Many students may have noticed the shiny new health center on Campus Avenue; however, the health center changes go beyond the new coat of paint — over the summer, Bates has revamped its medical and mental health services. What are the biggest changes this year, and how will they affect your next visit?

Back in May, the Campus Culture Working Group issued a final report of their findings. Concerning student health, they found that many students were unhappy with aspects of health services at Bates, including the quality of the facilities, mental health education, and quality of medical care. In response the Campus Culture Working Group recommended that the college “better align medical services with best practices in the industry, including the modernization of all aspects of the operation,” as well as “better align mental health staffing structures and services with best practices in the field, including those to support students with diverse identities.”

To these ends, the health center has undergone a number of changes, including a new partnership with Central Maine Medical Center (CMMC). The CMMC is located in Lewiston on 300 Main Street. According to the information sent out by Student Affairs, the CMMC partnership will give health services more access to diagnostics testing, medical specialities, and the CMMC’s medical records system.

The health center’s hours have also changed. During the week, the on-campus center has changed their hours of operation, from 9 am to 5 pm. After 5 pm, services will continue to be provided, first at Urgent Care in Auburn until 9 pm, and then from 9 pm to 9 am in the CMMC Emergency department. The health center will also be closed for breaks and on the weekends, with care covered again by the CMMC. As for transportation to these locations, health services recommends taking a zip car, cab, or City Link bus, as well as Bates’ Friday and Saturday shuttle.

What can you expect the next time you come down with the Bates plague? The health center website asks students to bring their insurance card to their first visit and to fill out health history paperwork. Bates will still keep old medical records, but after your first visit CMMC will keep electronic records. As of yet, there are no copays, but they expect to begin charging based on individual insurance in the next academic year. Health services have also hired additional staff, including three members, who will be leading Counseling and Psychological Services.

Counseling services will also now have the ability to institute more student outreach. On their site, they state that they are currently more prepared and able to connect with students and student organizations, as well as offer student’s programs in stress reduction and coping skills.

Another exciting new feature is the prescription delivery service. Medication will be dropped off at the post and print at 11:00 am and 2:30 pm. Similar to a package, students will get an email when it is ready to be picked up. The packaging is a discrete sealed envelope with only the student’s name and number.

More information can be found on the Bates Health Services and CAPS websites, as well as CMMC.org’s MyHealthLink.