We would like to say hello and introduce the medical services that we have here at the SUNY Cortland Student Health Service. The Student Health Service is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday during the academic year. We are located on the ground floor of Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-26. Our staff includes a physician, three nurse practitioners, four RNs and two secretaries.
Services include diagnosis and treatment of common medical illnesses, care of students with more chronic medical conditions and a wide range of other medical and health education services. Specifically, we want to let you know that we are here to care for each student and to serve his or her needs. In the event of a serious illness or injury after hours, a hospital and urgent care centers are easily accessible. The campus emergency squad and local ambulance service are available if needed.
There are several other issues we would like to bring to your attention. The College’s Mandatory Health Fee supports direct health care services and health education on the Cortland campus. It is NOT health insurance and does NOT cover the cost of laboratory studies, x-rays, referral to outside clinicians or medications not provided by the Student Health Service. All students are strongly encouraged to carry health insurance to help defray the costs of these services as well as protect you in the event of a serious illness or injury.
Unfortunately, many of our students are discovering their health insurance plans will not provide coverage for routine laboratory studies or medications outside their hometown areas. Parents and students are encouraged to contact their insurance/health providers prior to arrival on campus to understand what type of coverage they have while at SUNY Cortland.
Another topic to discuss is immunizations. All new students must meet the state mandated immunization requirements. If you are the parent of a new student, please visit our webpage which discusses these requirements (see the link at the left) and please help make sure your son/daughter has submitted all of the required information. All students are also encouraged to receive a yearly influenza vaccination, unless it is medically contraindicated. Although influenza is generally a self-limiting illness, medical complications can occur. Also, influenza is often severe enough to keep students out of class. This can be disruptive around finals or when papers and projects are due. Please encourage your son or daughter to take advantage of influenza immunization clinics that are generally held on campus each fall.
The meningococcal vaccine is also available at the Student Health Service. The cost is approximately $95. Please call for the most up to date cost information if you are interested. Although meningococcal meningitis is extremely rare, there is evidence that freshman students living in dormitories are at increased risk for this potentially fatal disease. The meningococcal vaccine can reduce this risk. Other more routine immunizations are also available at the Student Health Service.
Confidentiality of medical records is taken very seriously at SUNY Cortland's Student Health Service. As you may know, it is mandated by law that we cannot release any medical information to parents of non-minor children unless that student requests us to do so. We assure you however, that in case of a medical emergency where there is an issue of life or death, we would contact you immediately.
If your son or daughter has a special medical condition, we would like to meet them before problems arise. Please have them make an appointment to see one of our providers and let us get to know them.
We hope that when your son or daughter needs our services they will find them accessible and of high quality; but if there are problems, we encourage you to give us a call and let us know what we can do to improve. Also if you’re in town and would like to take a tour, stop in and we will be happy to show you our facility. Do not hesitate to give us a call if you ever need to communicate with us for any reason.
Devin Coppola, MD
Special thanks and credit to Dr. Robert D. Palinkas, McKinley Health Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Dr. Nancy Sternfeld, SUNY Cortland, for the use of their letters as models.