Committed to Excellent Care: Student Health Services

This story is featured in the Spring 2018 edition of the HPU Magazine. Discover below how HPU’s Student Health Services is committed to providing extraordinary care that puts both students and parents at ease.

The staff of the on-campus Student Health Services at HPU can empathize. They know it’s hard for students to be away from home during sickness or an ongoing medical condition. As mothers, they also know how hard it is for parents to be away from their sons and daughters when they aren’t feeling well.

That’s why they are committed to providing extraordinary care that puts both students and parents at ease.

HPU is one of only three private universities in the state to have a full-time physician serving as medical doctor. Dr. Marnie Marlette leads the team of physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses and certified medical assistants who see student patients for anything from treating acute illnesses to helping manage chronic medical concerns.

Marlette came to HPU with years of medical practice, including opening and running her own office, as well as a passion to serve students.

“Working on a college campus, we have a special opportunity, not only to treat students’ physical conditions, but to help them learn to navigate health care in the real world,” says Marlette.

“What’s a referral? How does insurance work? Many of the students we work with are young and healthy. They haven’t had much experience with it. We are here to guide them gently through the process and help them become more independent and confident in advocating for their health.”

The staff of 11 works together to offer medical examinations, treatment of illnesses and injuries, referrals to specialists, immunizations, laboratory testing, 24-hour nurse phone support, same-day appointments and more.

Marlette says they are the bridge assisting students with their health until the next time they can see their home doctor.

Their patients are comforted knowing they have a place close by on campus where they can receive timely, quality care.

“I’ve always trusted their professional care and have gotten responses right away when I need them,” says student Sarah Berkowitz. “They also do a great job of checking up with me after I visit. Everyone in the office displays great interpersonal communication skills, which helps me feel comfortable and develop a relationship with them.”

The staff typically goes above and beyond to help students get prescription refills, access transportation to off-campus appointments and coordinate health-related services with other campus departments. As a Wake Health affiliate, the office also assists students with getting referrals within a whole network of specialists.

Michelle Soto, the clinical coordinator, says she has seen her coworkers bring an incredible amount of compassion and experience to their roles. A certified medical assistant, Soto has worked at HPU for four years but has more than 28 years of experience in health care working in pediatrics, gynecology, emergency and neonatal intensive care.

“We’re here with the sole purpose of making sure the students are well taken care of and on a healthy path,” she says. “We think of them in the same way as our own children and extend the same level of care we’d want for them. We’re always here to help, so we urge students and parents to use this resource.”

“We’re a great team with a wealth of knowledge working together to treat whoever comes through the door right here when they need care so they don’t have to go anywhere else,” says physician assistant Alicia Bouska. “We’re not just medical providers, but caregivers in every sense of the word, and we’re focused on the particular needs of college students and dedicated to serving them.”

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