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UO student health center remodel to begin.

Byline: DEVELOPMENT REPORT By Joe Harwood The Register-Guard

The University of Oregon next month will begin a $10 million expansion and renovation of its Student Health Center, the first major upgrade of the facility since it was built 40 years ago.

Although the building, at 1590 E. 13th Ave., has undergone piecemeal remodels over the years, the addition of 10,770 square feet of space will consolidate all of the center's clinical services on the first floor and enhance student access, said Dr. Tom Ryan, the center's director.

"The things we wanted to accomplish with this were to unify all the clinical services on the first floor, move our staff out of the basement and really promote health education and health promotion services," Ryan said.

He said the current configuration chops up services between the basement, first floor and second floor. "We have three primary care clinics," Ryan said. "Two at opposite ends of the first floor and another on the second floor."

When the building was completed in 1965, health care delivery meant multi-day hospital stays. The second floor was designed as an impatient unit with hospital beds. That medical motel paradigm has since changed to an emphasis on outpatient services, much like health care delivery across the nation, Ryan said.

The University Counseling and Testing Center, which provides outpatient mental health care, takes up most of the second floor.

Along with a full interior remodel, the project includes a new two-story building entrance on the north side, a new two-story wing at the northwest corner, and a one-story extension that will run off the east side and connect to the southeast wing of the building, according to university planning documents.

In addition to unifying services on the main floor, the renovation will create an external corridor that will connect all of the second-floor counseling offices.

"It's just going to be a better use of the existing and new space," Ryan said. "We are really crammed into the space we have now." The building now measures 38,960 square feet.

Ryan said the 16-month project will be done in phases so the health center can continue offering a full range of services during construction.

The health center is a one-stop shop for all students. In addition to primary care services, it includes an allergy and travel clinic, a full-service pharmacy, dental services,

X-ray lab, physical therapy services and a health education component, Ryan said.

The facility employs eight primary care physicians, five nurse practitioners and one psychiatrist.

It records about 60,000 student visits each year.

A student committee authorized the $10 million expenditure from student fee funds in 2002. Ryan said the health fee all students pay supports about 75 percent of the center's budget.

Development Report runs Tuesdays. To suggest items, contact Joe Harwood at 338-2364 or
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 9, 2005
Previous Article:Measure still a mess.

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