Students, faculty and staff are being asked to help shape a new mission statement for University Health Services by participating in an upcoming survey, according to James Sheehan, vice chancellor for Administration and Finance.
“The current mission statement is about 20 years old and health care has changed quite a bit in that time,” said Sheehan. “We’re asking the campus community to identify what’s important to them.”
Sheehan said a revised mission statement will help clarify the expectations for the scope and role of UHS, but will not lead to wholesale changes at the health center. “This is not a strategic planning process,” he said. “We don’t intend to pursue any master plan for UHS until there’s a full-time medical director in place.”
The survey, which is being conducted by UMass Boston’s Center for Survey Research, will be distributed March 25 by e-mail to a sampling of undergraduates plus all graduate students, faculty and staff. The questions ask respondents to rate the importance of various UHS services for themselves as well as others on campus.
The survey asks respondents to rate how important it is to have particular medical services on campus, including walk-in or same-day appointments, routine care, pediatric care, night and weekend hours for walk-in care. Pharmacy, laboratory, radiology, physical therapy, mental health, sports medicine, acupuncture and eye care services are also included.
The survey also asks about the importance of providing three services not currently offered at UHS: a separate women’s health clinic, chiropractic care and a dental clinic.
Other questions on the survey concern individual use of medical services, resources for learning about UHS, ways to promote awareness of health services and demographic information.
In addition to the survey, Workplace Learning and Development will be conducting focus groups with UHS employees regarding services and what populations should be served.
Sheehan says all of the information gleaned from the survey and focus groups will be shared with an advisory board that will develop a mission statement for UHS. The advisory board includes dean of students Enku Gelaye; Christine Rogers of the University Health Council and Environmental Health and Safety; Lynda Kamik of Administration and Finance; Harry Rockland-Miller of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health; Student Government Association president Akshay Kapoor; UHS physician Rochelle Weber; Ann Becker, public health nurse at UHS, Cheryl Sherry of UHS patient accounts and Adina Giannelli of the Graduate Student Senate.
The advisory board will submit a final report to the UHS director’s team, which will revise the mission statement and send it to Sheehan by early summer. The director’s team includes medical director Alan Calhoun, associate directors Maria Coach and Donna Yezierski, and assistant medical director George Corey.
Calhoun plans to retire this year, said Sheehan, and a search is underway for his successor, “who needs to be an integral part of strategic planning” for UHS. Once a medical director is on board, Sheehan said, a more in-depth assessment of UHS services, facilities and resources can be made using current health care industry standards and best practices.
“We need to find the best model to fulfill the new mission statement,” Sheehan added. “Many factors are in play now that were not around 20 years ago.”