This summer, Knox replaced its prior clinic provider, Order of St. Francis (OSF), with Cottage Hospital in the Health Center. With the change came new employees, but also unanswered questions about health care, prescriptions and medical records. The change was announced in an email to the Knox community on Sept. 8, the day before most students returned to campus.
We as an editorial board feel that this change and any potential complications it may come with should have been made known to the Knox community sooner.
Although the switching of medical records is commonplace in situations such as these, we feel that there could have been more warning given to students who rely on Health Services to refill their prescriptions. That way, they could figure out if they needed to reroute their prescriptions through another primary care physician. In addition, by making refilling prescriptions more difficult, some students might plan to stock up on their prescriptions, which can be dangerous in communal living spaces. Easy access to prescription medication in dorm rooms could endanger the safety of students not only in terms of robberies but also in terms of prescription substance abuse. For example: if a student has a three-month supply of Adderall or Xanax, they might be more tempted to abuse these substances or to resell them.
Students still have unanswered questions about who to contact at OSF for their information, since previous employees have already left. By making the Health Center more of a walk-in clinic, the college is alienating students who have recurring health concerns and cannot afford outside care and international and out-of-state students who might not have primary care physicians in Illinois.
While we think removing OSF due to their inability to provide adequate reproductive services and their religious affiliation is valid and important, we are unsure as to why outside reproductive services could not be consistently brought in to campus.
It seems that in this attempt to listen to student opinions, students were not brought in on the process or given information about the options available to them.
In the future, we hope to see more transparency from our administration and more information about changes that might affect students’ health.
While we acknowledge that this change was made over the summer, and may have been hard to communicate, we hope that the college can keep students updated via email. We also encourage the use of more open forums and other invitations for the Knox community to share their input on changes that are intrinsic to their well-being.
For now, we hope more information regarding students’ prescriptions and other health concerns will be readily available to the campus.