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Proposal for the Addition of

Weekend Hours at the


Cal Poly Health Center:
A Recommendation Report
Prepared for:

David Harris, MD
Executive Director of Campus Health and Wellbeing
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo

Prepared by:

Julia De Hart, 1st Year Student


Architectural Engineering Major
March 7, 2016

Index
INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................... 1-2
Background Information .............................................................................................. 1
Purpose......................................................................................................................... 1
Recommendations......................................................................................................... 1
Organization ................................................................................................................ 2
METHODS ..................................................................................................................... 2-3
PRIMARY SOURCES ........................................................................................................... 2
Interview with Aaron Baker ......................................................................................... 2
Student Survey .............................................................................................................. 2
SECONDARY SOURCES ................................................................................................... 2-3
Online Resources.......................................................................................................... 2
Scholarly Articles ...................................................................................................... 2-3
RESULTS ....................................................................................................................... 3-5
PRIMARY SOURCES ........................................................................................................... 3
Interview with Aaron Baker ......................................................................................... 3
Student Survey ........................................................................................................... 3-4
SECONDARY SOURCES ................................................................................................... 4-5
Online Resources.......................................................................................................... 4
Scholarly Articles ...................................................................................................... 4-5
CONCLUSIONS ............................................................................................................ 5-6
RECOMMENDATIONS.................................................................................................. 6
APPENDICES ................................................................................................................ 7-8
Appendix A: Interview Questions ................................................................................. 7
Appendix B Survey Questions ...................................................................................... 8
REFERENCES.................................................................................................................. 9
FIGURES REFERENCED ............................................................................................ 10

Index of Figures
Figure 1: Driving and walking distances to medical facilities in relation to Cal Poly...1

INTRODUCTION
Background Information
Currently, Cal Polys Health Center is open from 8:00 to 4:30 from Monday to Friday except
Wednesdays when it opens an hour later [1]. The center has no weekend hours. Instead, they offer
an after-hours Nurse Advice hotline. Their website also gives directions to the two closest urgent
care facilities and hospitals in the surrounding area for off-hour emergencies. The closest is an 8minute drive and a half hour walk, with the others being even farther away. See Figure 1 for more
details on distances to medical facilities from Cal Poly.
At Cal Poly, all freshmen students are required to live on
campus in either dormitory or apartment style living. In both
options, students live in extremely close quarters and see a
dramatic increase in the number of pathogens to which they are
exposed. Combined with the stress of a new environment, many
students get sick with increasing frequency oftentimes with
more severe symptoms than they are accustomed to.

Figure 1: Driving and walking distances to


medical facilities in relation to Cal Poly

Purpose
I am writing this report to offer solutions as to how Cal Polys
Health Center can provide students with medical resources over
the weekend. This report is meant for David Harris, MD,
Executive Director of Campus Health and Wellbeing. His
responsibilities include oversee[ing] all health, counseling,
and health education services for the university [3]. There are
over 60 health professionals employed for the Health Center
who serve over 35,000 patients a year. The Health Center is an
invaluable resource because it provides care for so many Cal
Poly students at an ease no other healthcare provider can offer
students. Five days a week students have access to free medical
attention and a pharmacy with greatly reduced costs compared
to local drug stores. However, the current Health Center hours
are not sufficient because students are left without an
immediate and easy option for medical care over the weekend,
a time when some students engage in unsafe activities.

Recommendations
My first solution is for the Health Center to extend their hours to include time open during
weekends. Full hours and staff are not necessary, but the center should be open so that students
know it is there as a resource open for their use.
My second solution is for the pharmacy in the Health Center to open during weekends. Students
would then be able to have access to the medication that they might require at reduced prices. Also
if possible, a doctor or nurse should be standing by to deal with urgent cases and provide students
with consultation.
Organization

