insurance policy that provides basic health care coverage.
- The responsibility to provide insurance information when necessary.
- The responsibility for any laboratory or outside health agency charges billed to you.
Health and Wellness Education
Student Health Services and the Wellness Center is a resource for health and wellness information and programming. Events addressing a variety of topics are presented throughout the academic year. Look for them in the weekly issue of What's Happening and posted on boards around campus. A lending library of literature, books and videos/DVDs can be found in health services.
Health Services staff is available to assist with research for both academic and personal health issues. RA's, PA's, Greeks, and any club members are also encouraged to consult with staff for programming needs. Programs can be designed for a targeted audience.
MCLA Student Health Services offers students, faculty and staff who are planning a trip, a personalized travel health packet to minimize the risk of becoming ill or getting injured in a foreign country.
To receive your individualized travel health packet have your travel itinerary available, plan well in advance of your trip (some immunizations require a series of injections). If a group is traveling together, a group appointment can be arranged. Call or visit the Health Services Office at ext. 5421.
Medical Class Excuses
Health Services does not provide medical excuses for missed classes. According to the policy of Academic Support Services and this office, it is the responsibility of the student to communicate with the instructor when he/she is unable to attend class, complete an assignment or fulfill another obligation due to illness or injury. If you are too ill to attend class, it is your responsibility to notify your professor by phone or e-mail. Both Federal and Massachusetts State Law prevent release of information regarding a student's health status or medical condition or even confirmation of a visit to Health Services without written consent from the student.
In the case that Health Services requests that a student stay out of class for a prolonged period of time due to contagion, Health Services will contact Advising Services who will then send notice to faculty.
MCLA maintains the personal health care information of our students in a confidential manner. Your confidence in us depends on it. As part of this commitment, MCLA complies with applicable laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Under HIPAA, the Federal Government has mandated standards for protecting personal health information. We are pleased to provide you with a complete description of our responsibilities and your rights regarding security and privacy of your personal health information under HIPAA. Simply stop by the MountainOne Student Wellness Center to read posted copies or pick up a personal copy. Any questions or concerns about HIPAA should be directed to staff in the Health Services Office.
Copies of your record may be forwarded, with your written consent, to yourself, physicians, hospitals and other appropriate places. Records are not shared with parents, faculty, college administrators, or employers. Should a parent request information, they will be advised to contact you unless a record release form has been signed. Only in life threatening emergencies will a parent be contacted by MCLA Health Services.