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Calvin’s health services ranks No. 12 in nation

Photo courtesy calvin.edu.
Photo courtesy calvin.edu.

Beating out state universities across the country, Calvin ranked No. 12 in best health services.

The ranking came from the Princeton Review’s annual list of the 377 best colleges. Rankings were determined based on surveys taken by students across the country. It was the first time Calvin has made this list.

“It’s exciting,” said Laura Champion, M.D., director of health services. “When we heard, we were humbled by the high ranking the Calvin students gave us. Our goal has always been to be the most trusted source of health care for the students.”

Very few colleges in the country have a physician medical director, like Champion, on staff unless they also have a medical school, said Champion.

“When I look at our our services here compared to other colleges…what we have to offer is so much more than colleges our size,” she said. “Because of our unique and generous support and how much Calvin feels it’s valuable to stay healthy while on campus, it runs like a comprehensive health care service and that’s very unusual.”

Health services, located in the Hoogeboom Health and Recreation Center, provides care to Calvin students every year. It helps students with immunizations, physicals, injuries, and common medications.

“Confidentiality is paramount and the professionals there both love the [students] and love their job,” said Shirley Hoogstra, vice president of student life. “It must show.”

Champion agreed.

“That’s what we’re here for: to take good care of the students,” she said.

Champion highlighted the high provider-to-patient ratio found at Calvin as one reason why care is so good for students. The provider-to-patient ratio is nearly six times better than Champion’s private practice experience.

Champion also pointed out dispensary as a key service to students.

“Dispensary is like a pharmacy; it’s just a convenience for the students,” she explained. “We keep common medications. Most of those medications are available right here in the department.”

Even with the success from last year, health services is looking for ways to improve.

“Starting this year, we instituted a triage system, so students can call during business hours and speak directly with one of our nurses. She’ll ask them some questions and help them decide if they need to be seen urgently.”

The nurse can give them specific guidelines, set an appointment time, and email them instructions if the condition isn’t urgent.

Champion is already looking ahead to next year’s rankings.

“I’m going to try to figure out why we didn’t rank No. 1 and we’re gonna work on those things,” she said. “As we continue to broaden our services, we hope our next ranking will be in the top 10.”

About the Author

Ryan Struyk

Ryan Struyk was the Chimes editor in chief for fall 2013. He's a senior studying mathematics and political science. Being a journalist means being both student and teacher of the world, and that’s why his job is the best one out there.

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