Wellness Center introducing new staff, policies and practices

Lawrence’s Wellness Center. Photo by Yujie Shao.

Lawrence’s Wellness Services has experienced a series of changes over the past two academic years. In previous years, Lawrence students have expressed concerns that Wellness Services is underfunded and that the hours they can get medical care are often inconvenient. Dean of Wellness Services Richard Jazdzewski addressed some concerns and discussed efforts taking place going forward to improve the quality of Wellness Services. Jazdzewski feels that Wellness Services is well supported by the university, citing the fact that the administration approved their request to increase staffing.  

Jazdzewski said that Wellness Services has a variety of systems in place to review and improve the quality of care. A problem that Jazdzewski identified was an increasing number of doctors’ appointments that were scheduled but hat students didn’t show up to. He commented that Wellness Services is looking into educating students about the importance of cancelling appointments they can’t attend.  

Since Lawrence is not currently experiencing high levels of COVID-19 transmission, Jazdzewski said that they have been able to provide services that they were unable to provide during the height of the pandemic. Among the services Jazdzewski mentioned were in-person and telehealth sessions, campus-provided massages and free personal training for students. Jazdzewski also mentioned the recent Mental Health and Wellness Fair, held on Wednesday, Oct. 12, and groups such as the LGBTQ+ Support Group and Student Grief Support.  

One of the ways in which Wellness Services has been supporting counseling services, according to Jazdzewski, is the hiring of three new counselors in the past two years. He commented that counselors Megan Lyons and Vijay Krishnan were hired last year, bringing their staffing numbers up to six. This year, Kady Piloto has been hired as Lawrence’s seventh counselor. Jazdzewski added that they have hired an office coordinator, Nicole Bauman, who he called “fantastic,” and two paid interns, who he said are Lawrence students who engage in prevention, education and public health initiatives.  

Piloto commented that she already feels like part of the Lawrence community and that she is grateful for the welcome she received from students and colleagues.  

Jazdzewski addressed concerns students have expressed about medical care being hard to access outside of regular hours. He encouraged students who experience health issues outside of regular business hours to call 920-738-2230, the nurse direct line. Jazdzewski said that the nurse direct line can analyze the level of care a student needs and direct them to the proper resources.  

Jazdzewski also discussed Lawrence’s readiness if another COVID-19 outbreak happens. He thanked Lawrentians for following the Lawrence Campus Community Pledge and added that Lawrence continues to provide masks and rapid tests on request from Wellness Services or Campus Safety.  

“The University is prepared to adjust the mitigation strategies as necessary to continue to ensure the health and well-being of campus,” Jazdzewski said.  

Jazdzewski added that Wellness Services continues to prioritize Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He commented that Wellness Services works alongside the Committee on Diversity Affairs (CODA), the Student Welfare Committee and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) to ensure that their practices are in line with their anti-racism commitments. He added that Piloto serves as a committee member in Office of DEI in order to plan a series of community conversations around issues of race, racism and justice. He added that Wellness Services worked with the Office of DEI in order to ensure equitable programming at the Mental Health and Wellness Fair, and that Wellness Services hosted a Feminist Self-Defense Class on Wednesday, Oct. 26 and is hosting a Healing Yoga class on Saturday, Nov. 5.