New Hendrix Financial Model Proposal Would Cut Most Medical Staff

By: Logan Peterson,

Update: May 10th

In an email from Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Brenda Amenson-Hill, it was announced that all medical, pharmacy and laboratory service at Hendrix will be discontinued on July 1, 2019.

“We’re making this change to meet the increasing need for emotional/mental health services for our students,” Amenson-Hill wrote, “And to be good stewards of university financial resources.

The administration has proposed a new financial model for Hendrix that would cut most medical services and staff after responses to the request for proposals came up with one unviable response.

“[The partnership] was the model that we all really wanted,” Kara Gravley-Stack, Dean of Students, said. “but the feasibility of it just does not seem like it’s going to happen.”

Gravely-Stack said that the one proposal they received from Family Health Care would require a $480,000/year operating fee, which makes the model run at a financial deficit. This caused the administration to seek another proposal that would change the current services offered at Hendrix.

The new model, dubbed the “Navigator/Case Manager” model, would replace five medical staff positions with one new position, called “Navigator/Case Manager.”

Positions such as two nurse practitioners, a residential nurse and pharmacist would be cut. All pharmaceutical services and most physical health services would be cut from the on-campus clinic.

“I take a step away from saying that there will be no health services,” Gravely-Stack said, “It’s just going to be different kinds of services that we’ll be providing in the area of medical health.”

Instead of receiving medical attention and pharmaceutical services on campus, this new staff member would be able to help students understand their insurance and utilize nine clinical centers and seven pharmacies located within 3 miles of campus. The administration also hopes that this “Navigator” would be able to expedite medical attention that would otherwise take longer if students were to book appointments themselves.

Gravely-Stacks says this would mostly apply to specialized situations such as schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder or eating disorders that require referrals to psychiatrists, which can take weeks or months to see without appropriate help.

“In reality, our pharmacy is opened five hours a day, as opposed to extended hours,” Gravely-Stacks said, “And in the summer all of our clinical staff, including our pharmacy are open only one day a week.”

The administration has observed this model as being successful on other campuses. Within this new model, mental health councilors would remain available at the Hendrix facility.

If these services are cut from Hendrix, the administration plans on contacting any patients that rely on medical or pharmaceutical services currently offered at Hendrix so that they can access records and move services to other facilities in the area.

Both new models remain recommendations, but the administration hopes to make a decision by the Fall of 2019.

A chart produced by the administration shows that in Financial Year 2020 no changes would lead to a -$389,673 yearly deficit, the partnership with Family Healthcare would lead to a -$421,461 yearly deficit and the “Navigator/Case Manager” model would lead to a $12,848 yearly surplus.

The projected beginning cash balance for Hendrix is -$825,401 at the beginning of Financial Year 2020.

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