When Frontenac dentist Dr. Jill Saia-Pile toured the halls of the Bryant Student Health Center at Pittsburg State during an open house on June 24, the look on her face said it all.
"I've overwhelmed by this facility," she said as she and her dental staff toured the building for the first time since it was completed a year ago. "Dental health is a very important part of systemic health, and sometimes it's neglected by college students. To have a working relationship with this center is beneficial for us."
Saia-Pile, who owns Saia Smile Center, was one of several local physicians who toured the center at the open house designed to "finally put faces to names," said Carrie Farrington, a nurse practitioner at the Student Health Center who helped organize the event.
"It was important to us to be able to meet these doctors and their medical staffs who have been so supportive of our health center," said Farrington, who along with co-organizer Amy Hite welcomed more than 35 doctors. "We wanted to become better acquainted, because when a student needs medical care that they can't get here, it is important that we know who we're working with."
For physicians like Saia-Pile, hearing about the services offered by the health center was just as important. Last year, the center had more than 15,000 student visits, treating them for everything from minor injuries to illnesses. Although the center largely operates on revenue collected by a minimal student fee, Farrington said that with nearly two-thirds of the student population without health insurance, the donations of medical equipment and support from local physicians is crucial.
"We're so thankful for the generosity of the medical community," Hite added. "We just wanted to dedicate some time just for them and to give them a chance to finally come over and see this wonderful facility."
©2010 Pittsburg State University