Student Health Center, University Medical Center to merge operations 

The transition is expected to provide a broader array of services.

CW File

CW File

Keely Brewer | @keelykbrewer, News Editor

The University of Alabama Student Health Center (SHC) is merging its medical services and administrative operations with the University Medical Center (UMC), which falls under the supervision of the College of Community Health Sciences. 

The partnership will allow the SHC, currently managed by the Division of Student Life, to expand its services in gynecological and women’s health, neurology, sports medicine, endoscopy, endocrinology and hospital-based care. 

Richard Friend, dean of the College of Community Health Sciences, said the merger will allow them to be nimble as a unified health care service provider. 

“Providing premier health care services to our students and the broader campus community is, and always has been, our primary goal, which is why we are taking advantage of this opportunity to streamline operations and provide seamless and expanded health care services,” Friend said. 

A full transition is expected by the fall of 2021. 

Psychiatric services will be relocated to the Counseling Center in the South Lawn Office Building at the end of the Spring 2021 semester so that mental health services will be coordinated through one central office. 

The Department of Health Promotion and Wellness will remain under the supervision of the Division of Student Life. The department offers individual and group education on health topics and presentations for students organizations and classes, along with other resources. 

All other operations will remain at the current location on the corner of Peter Bryce Boulevard and 4th Street East. 

A search for a new executive director of the SHC has been put on hold while Dr. Karen Burgess, associate professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics, serves on an interim basis. The potential for job loss at other levels was taken into consideration. 

Vice President for Student Life Myron Pope was part of conversations about the transition with Burgess and Friend, as well as Senior Associate Vice President Steven Hood and Provost James Dalton.

Pope said it’s still too soon to speculate about job loss, but he said the University will do its best to avoid this possibility. Throughout the transition, Pope said some employees may be asked to take on new or different roles. He said these decisions will be taken seriously to support their mission of providing quality health care services to the campus community.