The Health and Wellness building is tiny.
On the morning of October 15, a group of student athletes arrived at the Health and Wellness center for testing of blood iron levels. Because of inadequate space this group completely occupied the waiting space and spilled onto the porch outside.
Nurse Jill Perry has been in the loop regarding talks of renovation plans to build a larger, two-story facility on the same plot of ground that the health facility currently occupies. Interestingly enough, according to her, the Myers Park Home Owners Association have deeded this property to be used only for healthcare purposes to prevent its conversion to a frat house.
“There are plans to create an intersection between a larger health center and the Barnhardt dorm building,” she said. “Several years from now students majoring in pre-health professions will have the option to live in Barnhardt as a wellness-focused living-learning community,” she asserted.
If students enter the Health and Wellness center to discuss a personal medical problem with Nancy Lastreto at the welcome desk, they are overheard by other students seated a sparse ten feet away.
“I wouldn’t say [there are limits on] confidentiality but [there are] limits on privacy because it is easy to overhear what someone is here for or to overhear Nancy’s phone call conversations,” said Perry.
Over the past couple of years as more activity and student visits have occurred, the Health and Wellness center has become crowded. Perry testified to both the increase “of activity and number of visits” and to the problem- “space has stayed the same.”
A change to current operating hours may not do the trick. Perry said that because each student’s medical visits are free and covered by tuition, any extension of hours of operation would also necessitate an implausible expansion of paychecks to Health and Wellness employees. “Our university’s health facilities are not revenue producing.”
In the meantime, Queens will continue to explore ideas for renovations to the Health and Wellness Center to make it larger.
This article was specially written by Joanna Benjamin (’21) of the Student-Government Association.