OU health clinic leaves UCO after contract expires

Starting July 1, the University of Central Oklahoma will no longer have a health clinic on campus due to the University of Oklahoma’s Physicians Health and Wellness Clinic choosing not to renew their contract.

According to Dr. Lynn Mitchell, the chief medical officer for OU Health and Physicians, stated through a spokesperson, “OU Health Physicians is involved in a strategic review as an underlying foundation toward our OU Health merger. As part of that process, the decision was made to not continue this partnership.”

Mitchell also stated, “The clinic space was provided by UCO. All operating costs for running the clinic have been paid by the OU College of Medicine/OU Health Physicians.”

In a news release from March 9, 2021, OU announced they are merging their facilities instead of offering services to other schools, “As part of the merger, the OU College of Medicine faculty practice will create a new clinic practice to deliver clinical care within OU Health facilities, […] This new clinic practice will formally merge with the hospital partner, a merger of equals, in order to unify the academic health system.”

International students at UCO are required to carry insurance. They may carry their own or they will be required to pay for insurance through the school, according to Sameer Ahmad, a communications specialist student assistant for the Office of Global Affairs at UCO. Ahmad also stated that the insurance through the school is paid through the students Bursar’s account but is not full coverage insurance and costs around $265 a semester.

Domestic students are not offered insurance through the university.

UCO students who need medical assistance will be expected to find transportation to local clinics in the area. A list of local facilities is listed on UCO’s website

When asked where students should go for their health needs once the UCO clinic will be closed, Ahmad stated, “OUP Canyon Park will be the best alternative location for the time being until we are able to negotiate a new no CoPay designated clinic near campus in the near future which is currently in the works. Route 3 on Edmond City Link will take students to 15th & Bryant, and students will need to walk about 0.2 miles from the drop off to the clinic.”

Some universities in the metro, like Southern Nazarene University, run their own clinics that are available to students and faculty. According to Jacob Wright, an administrative assistant at the Student Health Center at SNU, their health center, “is a CLIA waived facility, made possible through our volunteer physician Dr. Ami Siems.”

Wright also explained that their facility it paid for by a “small health fee applied to student tuition and fees.” The facility doesn’t’ charge students for visits and only charges small fees for medications and vaccines. Faculty is welcome at the facility but is charged a $30 copay for the visit and only accepts SNU’s private insurance.

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