Students at Wilberforce University will be supported by an updated health clinic free just for them thanks to a new partnership. Get the full story from Aliah Williamson at WDTN.

This week, Wilberforce University and Premier Health cut the ribbon on a more contemporary, updated and student-focused health clinic. Students on campus say the clinic and the resources that come with it helps them to feel safer about being on campus during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Students can get a variety of vaccines, diagnostic tests and mental health services at all times of the day thanks to virtual access. All of the resources are free with a student ID.

“This ensures and shows that their number 1 priority is student health so as far as feeling more safe and protected I would say yes,” shared Alexander Murphy, Wilberforce SGA Vice President.

Wilberforce leaders say that this expanded access to healthcare is part of a trend on college campuses to fill a need for behavioral health services and covid-19 resources. They are also seeking to provide for an underserved community.

“There are a lot of health disparities, especially in the minority communities,” said Barbara Johnson, Executive Vice President and COO of Premier Health. “So what this will do, is give the students an opportunity to have a relationship with a healthcare provider [and] build that trust.”

Johnson says building this trust with healthcare professionals could also lead to better health habits for the student’s to lead them in the future.

“[College] is what sets you up for later on in life,” said Murphy. “So if you can learn good habits as far as being healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally…then it only improves you for later on in life. And Wilberforce is definitely helping students do that.”

Johnson says there is also an opportunity for students who are studying to be healthcare professionals to learn from the nurses and clinic staff. She’s hoping this partnership can establish a pipeline of qualified and educated healthcare professionals from Wilberforce University who could serve at Premier Health in the future.