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September 08, 1999 - Image 65

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-08

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Wednesday, September 8, 1999 - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - 5F
SICK? DON'T TAKE THE DAY OFF

(WHS helps restore sick
students pluck -just
wake an appointment

y Chris randstaff
aily Staff Reporter
" om,lI can't go to school today. I
-eally sick."
Sound familiar?
At some time or other we've
layed the part of the pitiful student
ho'll surely die if we're forced to
o to school.
And why shouldn't we, our gener-
ion grew up reading Shel
ilverstein's "Sick" and watching
erris Bueller's Day Off."
w, we're in college, where miss-
at 9 a.m. lecture (or 10 a.m. or
I a.m. ..) is about as easy as get-
ng lost in the grad library.
But what happens when you really
t sick? Unlike high school stu-
nts, most University students can
I-afford to be bedridden if they
ant to keep up with their classes.
> one question first-year students
ay be asking themselves is, "Where
I go if I get sick?"
answer is University Health
ervices, or more commonly
ferred to as UHS.
The goal of UHS, located at 207
etcher Street right across from the
ichigan League and a block north
the Chemistry Building, is to pro-
de a comprehensive medical ser-
ce to students.
While the majority of the student
dy goes to UHS for viral illnesses
sort or another, upper respira-
ry infections or that damn
adache, UHS offers a vast array of
rvices to students, from allergy
atment to X-rays, and the best part
out it is that it's free.
That's right, free. Whether you use
or not all university students pay a
through their tuition each semes-
'to cover the services provided at
lS. This fee covers all services
'cd by UHS with the exception
exams, glasses and contact
sses, pharmacy items, inoculations
d orthopedic devices.
"I think it's very important to point

out that what we offer is
not covered for the most part by
any insurance policy that students or
their parents may carry," recently
retired director of UHS Dr. Cy
Briefer said. "If you're covered
under your parents' Blue Cross/Blue
Shield program it doesn't cover
office visits. So the cost of an office
visit comes out of your own pocket.
If you belong to a managed care pro-
gram like an HMO, they generally
don't cover people if they are out of
the area. So here we have 36,000 stu-
dents not from the area, and what
99% of them need are the services
we provide for free. There are no
financial barriers for the students
accessing care here."
Although money may not be a bar-
rier for students, time often is. Time
is at a premium for most students at
Michigan and unless you make an
appointment ahead of time, plan on
waiting a while when you make a trip
over to UHS.
Students often complain about
having to wait for extended periods
of time at UHS while waiting to be
treated, especially during allergy and
flu season.
"One time I had a fever and felt
like passing out," LSA senior Brian
Chiu said.
"But they told me I had to wait a
minimum of an hour and a half, so I
just left."
This often creates the issue of ani-
mosity between the students and
UHS faculty.
"It's sometimes an issue in terms
of we have no control over how many
people are going to come through the
door at any given time," Dr. Briefer
said. "We see patients both in a walk-
in mode and in an appointment
mode.
"If you make an appointment you
are doubly advantaged because you
can see who you want when you
want. And by and large you'll be

Cy Briefer, director of the University Health Service stepped down in July after 18 years. "There are no financial barriers for the students accessing care here," he ai

seen within 15 minutes of that
appointment. But if you come in by
walk-in because it's kind of conve-
nient to have someone check your
headache out between sociology and
French you're playing Russian
roulette."
But the university has taken steps
to cut down on the time students
spend at UHS.
"Recently we've had a major reno-
vation here," Dr. Briefer said.
"And I think the system that we
now have in place is a lot more con-

venient, it offers a lot more privacy
and I think we are able to move the
patients through faster than we were
before."
So if you "have the measles and
the mumps, a gash, a rash and purple
bumps," call ahead to make an
appointment at UHS and avoid the
potentially long lines and get better
quick., After all "life moves pretty
fast. If you don't stop and look
around once and a while you might
miss it."
Especially if you're sick.

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[lealth system has grown huge

HEALTH
Fontlnued from Page IF
health centers associated with its
:lite universities?
"I think the nation's major teaching
lospitals have access to cutting-edge
echnology before a lot of the com-
unity hospitals," Lichter said.
Ta have a critical mass of physi-
isas and scientists to provide
pflight healthcare."
Michigan's health system has
chieved such advanced status
hrough a rich, and often cutting
dge, history.
When the state of Michigan was
stablished in 1837, lawmakers
assed legislation officially estab-
shing the University - provided it
S e a Department of Medicine as
ne of three mandatory departments.
In 1869, Michigan opened the first
niversity-owned hospital in the U.S.
n North University Avenue. An 1875
iooden addition to the hospital was
esigned to be "easily burned down

in 10 years because it would be badly
infected," according to a historical
release from UMHS.
In stark contrast contrast to the
$582.12. renovation cost in 1837,
today's medical center operates on a
billion-dollar-a-year budget -- a
majority of which is allocated to the
University by the National Institute
of Health in Bethesda, Md.
The NIH, which is allotted'
"between $15 and 16 billion annually
by Congress," according Lichter,
allocates grants on a competitive
basis to other institutions.
UMHS accepts numerous grants
from the NIH as well as private
donors. Any surplus in the annual
budget is recycled into the system to
keep pace with ever-changing tech-
nology.
"We take all our excess revenue
and plow it back into investing the
enterprise," Lichter said. The modern
cancer and geriatric centers have
been funded primarily in this way, he
said.
Despite its scope, the UMHS bud-

"We account for
nearly half the size
and scope of this
university "
- Allen Lichter,
Dean, Medical School
get does not encompass the
University Health Service on
Fletcher Street, which offers care to
enrolled students. Warren said UHS
falls under the Vice President for
Student Affairs, and not the Health
System.
Although UMHS has its own gov-
erning body, headed up by Gilbert
Omenn, it has close ties with
University brass.
University president Lee Bollinger,
who heads up the system's executive
board, is "very involved" in UMHS's
decision processes, Warren said.

1 1 1 IYI IILi I I IP
7

A message to students:

Pete Seeger said, "Education is when you read the fine
print; experience is what you get when you don't." The
fine print of the Code of Student Conduct identifies
non-academic behaviors that contradict the essential
values of the University community and describes the
procedures used to respond to such behavior...
"The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is dedicated to maintaining a
scholarly community. As its central purpose, this community promotes
intellectual inquiry through vigorous discourse. Essential values which
undergird this purpose include civility, dignity, diversity, education,
equality, freed6m, honesty, and safety.
"When students choose to accept admission to the University, they
accept the rights and responsibilities of membership in the University's
academic and social community. As members of the University
* community, students are expected to uphold its values by maintaining
a high standard of conduct" (excerpt from the Code of Student
Conduct Introduction).
The Code is available in University Policies Affecting Students and
Rounding Out A2 (distributed during Orientation), on the web, and at
Campus Information Centers. Feel free to call or stop by with any
questions concerning the Code or resolution process.
(734) 936-6908 " http://wwvy.umich.edu/~oscr/ * 60PI Fleming

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