New Health Center Director Addresses Old Challenges
Issue   |   Wed, 09/21/2016 - 01:37

Emily Jones has been appointed as the new director of Keefe Health Center, as the retiring director, Warren Morgan, will be leaving his position at the end of September. Jones was selected to be the director of student health services in the spring and began her role in August.

A native of Amherst, Jones practiced family and sports medicine in New Hampshire prior to coming to the college.

Jones said she knew about the difficulties that the health center faced last year due to initial short-staffing and to the health center splitting from the UMass University Health Services, coming under full management of Amherst College.

“In some ways, it’s nice to be a new person coming in because I can learn from the ways that things have been done, either successfully or unsuccessfully in the past,” Jones said, adding that she hopes to bring a “new approach” to the health center and its new independent system.

Jones said that during the six-week overlap between her and Morgan’s time at the health center, she has adjusted to the health center and learned from Morgan’s experiences. The fall tends to be busy for health centers on campuses, Jones said, with the start of the fall sports season and increased incidents of illness due to students coming together in close spaces again, and having two doctors in the health center helped alleviate that strain.

According to Jones, the health center staff now include full-time nurse practitioner Alyssa Pawlowski and returning physician’s assistant Edward McGlynn.

“Students can have the option of seeing a male provider or seeing a female provider,” Jones said. “Not only do we have three providers, but we all have different areas of expertise.”

Jones said that there is also a full-time nurse and two medical assistants. All of the health center’s staff are relatively new, having come to the college during the last year.

“Although I was unable to get an appointment for the first week of school for the doctor to clear me for activity on my recent foot surgery, they were able to find an appointment for me the following week,” said Ally Kido ’18, who recently visited the health center. “Overall, I think the health center has greatly improved to a faster and more efficient system.”

Going forward, Jones said that one goal is to increase student access to the health center. Health center staff will participate in the Wellness Fair, which will be held this Friday.

Jones also said that she has plans for the college to “take more ownership” of the health center, now that it has been out of the UMass system for some time.

“I look forward to it being a back-and-forth between hearing what the needs are, of the students, and trying to implement them,” Jones said. “There’s a lot of unique things that go on at the Amherst campus.”