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A message from Tom Rocklin, Vice President for Student LifeWe’ve had a pretty nice fall this year in Iowa City, but earlier this week, we had a rainy, windy, cold day that served as an emphatic reminder that winter will be here before we know it. That means flu season is looming, and we are likely to see a lot more sick students on campus.

Luckily, our students have access to an outstanding Student Health Service. The staff at the Student Health Service work hard to keep our students well, and help them get well if they do get sick. They share my focus on supporting student success, and sick students have a harder time succeeding than well students do.

The Student Health Service is accredited by the American Association for Ambulatory Healthcare and staffed by board-certified physicians, as well as physician assistants, registered nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Our physicians’ specialties include family medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and psychiatry.

The clinic serves more than 37,000 patients a year for everything from coughs and sniffles to a wide variety of very serious illnesses. Where appropriate, our healthcare providers can seamlessly refer students to specialists at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The clinic also fields more than 23,000 calls to the Nurse Line (319-335-9704). The nurses staffing the line are ready to help students decide whether a visit is necessary, and if not, how to manage their symptoms so that they are as comfortable as possible and get well as soon as possible.

The staff at Student Health Service also work to help students stay well. For example, Student Health Service administers more than 7,500 immunizations each year, which reminds me that flu vaccines are now available.

Student Health Service folks will be out and about giving flu vaccines at well-publicized locations around campus soon, and your student is welcome to drop by the clinic in the Westlawn building during normal clinic hours to get a flu shot. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a flu vaccination for everyone six months of age and older.

Student Health Service also has an outstanding health education and promotion unit called Health Iowa. Health Iowa reaches almost 22,000 students a year through workshops and individual consultations.

The staff at Health Iowa provide one-on-one consultations on fitness, nutrition, stress management, tobacco cessation, alcohol and drug use, and sexual health. What a resource this is for students, and I’m glad that something like 10 percent of our students take advantage of individual consultations every year. I bet many more could benefit.

We don’t want to put up barriers between students and help with their health, so many, many of the Student Health Service services don’t involve any charge to the student. For example, a visit to the clinic to see one of our health care providers normally is free for the student.

I hope your student (and you) are staying well this fall. If your student needs health help or advice, please encourage him or her to contact Student Health Service. The Student Health Service staff is here for just one reason: to help students succeed.

I always enjoy hearing from parents at


Tom Rocklin
Vice President for Student Life
249 Iowa Memorial Union