Following this introduction, this report will go over my research methods, provide the results of
my study, draw conclusions from those results, and explain my final recommendation.
METHODS
In the following section, you will see the sources I used to gather data for my recommendation
report. They are separated by type of source. My primary research includes an interview and a
survey and my secondary research includes online resources and scholarly articles.
PRIMARY SOURCES
Interview with Aaron Baker
I interviewed Aaron Baker, MD, Cal Polys Medical Director, on February 23, 2016. Since he
holds such a high position in Cal Polys health circuit, he is a credible source for information about
resources available and the current situation of the Health Center. Baker and I discussed the
plausibility of my solutions and ways he thinks they can be fulfilled [5]. For a complete list of
questions asked during the interview, refer to Appendix A: Interview Questions.
Student Survey
I conducted a survey to gather first-hand information on students views about Cal Polys Health
Center. At Cal Poly, it is a requirement that freshmen live on campus, either in dormitory or
apartment-style living. After posting my survey on the Cal Poly Class of 2019 Facebook Page, the
current class of freshmen, I obtained an observation group of 115 current freshmen students and
used their responses to gauge the interest and opinions of the freshmen class as a whole [6]. For a
complete list of questions asked in the survey and their results, refer to Appendix B: Survey
Questions.
SECONDARY SOURCES
Online Resources
I visited Cal Polys website to get a closer look into the inner workings of the Health Center and
those in charge. In comparison to the scholarly articles I reference, this method yields specific
information of Cal Polys circumstances.
1. "Health Services - Campus Health & Wellbeing" on Cal Polys website
I use this source to gather background information such as hours of operation and resources
the Health Center provides Cal Poly students [1].
2. Executive Staff - Student Affairs on Cal Polys website
This webpage describes David Harris responsibilities as Executive Director of the Health
Center and gives statistics about the center [3].
Scholarly Articles
1. Health Problems of College Students by Ted Grace published in the Journal of American
College Health in 1997.
This article relates directly to my topic because it discusses the lack of resources spent on
healthcare on college campuses as well as the importance of on campus care for the overall
wellbeing of college students [7].

2. Health Trends among College Freshmen by Linda Sax published in the Journal of
American College Health in 1997.
This article discusses how student health and campus wellbeing are influenced by
satisfactory healthcare accessibility [7].
3. "Service Learning, Social Justice, and Campus Health" by Nan Ottenritter published in the
Journal of American College Health in 2004.
This article stresses the necessity of sufficient healthcare resources to college students and
its effect on their individual success and the wellbeing of the campus in relation to the
surrounding community [8].
RESULTS
In this section, I present the results of my research. For each source, I analyze and explain how it
supports my report and caters to the solution of my problem.
PRIMARY SOURCES
Interview with Aaron Baker
My interview with Aaron Baker allowed me to get the opinion of someone directly involved in the
Health Center. He was very helpful in informing me of the reasons behind the centers current
situation. Baker said that the Health Center is currently closed on weekends due to insufficient
funds and staffing. In order to open the center on weekends while retaining current funding, there
would have to be a reallocation of resources which means closing the center or reducing staff
during the week. I then asked whether he thinks students would benefit from having the center
available for their use on weekends to which he sincerely agreed. When I mentioned the increased
risky behavior of many college students over the weekend including drug and alcohol use, I learned
that the center frequently does not have the resources to treat overdoses or alcohol poisoning and
are often referred somewhere off campus [4].
After introducing my second solution to open the pharmacy portion over the weekend, Baker said
that as long as staffing is available, it would be a plausible solution. Some allocation of resources
would likely be needed, but not to the extent that opening the entire Health Center would.
Student Survey
The data collected from my survey of 115 Cal Poly freshmen revealed an overwhelming support
for opening the Health Center on weekends. 100% of survey participants said yes when asked if
they think the Health Center should be open on weekends. This shows that students want an easy
health resource over weekends. When asked if they have ever needed medical attention on a
weekend, 73.3% of students said yes. This question uncovers the need of an easy health resource
over weekends. From those who responded yes, 62.7% of them admitted that they never received
medical attention when they needed it over the weekend. 18.6% went to an urgent care facility,
10.4% went to a hospital or emergency room, while 8.1% received attention elsewhere [5]. This
question reveals that a majority of students surveyed, when the Health Center is closed, go without
necessary medical care.
SECONDARY SOURCES
Online Resources

