Parents and Families,

As Director of McKinley Health Center (MHC), I am glad you have found yourself on this page. Whether your student is a first-year student or nearing the end of a graduate degree, their health and wellness is important. Understanding how McKinley Health Center can support your student’s wellbeing can help them maximize their University of Illinois experience academically, socially, personally and professionally. McKinley provides both medical services and health education to ensure each student receives the care they need.

While your student will be navigating many of McKinley’s services and resources on their own, there are many questions that you as a parent or family member may have; this page aims to help address those questions.

We look forward to caring for your student.

Robert C. Parker, MD, MBA, FACP

Director, McKinley Health Center

 

The Big Picture – What you need to know about Health care at the University of Illinois

If you have found yourself at this webpage, congratulations! Learn more about McKinley Health Center by visiting https://mckinley.illinois.edu/about/.

Your student is assigned to a primary care caregiver, typically a licensed physician or advanced practitioner. We encourage every student to get acquainted with their assigned caregiver and students may request reassignment at any time to another caregiver, as long as their panel is open to additions. The health history is contained in an electronic health record (fully confidential) available to any McKinley caregiver with whom the student has an appointment. Records are easily obtained from the Medical Records Department, located on the ground floor. Most of our students are healthy and only need to see a caregiver a small number of times while a student at the University. A fairly robust array of common lab tests, x-rays, and pharmaceuticals are available at either no additional charge or at nominal rate, charged to the student account.

Each year McKinley will see approximately 60 percent of the enrolled students at least once. Most often our care is for acute illnesses, minor injuries, and issues around anxiety, stress, and short-term depressions. Students can schedule appointments online, or by calling McKinley. More chronic or longer term problems are typically referred to specialist caregivers in the community, leaving McKinley open for shorter term interventions facing most all students at one time or another.

How to Help when Anxiety and Depression Strike

If you are concerned your student is having emotional and/or behavioral difficulties and is in need of support, parents may encourage their student to seek assistance through the Mental Health Clinic at McKinley Health Center or through the University of Illinois Counseling Center (https://counselingcenter.illinois.edu/). All appointments on campus must be scheduled by the student, not by a parent or other individual. McKinley provides short-term counseling, typically four sessions, and the student is connected with additional resources/long-term counseling options as needed. Intake appointments are booked over the phone and are generally booked out several weeks in advance during the Fall and Spring semesters. Emergency consultations are available for students with urgent concerns. Parents also may encourage their students to be in touch with emergency deans at the Student Assistance Center who help support students in crisis and connect them with resources (https://odos.illinois.edu/community-of-care/student-assistance-center/). Further, the Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) office may be a useful office to suggest to your student to if their mental health condition is disabling and requires academic accommodations (https://www.disability.illinois.edu/). If you are unsure of where to refer your student and need to consult with a mental health provider, parents may contact the Mental Health Clinic at McKinley and request to speak to the emergency counselor who can assist in recommending resources for your student.

Immunization requirements before and after starting school:

Immunization information can be found on this website at, https://mckinley.illinois.edu/new-students/immunization-information. We also encourage every parent to review the topic of Meningococcal Disease on the Illinois Department of Public Health website, http://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/meningococcal-disease. Every student entering the University must have completed the meningococcal conjugate vaccine series upon entry, with a booster dose at age 16, unless exempted on religious or medical grounds. For teens and young adults (16 – 23 years old), there is also a meningococcal vaccine for serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis we highly recommend in accordance with current guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Read more at, http://dph.illinois.gov/sites/default/files/OHP_Publications_Meningococcal_Disease_Brochure.pdf. Vaccines can be administered at McKinley in our Immunization and Travel Clinic (ITC). The vaccines are administered at cost and students can then submit to their insurer for reimbursement.

Other Recommended Immunizations: https://mckinley.illinois.edu/medical-services/immunization-allergy-travel-clinic

Flu shots are available each fall, at no charge. Encourage your student to get a flu shot. Check out more at http://mckinley.illinois.edu/fluclinic.

Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccines are highly recommended. Unvaccinated students place themselves at high risk for these diseases based on their behavior choices. You will be doing your student a great service in helping them protect themselves with these safe and effective vaccines that are readily available. Check out more at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/index.html

Communicable Disease Outbreaks and Vaccine Exemptions:

Occasionally the campus experiences an outbreak of Public Health reportable diseases such as Measles & Mumps. Within hours or just a few days, all exposed individuals must be identified to Public Health authorities for direction, to help prevent the spread of disease. McKinley keeps all immunization records on file and readily available. We can usually respond to required data requests within a very short period.

Vaccine exempt students may still have partial or incomplete childhood immunization record. Even if your student is exempt on religious or medical grounds, please encourage them to submit their records. Doing so will greatly reduce the hassle and disruption that inevitably occurs during an outbreak. Our shared goal is to keep your student healthy and focused on their academic success.

For some highly contagious outbreaks (e.g. measles), the student is likely to be sent home for either isolation (have the disease) or quarantine (have been exposed to the disease). Air circulation systems in most living environments are not contained and circulate air through-out the building. This fact can make isolation and quarantine very challenging in some circumstances. The local public health officer controls all decision making regarding isolation and quarantine. Public Health has the rule of law through the court system to enforce compliance. For more information visit http://www.c-uphd.org/

Student Insurance

All enrolled students must come to campus with health care insurance to cover untoward medical events at off-campus hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care centers, physician offices, etc. While many students may have insurance through the parent plan, many parent plans may have only coverage of emergency services off campus and this is often inadequate for supporting your student’s success. For these reasons, about half of the enrolled student body has student health insurance through United Healthcare, the currently contracted payer with the University of Illinois. To learn more about the student health insurance requirements, please refer to the current campus policy at www.studentcode.illinois.edu/article2/part1/2-103/

For more information regarding student health benefits and costs, please visit our student insurance site at http://si.illinois.edu/

McKinley Health Center services are completely separate from student insurance and no services offered at McKinley are billed to the third party insurance carrier. McKinley services are paid for by the Student Health Service Fee that is a part of the University fee schedule. See more information here: https://mckinley.illinois.edu/fees/service-fees

Prescriptions filled at McKinley Pharmacy are subsidized through the Health Service Fee and not paid for by third party insurance. If you would like to use your private insurance to pay for medication, those prescriptions should be filled at an outside pharmacy in the community or at home. A list of over-the-counter and prescription medications covered under the Health Service Fee at McKinley may be found by visiting https://mckinley.illinois.edu/pharmacy/formulary. If your student is covered under the student health insurance plan you may find their formulary by visiting https://www.uhcsr.com/media/f7aeab75-2759-4c62-a3a9-66ab12af3be5.