Letter to Parents of First Year Students
Dear First Year Student Family Members:
Welcome to UGA. With all that is going on in the transition to college life, there is little time to think ahead about staying healthy or about illness prevention. The University Health Center (UHC) is on campus and committed to treating illness and injuries, promoting wellness, and providing health education and information for our students. We strive to be an active partner in health with students and their families.
Care and Services
Primary care is provided by four teams of medical professionals consisting of physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and other staff. To provide convenient, personalized care, students are assigned to one primary care provider who is a member of a medical team. Teams are identified by color – Gold, Red, Blue and Green.
The Health Center's Dental Clinic, Vision Clinic, Women's Clinic, Allergy Travel Clinic, Counseling and Psychiatric Services, and Physical Therapy (PT) Department offer specialty care on a discounted fee basis. Massage therapy is available in the PT department. Our health Promotion Department offers nutrition, alcohol and other drug, sexual health, and relationship and sexual violence prevention education. Our comprehensive Pharmacy, Laboratory, and Radiology Departments round out our services to provide a convenient one stop shop for students. Additional information about all UHC services is available on our website at www.uhs.uga.edu.
Making an Appointment
A valid UGA ID card is required to access all services at UHC. Scheduling an appointment is very important to coordinate with the class schedule, minimize waiting time, and allow sufficient time to address your student's needs. Appointments can be made using the online portal, by phone, or in person.
Required Forms and Immunizations
New students must complete the online Medical History form and the Patient Agreement form prior to the healthcare visit. These forms are online at www.uhs.uga.edu/appts_forms/forms.html and are accessible when your student logs into the online portal using their UGA MY ID and password. Students under 18 at the time of registration (a minor in the state of Georgia) must submit a paper Patient Agreement form signed by a parent or guardian before any treatment can be provided.
The Board of Regents requires all incoming students for fall 2013 to be immunized against measles, mumps and rubella, varicella (chicken pox) and tetanus, to be able to register for classes. If your student is 18 or younger, proof of immunization to hepatitis B is also required. Documentation of vaccines or blood titers must be provided on the form available at www.uhs.uga.edu/appts_forms/immunizations.html. The tuberculosis screening questionnaire must be completed and submitted with other immunization information.
A vaccine is available to decrease the risk of meningococcal meningitis. While the incidence of the disease is very low, it is serious and can be fatal. Students residing in UGA residence halls are required to sign documentation that they have either received the vaccine or have reviewed information about the disease and have declined the vaccine. University Housing will distribute a UHC fact sheet about meningitis prior to the fall semester.
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a highly contagious viral infection and is preventable. Students consistently rank the flu as one of the top ten factors negatively affecting their academic performance. We strongly recommend annual flu vaccination and consistent hand washing to avoid getting the flu.
All vaccines are available at UHC, and those required to complete registration will be offered during orientation. Payment is due at the time of services. Remember to bring your UGA ID card with you every time you come to the Health Center. Immunization hours are Monday – Friday from 8:30 – 11:00 am and 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Optional or recommended vaccines are available by appointment during the semester.
Payment for Services
Unlimited visits to the primary care provider and medical team are included with the UGA health fee. Treatments, such as medications, prescriptions, procedures, lab work or x rays, as well as specialty services and urgent care evening and weekend visits are charged a fee due at the time of the visit.
Every student with health insurance should bring their insurance card with them to campus. As a courtesy, UHC can file charges with your insurance company, but your student remains responsible for charges incurred at the Health Center. You will need to contact your insurance company to inquire if our services are covered under your policy. We are participating providers only with the University System of Georgia's student health insurance plan administered by United Healthcare. For detailed information about the University System student health insurance plan, visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.uga.edu and select "Student Health Insurance' from the left menu.
I am aware that your son or daughter may be navigating the healthcare system for the first time without you. As a parent, I have been in your shoes and understand the concerns when your student is ill or injured far from home. We are here to serve as their healthcare home away from home should they need our services. More information just for parents can be found at www.uhs.uga.edu/parents.
If there is anything I can do to aid in your student's healthcare transition, please let me know. I hope your student has a healthy successful year at UGA.
Jean E. Chin, MD, MBA, FACP