The Flathead Valley Community College becomes the first stand-alone 2-year college in the state to offer a health clinic for students. The FVCC Student Health Clinic opened in the new Rebecca Chaney Broussard Center for Nursing and Health Sciences with the beginning of the fall semester.
Physicians Assistant Shelley Naomi said she can treat patients for a range of ailments from preventative care like well-woman annual exams to flu shots, treating the common cold, and sexually transmitted disease testing.
Vice President of Administration and Finance with FVCC Chuck Jensen says the school has a lot of uninsured students, and the Clinic is filling a void.
“Basically all the services in the clinic are free unless we have to send out a lab,” Jensen said if blood work involves additional testing, students would be charged.
Students taking seven credits or more pay a $45 per semester fee to access the FVCC Health Clinic.
Students taking four to six credits can opt-in to the services by paying the fee.
In addition, an anonymous donation doles out $50,000 each year to the Clinic over the next five years.
Jensen said the fees plus the donation cover the costs, and calls the Clinic self-supporting. He said other two year colleges connected with the University of Montana or Montana State do offer health clinics through their four-year counterparts.
FVCC modeled its clinic after Montana State University-Billings which contracts with the local hospital for staffing. Both Naomi and Weller are part of Kalispell Regional Medical Center as is Naomi’s supervising physician Mona Cuthbert. The FVCC Student Health Clinic is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 to 1, and Thursdays from 11-3.