• Wellness Center

  • Policies and Procedures

    Here are procedures, policies, and forms that will help you understand how we help you. The more you understand, the faster and more efficiently we can get you the help you need

    1. Student Health Insurance Policy
    2. Procedures for New Students  
    3. Medical Records  
    4. Students Requiring Allergy Shots  
    5. Privacy practices and confidentiality  
    6. Hepatitis B & Meningitis Policy  
    7. Student Illness Excuses  
    8. Facts and Myths about MRSA  
    9. TB Policy  
    10. Policy on Students with a Communicable Disease  
    11. Information About Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

    Student Health Insurance Policy

    Beginning in August 2012 the University will be discontinuing its health insurance package for students. Find out the details of this change here.

    Return to top

    Procedures for New Students

    All students are required to complete the Confidential Health Record Form which includes basic health and immunization information and a physical exam. This should be completed and sent to the Wellness Center prior to the beginning of a student’s first semester at school.

    Return to top

    Medical Records

    All student medical records are the property of the Wellness Center and are kept confidential according to all Ohio laws regarding patient confidentiality. They are retained for seven years and are then destroyed. These records or a summary of pertinent aspects can be sent to other medical providers upon the written release of confidentiality by a student.

    Return to top

    Students Requiring Allergy Shots

    The Wellness Center can administer allergy immunotherapy prescribed by your home allergist or physician, on the schedule they establish. Our guidelines require several pieces of documentation in order to accomplish this:

    1. Name, address, phone and fax number of treating physician
    2. Antigen injection schedule
    3. Antigen administration instructions- any routine or special instructions for our staff
    4. Instructions for missed doses and local/systemic reactions
    5. Date of last injection in physician’s office
    6. All allergy serum vials must bear label with patient name, serum strength, extract name, and expiration date

    Please note: The initial injection should be given at your physician’s office; the Wellness Center will not initiate immunotherapy.  

    Return to top

    Privacy and Confidentiality Policies and Practices

    This Notice of Privacy Policies describes how medical information about students may be used and disclosed, and how students can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.

    Our promise to you, our patients...
    Your information is important and confidential. Our ethics and policies require that your information be held in strict confidence. We maintain protocols to ensure the security and confidentiality of your personal information. We have physical security in our building, and passwords to protect databases. Within the Wellness Center, access to your information is limited to those who need it to perform their jobs.

    At the University's Wellness Center, we are committed to treating and using protected health information about you responsibly. This Notice of Privacy Policies describes the personal information we collect, and how and when we use or disclose that information. It also describes your rights as they relate to your protected health information. This Notice is effective August 25, 2003 and applies to all protected health information as defined by federal regulation.

    Understanding your health record
    Each time students visit the Wellness Center a record of the visit is made. Typically, this record contains the symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This information, often referred to as a health or medical record, serves as a:

    • Basis for planning care and treatment;
    • Means of communication among the many health professionals who contribute to patient care;
    • Legal document describing the care a patient received;
    • Means by which a patient or a third-party payer can verify that services billed were actually provided;
    • Tool in educating health professionals;
    • Source of data for medical research;
    • Source of information for public health, officials charged to improve the health of the state and nation;
    • Source of data for our planning and marketing;
    • Tool by which we can assess and continually work to improve the care we render and outcomes we achieve.

    Understanding what is in the patient record and how health information is used helps to ensure its accuracy; better understand who, what, when, where and why others may access patient health information; and make more informed decisions when authorizing disclosure to others.

    Your health information rights
    Although your health record is the physical property of the Wellness Center, the information belongs to you. You have the right to:

    • Obtain a paper copy of this Notice of Privacy Policies upon request;
    • Inspect and obtain a copy of your health record as provided by 45 CFR 164.528 (reasonable copy fees apply in accordance with state law);
    • Amend your health record as provided by 45 CFR 164.526;
    • Obtain an accounting of disclosures of your health information;
    • Request confidential communications of your health information;
    • Request a restriction on certain uses and disclosures of your information as provided by 45 CFR 164.522(a) (however, we are not required to agree to a requested restriction).

    Our responsibilities
    The Health Center is required to:

    • Maintain the privacy of your health information;
    • Provide you with this notice as to our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to information we collect and maintain about you;
    • Abide by the terms of this notice;
    • Notify you if we are unable to agree to a requested restriction; and
    • Accommodate reasonable requests you may have to communicate your health information.

    We reserve the right to change our practices and to make the new provisions effective for all protected health information we maintain. We will keep a posted copy of the most current notice in our facility containing the effective date. In addition, each time you visit our facility for treatment you may obtain a copy of the current notice in effect upon request.

