Looking to respond to students' physical and mental health needs at the highest level of effectiveness, Franklin & Marshall College and Lancaster General Health (LG Health) have agreed to cooperatively establish a new outpatient health and counseling center on campus.
The new and expanded student-centered health facility will provide medical, counseling, behavioral and wellness services from newly renovated space on the ground floor of F&M's College Square building on Harrisburg Avenue.
"The College and LG Health share a common vision for creating an extraordinary health care experience for our students," said F&M President Daniel R. Porterfield. "I am deeply grateful to Dean of the College Margaret Hazlett and to the committee of students, faculty and professional staff who worked creatively and collaboratively on this process."
Hazlett, whose areas of responsibility include health and counseling services at F&M, noted that, "This new partnership will allow us to provide optimal services and value to students through more comprehensive health and counseling services -- including expanded hours -- while also strengthening the future operation of our student health program in a more advanced facility.
"We are also pleased that LG Health has expressed its intention to retain current members of the College's medical and counseling staff, whom we value for their long and dedicated service to our students and deep knowledge of the needs of today's 18- to 22-year-olds."
The agreement between the College and LG Health follows a yearlong process during which the campus advisory committee reviewed several proposals from area health care organizations outlining models to deliver high-quality health, counseling, wellness and sports medicine services to F&M students in partnership with the College. The committee's findings were discussed with President Porterfield, who also consulted with the College's Board of Trustees and leading outside experts.
"In LG Health, the College is fortunate to have access to a well-established and extensive regional healthcare system comprising health and medical professionals practicing in a wide range of specialties," Hazlett said. "This partnership represents an exciting opportunity to tap that strength in order to meet the evolving needs of our student body."
In an increasingly complex regulatory environment, such collaborative arrangements and partnerships with community-based health care providers have emerged as a major trend on college and university campuses nationwide.
The College's health care operations will be transitioned to LG Health by July 1, 2015, with a remodeled facility on the ground floor of College Square envisioned for Spring 2016.
"We plan to engage the College's students to ensure they make the right choices for good health and enhanced wellbeing," said Thomas E. Beeman, president and CEO of Lancaster General Health. "Instead of simply treating students when they are sick, we will give them the tools, counsel and support to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles that will deliver benefits long after graduation."
In addition to providing F&M students with broader access to enhanced health and counseling services in a larger, modern facility, the agreement with LG Health will upgrade F&M's student health and counseling services to include greater resources for student wellness education and a nationally acclaimed electronic medical records system, through which students will have individualized health portals.
A committee jointly appointed by the College and LG Health will oversee the design, aesthetics and construction of the new facility.