Vice President of Student Development Anne Ehrlich wanted to get OB/GYN services on campus since she first visited Knox.
“When I had my interviews in fall of 2015, I was hearing from students that the fact that they couldn’t get those family planning services on campus is a problem,” Ehrlich said.
After working alongside students and faculty during last Spring Term and Fall Term of this year, Ehrlich was able to introduce monthly OB/GYN services through Cottage Hospital in Galesburg. Once a month, on the last Friday of every month, OB/GYN Physician Assistant Bethany Glaser visits campus.
Despite Knox’s plan with Family Planning of Western Illinois in the Bondi Building on Main Street, this is the first time in several years that family planning options have been offered on campus.
“Because we’re a residential college and we tell students we want them to live on campus and have the full college experience here on campus, and if we want that from them, we have to give them the full college experience, which means health services that are easily accessible right outside their bedroom, honestly,” Ehrlich said.
Director of Health and Counseling Services Director Janell McGruder agrees that offering services on campus is more beneficial than just having the partnership with Family Planning.
“Family Planning isn’t that far away, in the grand scheme of things … but when it’s a one-stop shop to be able to come here for health services, OB plus counseling, I think that’s a benefit to all students and for us as well,” she said.
The Health Center had a quick turnaround to convert a room in the space into an examination room. Cottage Hospital helped with the room, and it is also shared with contract counselors.
There have been seven appointments available every month since this January, and Ehrlich and McGruder both say that each month, the appointments are booked well in advance.
The best way to make an appointment is by calling the Health Center, which can be reached at 309-341-7559. All visits are free, and similar to other health services at Knox, any tests or additional services will cost extra.
Ehrlich and McGruder have only heard positive feedback about the OB/GYN services on campus. Since it is only the first year of the services being implemented, Ehrlich is still looking to make changes, including the amount of times the services will be available on campus. She will be looking at these changes over the summer, in addition to other changes regarding the Health Center.
“A lot of our students, especially first-year students, this is the first time they’re going to see a doctor or a healthcare provider on their own and it’s important that they feel like it’s someone who understands them and respects them and I just want to make sure that’s what we’re providing, as much as we can,” Ehrlich said.
If students have opinions about the Health Center that they would like to express, Ehrlich encourages them to reach out to her before the end of the school year so she can use these opinions and information on how to best make changes to the Health and Counseling Center.
The last day Glaser will be on campus this term is Saturday, May 27.