    We will not use or disclose your health information in a manner other than described in the section regarding Examples Of Disclosures For Treatment, Payment, And Health Operations, without your written authorization, which you may revoke except to the extent that action has already been taken.

    For more information, or to report a problem
    If you have questions and would like additional information, you may contact the University’s porivacy officer, Adam Scurti, in Human Resources.

    If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can either file a complaint with Adam Scurti or with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint with either our HR department or the OCR. The address for the OCR regional office is:

    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    150 S. Independence Mall West, Suite 372
    Public Ledger Building
    Philadelphia, PA 19106-9111

    Examples of Disclosures for Treatment, Payment, and Health Operations  

    We will use your health information for treatment.
    We will provide medical information about you to health care providers, our practice personnel, or third parties that are involved in the provision, management or coordination of your care.

      For example: Information obtained by a nurse, physician, or other member of your health care team will be recorded in your record and used to determine the course of treatment that should work best for you. Your medical information will be shared among health care professionals involved in your care.
      We will also provide other physician(s) or subsequent health care provider(s) with copies of various reports that should assist them in treating you (when applicable).

    We will use your health information for payment.
    We may disclose your information so that payment can be made for services you receive.

    • For example: If you participate in a health insurance plan, we will disclose necessary information to that plan to Obtain payment for your care.

    We will use your health information for regular health operations.
    We may disclose your health information for our routine operations. These uses are necessary for certain administrative, financial, legal and quality improvement activities that are necessary to run our office and support the core functions.

    • For example: Members of the quality improvement team may use information in your health record to assess the care and outcomes in your case and others like it. This information will then be used in an effort to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the healthcare and service we provide and to reduce healthcare costs.

    Other legitimate uses, including...  

    • Appointment Reminders
      We may disclose medical information to provide appointment reminders or to make changes in appointments.
    • Decedents
      Consistent with applicable law, we may disclose health information to a coroner, medical examiner, or funeral director.
    • Workers Compensation
      We may disclose health information to the extent authorized by and necessary to comply with laws relating to workers compensation or other similar programs established by law.
    • Public Health
      As required by law, we may disclose your health information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability.
    • As Required By Law
      We may disclose health information as required by law. This may include reporting a crime, responding to a court order, grand jury subpoena, warrant, discovery request, or other legal process, or complying with health oversight activities such as audits, investigations, and inspections, necessary to ensure compliance with government regulations and civil rights laws.
    • Specialized Government Functions
      We may disclose health information for military and veterans’ affairs or national security and intelligence activities.
    • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
      We may disclose to the FDA health information relative to adverse events with respect to food, supplements, product and product defects, or post marketing surveillance information to enable product recalls, repairs, or replacement.
    • Personal Representatives
      We may use or disclose information to your personal representative (person legally responsible for your care and authorized to act on your behalf in making decisions related to your health care).
    • To Avert a Serious Threat to Health/Safety
      We may disclose your information when we believe in good faith that this is necessary to prevent a serious threat to your safety or that of another person. This may include cases of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
    • Communication With Family
      Unless you object, health professionals, using their best judgement, may disclose to a family member or close personal friend health information relevant to that person’s involvement in your care or payment related to your care. We may notify these individuals of your location and general condition.
    • Disaster Relief
      Unless you object, we may disclose health information about you to an organization assisting in a disaster relief effort.

    For all non-routine operations, we will obtain your written authorization before disclosing your personal information. In addition, we take great care to safeguard your information in every way that we can to minimize any accidental disclosures.

    Return to top

    Hepatitis B & Meningitis Policy

    Hepatitis B

    Hepatitis B is a serious, life-threatening viral infection 100 times more contagious and easier to get than HIV. Hepatitis B is passed from person to person either directly from those already infected or indirectly from their bodily fluids. The hepatitis B virus can live for more than a week in dried blood or in bodily fluids on clothing or other surfaces.

    There are four common ways of contracting the disease. The first way is through the skin by way of cuts, scrapes, needle sticks or sharing needles. It also can be transferred through the eyes or mouth by exposure to blood or other bodily fluids. The third way is through sexual contact. Lastly, the disease can be passed through contact between an infected mother and her newborn child during birth and early infancy.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adolescence and young adulthood are the periods with the highest hepatitis B risk. The best way to protect against the virus is to get vaccinated with a series of three shots over six months.

    Because it is so contagious and college age students are at risk for contracting it, Ohio law stipulates that all students living in residential housing for colleges must inform the college of their vaccination status as a requirement for living in the residence hall. Residence Life staff will require that you inform them of the dates that you have had this vaccine and understand the benefits/risks of the vaccine, and sign a form to document this information.


    Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by bacteria. It is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children 2-18 years of age in the United States. Meningococcal bacteria can cause meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) or sepsis (an infection of the bloodstream). Symptoms of meningitis include stiff neck, headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, confusion and drowsiness. Symptoms of sepsis include fever, shock and coma. Death from sepsis can occur within 12 hours of the beginning of the illness – meningococcal disease can be a rapid and overwhelming infectious disease. For these reasons, meningococcal infections that occur in childcare centers, elementary schools, high schools and colleges often cause panic in the community.

    Ohio law requires that all students living in the residence halls notify the university/college of their vaccination status for meningitis. The Residence Life staff will require that you inform them of the dates that you have received this vaccine and understand the risks/benefits of the vaccine, and sign a form to document this information.

    Return to top

    Student Illness Excuse Policy

    A written class/work excuse is given only if a student has been examined by a nurse or nurse practitioner at the Wellness Center and the examiner requests that the student not attend class/work.

    In the case of multiple absences due to long-standing illness, the student may request a formal letter be sent to the appropriate faculty member or dean of the Faculty Offices informing them of the student's medical problem. A copy of this letter is also given to the student.

    It is the student's responsibility to attend class. If illness prevents this, the student has the obligation to let the professor know about the absence and how long he or she anticipates being out of class. Note: Even if a medical excuse is provided, individual professors will decide whether an absence will be excused. Even if a medical excuse is provided, individual professors will decide whether an absence will be excused. No medical excuse can be given retroactively to a student who was not seen by Wellness Center staff, e.g. if you are sick in the morning and miss class, the Wellness Center will not give you an excuse later that day.

    Return to top

    Facts and Myths about MRSA

    The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has calculated that a drug resistant staph bacterium known as MRSA is responsible for more than 94,000 serious infections in the USA each year. Here are the FAQs about this infection to keep you informed and healthy.

    1. Q: What is MRSA?
      A: It is methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium that does not respond to certain antibiotics. It can colonize in the nose, throat, and skin without causing infection. But if it gets into the body, typically via a cut or scrape, it can cause potentially serious infections.
    2. Q: What are the symptoms of a MRSA infection?
      A: MRSA should be suspected in skin or soft-tissue infections that are swollen, inflamed, and painful. In the beginning it might resemble a pimple or boil; many are initially mistaken for spider bites. The wound can open by itself and have yellow pus drainage. If an MRSA infection becomes invasive throughout your body this can be potentially serious. Symptoms can include fever, chills and shortness of breath.
    3. Q: How is it transmitted?
      A: MRSA is most often spread by skin-to-skin contact, contact with a contaminated surface or through the sharing of personal items such as towels and razors.
    4. Q: How can MRSA be prevented?
      A: Vigorous and frequent hand washing is the most effective way to stop MRSA transmission. Cuts and scrapes should be kept clean and covered with a bandage until healed. Change the bandages frequently. If you have a lung infection with MRSA, cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough, throw the tissue away, and wash your hands. Don't share towels, clothing, bedding, athletic equipment or other personal items. Don't touch the skin or infected wounds of a person infected with it.
    5. Q: How is it treated?
      A: The infection can cause complications and is difficult to treat due to the bacteria being resistant to certain antibiotics. It is very important that the person finish the full prescription of the antibiotic chosen to treat this illness. If the wound does not improve with antibiotic therapy, the person should return to his/her healthcare provider for re-evaluation because a change in antibiotics might be necessary. Sometimes it is necessary for IV administration of antibiotics which would require hospitalization. Let the University Wellness Center know if you have been diagnosed with MRSA so they can update your medical record here.

    The most basic and important thing we can do to prevent the spread of this or any disease is to use good hand washing technique.

    • Use soap and warm running water. Rub hands together vigorously.
    • Wash all surfaces including the backs of hands, wrists, between fingers and underneath fingernails.
    • Rinse soap off hands in warm running water.
    • Dry hands with a paper towel.
    • Turn off the faucet with the used paper towel.

    If you think you have MRSA or if you would like to know more about it, contact the Wellness Center at Ext.7223 or your personal physician for more information.

    Return to top

FacebookTwitterFlickr LogoYouTube Logorss icons
MyFranciscan - Click here


Get Connected Picture  

for Future:

Contact Us | Campus E-mail | Directions | Search | CALENDARS | Privacy Policy | MYFranciscan  | Nondiscrimination Statement

1235 University Blvd, Steubenville, Ohio 43952 | Main 740-283-3771 | Consumer Information © Franciscan University of Steubenville
Click here to log in
Click here to get help