By Janice Tieperman
Recent rumors on social media regarding the potential closure of ESU’s Health Center has set many students on edge.
Vice President of Student Affairs Doreen Tobin stepped forward to clear the air on the confusion.
She stressed that the University examining different options for its service providers was not a new concept.
“The University has been and will continue to go through a process on an ongoing basis,” stated Tobin. “We’re going through all of the services to see if we’re providing them in the right way, if there are other alternatives and if there are more cost-effective ways of providing a better service.”
To better explain this process, Tobin began to explain the administrative procedures involved with these endeavors.
“Last fall, an RFP went out, which is a Request for Proposals,” she started, “that asked very specifically if there were any entities out there, based on a written work statement that we put together, that felt that they could provide these services.”
She continued to explain how a proposal and accompanying mission statement is provided by the University to any groups potentially interested in issuing a proposal.
“It’s really important that everyone understands that no decision has been made, that we’re looking at this very carefully,” Tobin emphasized. “We’re looking at this very carefully, and it could result in making a decision to go with another provider. It could also result in a decision to stay with what we have and know. So really, nothing has been decided.”
Currently, all student health services are run internally.
“We do have a contracted physician’s group that provides the doctors and nurse practitioners, and that is a contract that we’ve had for some time,” she elaborated. “That’s renewed once every so many years, and this year would be the year that we go out for that as well.”
Despite this, Tobin wanted to stress that no decision would be made regarding this contract until more progress was made in the RFP process.
She also confirmed that the physician’s contract renewal period was irrelevant to the recent transition of the Pocono Medical Center’s purchase by the Lehigh Valley Medical Center.
“I think the most important thing to state here is that our students always have access to health services,” declared Tobin.
This information will hopefully rectify the recent confusion spurned about the status of the University’s provided service, and put many minds at ease.
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