1. "Health Services - Campus Health & Wellbeing" on Cal Polys website


Understanding the current situation of Cal Polys Health Center allows me to assess what
is currently working and what resources are lacking. The center is open for seven hours a
day during the week, but is closed during weekends. In lieu of their services, they provide
alternative care centers, all of which take at least a half hour to reach on foot or are not
within walking distance at all [1].
2. Executive Staff - Student Affairs on Cal Polys website
This resource gave me details about my client, David Harris, including his responsibilities
concerning Cal Polys Health Center and his experience with San Luis Obispos
community health. He had his own private practice in San Luis Obispo for 20 years and
was the president of the San Luis Obispo County Medical Society in 2002. As the
Executive Director of Health and Wellbeing on Cal Polys campus, Harris oversees all
health, counseling, and health education services [4].
Scholarly Articles
1. Health Problems of College Students by Ted Grace published in the Journal of American
College Health in 1997.
This article provided me with a plethora of useful information regarding college health
centers, their importance to campus wellbeing, and the financial burdens they face. Ted
Grace, a regional representative for the American College Health Association, expresses
his support for on-campus health center due to their ease and immediacy of service to
students. He says, It is not uncommon for students to delay treatment until an opportune
time in their class schedule; then they request immediate access to healthcare. These dropin services for students represent an important rationale for the existence of conveniently
located student health centers with flexible scheduling [6]. Grace also discusses the
responsibilities of such centers including handling with communicable diseases, preventing
these infections, and supplying medication.
In concern of the economic obstacles that college health centers face, Grace holds a firm
stance that [c]ollege and university presidents must put the health of students higher on
their own and their institution's agenda [6]. College campuses need to reach an
understanding that the health of their students is of the utmost importance and once they
allocate more resources to campus wellbeing, they will likely see a positive affect across
many other aspects of their institutions success. Grace addresses the difficult situation
universities face by stating, In this era of economic constraints, those concerned with
college health face unavoidable choices for the allocation of scarce resources [6].
2. Health Trends among College Freshmen by Linda Sax published in the Journal of
American College Health in 1997.
Sax interprets the health trends a majority of college students follow and how these trends
affect their wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of college campuses as a whole. She states
that the greatest need at this point is to understand better how the college experience
affects students' health behaviors. Colleges and their students would therefore be well
served by research that examines how student health is affected by availability of health
services for the treatment and prevention of health problems [7]. According to Sax, the

greatest obstacle universities face is a lack of understanding of the needs of their students.
As long as universities could reach an understanding of what resources their students need
then they could allocate resources accordingly which would lead to an improvement in the
all around wellbeing of their campus.
3. "Service Learning, Social Justice, and Campus Health" by Nan Ottenritter published in the
Journal of American College Health in 2004.
This article tackles the reasons why college healthcare is such a contributing factor to both
student and university success. Ottenritter references a health and wellness policy adopted
by the American Association of Community Colleges in 1999 which urges colleges to
view health as a powerful and appealing vehicle for interdisciplinary learning, skills
building, and career development [8]. If other universities were to adopt this same
viewpoint towards the importance of college health, then more resources and effort could
be allocated towards the improvement of healthcare resources for college students.
Ottenritter also states, Health is critical in higher education. Unhealthy students have
difficulty learning and can distract fellow students from their learning goals [8].
CONCLUSIONS
The Health Center serves as the primary source for students medical as well as pharmaceutical
needs. Many students rely on the Health Center for these sources because it provides access to free
medical attention and cheap medicine without the added worry about finding transportation to a
hospital or urgent care facility. However, the center closes on weekends, leaving students without
this critical resource. My proposed solutions are to either open the entire Health Center for a
determined amount of hours over the weekend and to open just the pharmacy portion of the center.
My first solution to extend the Health Centers hours provides students with all of the medical
resources that they have access to the other five days of the week during the centers current hours.
There is definitely a need for students to have full access on weekends. On-campus housing
residents consist of about 37% of all students [9] and not all of these students have access to other
means of transportation to get to other medical facilities leaving many students without medical
attention over the weekends, as seen in the survey I conducted. Of those surveyed, 73.3% of
students have needed medical attention over the weekend and 62.7% of them went without any
form of attention [5]. There is also a disadvantage for students who do manage to make it to an
alternate medical center. Once they arrive, students must deal with insurance coverage and most
likely pay a copay fee.
The downfall of this solution is the economic constraint to its conceivability. There are not enough
resources to open the Health Center every day of the week for their typical eight-hour work day.
Baker says that there are fixed amounts of staff and resources so in order to open the center on
weekends, resources would have to be taken away from preexisting hours [4]. In an ideal situation,
more funding would be allocated towards college health services, the importance of such
allowance discussed by Grace in my above-mentioned research [6].
My second solution is to open the pharmacy portion of the Health Center over the weekend. Then
students would have access to inexpensive medicine and other medical resources. Baker agreed

