May 26, 2011
To: Colleague Faculty and Staff Members
From: Wendy K. Wilkins, Executive Vice President and Provost
It has been brought to my attention that there are concerns regarding the Campus Health Center. As I understand the current issue, there is a perception among members of the campus community that pediatric care has changed with the recent merger of the health services.
Upon investigation, I have learned that in 2009 there was conversation among the NMSU medical professionals about whether there was campus-based capacity to fully provide pediatric care. The conclusion was that NMSU staff did not have active credentialing as pediatric specialists to care for children below the age of 5, and therefore the policy was updated in October of 2009. Records and minutes would seem to indicate that merger conversations with Faculty Senate (12/09) and Employee Council (11/09) took place later than the decision by medical staff that resulted in the 2009 policy update.
It continues to be the opinion of our medical staff that children of preschool age are best served under the medical management of pediatricians because of immunization schedules and the development of each child’s medical history record. Since neither the Employee Health nor Student Health facilities were equipped, staffed, or had medical inventories (medications, supplies, etc.) for the treatment of young children, they felt it to be in everyone’s best interest to limit this part of the service. This has not changed with the merger.
Nevertheless, as medical providers, staff at the Campus Health Center deal with each individual on a case by case basis, keeping the immediate needs of the patient at the forefront of the decision making process. While they believe this is the best approach for each individual patient, it can certainly lead to confusion about what the policy is in regard to pediatric care.
The Campus Health Center had 20,372 visits between July 1, 2010 and May 23, 2011. Here is a breakdown of these visits:
- Pediatric <5 years of age 14 (.06%)
- Pediatric 5-17 years of age 177 (.9%)
- Adults 18-89 years of age 20,181 (99%)
It has become clear to me that administration at all levels must work on communicating important policies, and the reasoning upon which they are based. However, please understand that there was no policy change concerning pediatric care as a result of the merger. As we move forward, our medical leadership will continue to monitor this to be sure we are providing the best care possible within our available resources. For current Campus Health Center information, please see http://chc.nmsu.edu/.
Thank you for taking the time to read this note and, as always, thank you for your dedication to NMSU and the well being of our community.