The Health and Wellness Annex, located in Barnhardt 101, adds a common area for group meetings, an additional counseling office and a room for massage therapy.
With the addition of the annex, the staff hopes to alleviate crowding issues they face in their current location next to Barnhardt. The building, only 1,700 square feet, is about the size of a single-wide trailer and houses up to eight staff members on some days.
Last year, the center had over 6,000 visits. The space often feels inadequate, with Perry sharing her office with the physician visiting campus weekly. Three counselors make due with two counseling rooms, also using Perry’s office when available.
“We really strive to protect confidentiality,” said Jill Perry, director of student health and wellness services. “It’s just difficult in such a small space.”
In keeping with the goal of reducing stress this semester, free 15-minute chair massages will be offered to students in the annex. Perry, who earned a certification in massage therapy at the Southeastern School of Neuromuscular Massage, will offer appointments as her schedule availability dictates.
While the Health and Wellness Center is glad to have the annex, it is only a temporary fix. The house out of which it presently operates is quickly aging, with structural issues like rotting eaves posing a great deal of concern.
“We’re happy that we have a little bit of relief, but this is not a long-term solution,” said Perry.
The university has discussed moving the department somewhere else on campus for five years now to no avail, leaving everyone “in limbo.” Even though Queens has of late been on a vendetta to thoroughly update facilities, Perry is consistently left thinking, “What about the Health Center?”
Slated to be housed in the Levine Center for Wellness and Recreation, the administration recently dismissed the idea.
“The university doesn’t want to invest a lot of money in it,” said Perry. “We’re desperate for a new Health Center. Our mission is to help the students. Otherwise, why are we here?”
Appointments for nurse or doctor visits, counseling and massage therapy may be made by calling the Health and Wellness Center at 704-337-2220 or by visiting 2322 Wellesley Ave. Weekly hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Wednesdays.