that the pharmacys reduced prices were positive influences in the likelihood that students would
find treatment. He also saw this as the most financially plausible solution [4].
The consequence of this solution is that students are still left without a source of medical
consultation. While they can purchase low-cost medication, if anything more serious than what
can be solved by over the counter medication were to arise, then students would have a similar
problem to the one they have now. That is why the ideal situation would be to have a doctor on
call for severe cases in addition to the extended pharmacy hours. In this version of my solution,
students would have access to what they need, depending on the seriousness of their circumstances.
In this case, all necessary resources are available with less resources used. For example, in mild
cases, pharmacists can help students get the correct medication for them and for more extreme
cases, an on-call doctor can be called in at a moments notice to help the center with treatment and
contagion management.
In November of 2015, there were five discovered cases of viral meningitis on Cal Polys campus,
four of which led to hospitalizations [10]. Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes
enclosing the brain and spinal cord caused by viral or bacterial infection and marked by intense
headache and fever, sensitivity to light, and muscular rigidity. While not as dangerous as bacterial
meningitis, it is required to report cases of viral meningitis to the local county health department.
Such a disease must be taken seriously in order to prevent the spread or development of bacterial
meningitis, the more dangerous type of meningitis. The Health Center plays an integral part of the
prevention and containment of diseases such as meningitis on Cal Polys campus. If cases of
dangerous illnesses were to develop over a time when the Health Center was closed, immediate
action could not be taken to prevent its further spread. The Health Center is not only a significant
resource for for the treatment of illnesses, but also the prevention. In this way, the Health Center
serves unhealthy students by providing them with the resources to get better and healthy students
by preventing the spread of sicknesses.
The Health Center is an undeniably significant resource for Cal Poly students. Its various duties
serve students in a variety of ways. Treatment, prevention, education, and supplement of medicine
are some of the main responsibilities of the Center. Students want, and more importantly need, a
resource open to them every day of the week to receive necessary medical treatment.
RECOMMENDATION
Based on the above Conclusions section, I recommend that the Health Center open their
pharmacy and have a doctor on call. I think a reallocation of funding during the week, possibly
reducing staff or slightly minimizing hours, could make this solution possible. Staffing over the
weekend would consist of a few pharmacists and a doctor on call, a much cheaper solution than
having doctors add entire work days to their schedules. I believe this will solve the problems that
arise due to the lack of an on campus health resource for students over the weekend.

Appendix A: Interview Questions


1. Why does the Health Center currently not have weekend hours?
2. Do you think students would benefit from having the Center open to them on weekends?
3. The weekend is a time when many students participate in dangerous activities like
alcohol consumption and drug use. Do you think more students would seek attention for
alcohol and drug related problems if the Health Center were open on the weekends?
4. How do you think the Health Center, as a free resource, influences students likelihood of
seeking medical or psychological consultation?
5. Do you think it is plausible to open the pharmacy on weekends?

Appendix B: Student Survey


1. Have you ever been to the Health Center? (115 responses)
Yes, 90 (77.6%)
No 26 (22.4)
2. Do you think the Health Center should be open on weekends? (115 responses)
Yes 115 (100%)
3. Have you ever needed medical attention on the weekends? (115 responses)
Yes, 85 (73.3%)
No, 31 (26.7%)
4. If yes, did you receive medical attention? (86 responses)
Yes, I went to an urgent care facility, 16 (18.6%)
Yes, I went to a hospital or emergency room, 9 (10.4%)
Yes, I received attention elsewhere, 7 (8.1%)
No, 54 (62.7%)

References
[1] Cal Poly, "Health Services - Campus Health & Wellbeing", 2016. [Online]. Available:
http://hcs.calpoly.edu/content/health/health-services. [Accessed: 01- Mar- 2016].
[3] Cal Poly, "Executive Staff - Student Affairs", 2016. [Online]. Available:
http://www.studentaffairs.calpoly.edu/who-we-are/executive-staff. [Accessed: 01- Mar2016].
[4] A. Baker, San Luis Obispo, 2016.
[5] J. De Hart, Survey of Cal Poly Freshman. Survey. 23 February 2016.
[6] L. Sax, "Health Trends among College Freshmen", Journal of American College Health, vol.
45, no. 6, pp. 252-264, 1997.
[7] T. Grace, "Health Problems of College Students", Journal of American College Health, vol.
45, no. 6, pp. 243-251, 1997.
[8] N. Ottenritter, "Service Learning, Social Justice, and Campus Health", Journal of American
College Health, vol. 52, no. 4, pp. 189-192, 2004.
[9] "Cal Poly Quick Facts", Cal Poly News, 2016. [Online]. Available:
http://calpolynews.calpoly.edu/quickfacts.html. [Accessed: 26- Feb- 2016].
[10] "Viral Meningitis Discovered at Cal Poly", KEYT, 2016. [Online]. Available:
http://www.keyt.com/news/meningitis-cases-discovered-at-cal-poly/36305972. [Accessed:
23- Feb- 2016].

Figures Referenced
[2] Figure 1. J. De Hart, Driving and walking distances to medical facilities in relation to Cal
Poly Apple Maps. 23 February 2016.

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