Frequently Asked Questions
1. Am I required to show proof of immunizations to come to WTAMU?
Yes - Meningitis Vaccination Requirement - Texas law requires all students (under age 22) entering an institution of higher education (public and private) to either receive a vaccination against bacterial meningitis or meet certain criteria for declining such a vaccination. Student Medical Services offers the injection to currently enrolled and newly registered students for a discounted price. There is a vaccine for children program for students 18 years of age or younger who do not have insurance. This program will reduce the price of the vaccine to $10, if eligible.
2. What if I do not want to get the vaccination?
Exceptions to this requirement must be documented on a conscientious exemption form. Meningitis web page and forms: www.wtamu.edu/meningitis
3. What do I do with the vaccination information or affidavit?
All Documentation or approved exemption forms regarding the meningitis vaccine must be submitted to Admissions:
Mail: Office of Admissions, WTAMU Box 60907, Canyon, TX 79016
4. What other immunizations are required?
At this time, no other immunizations are required to enter WTAMU; however, SMS highly recommends that all students be current on all immunizations. Most of these immunizations are available at Student Medical Services at a reduced price including the new HPV (Gardasil) Vaccine. There is a patient assistance program where if the patient qualifies, he or she may be able to receive the vaccine at no cost. We are also offer a Vaccine for Children’s Program Provider which means that if you are 18 years of age or younger and do not have insurance you are eligible to receive the meningitis vaccine for $10 per vaccine through WTAMU Student Medical Services.
4. What happens if I get sick, injured or need to see a medical provider?
The student can call the clinic at 806-651-3287 or go online www.wtamu.edu/appointments to schedule an appointment.
5. Are appointments required?
Appointments are required. Our office hours are 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Mondays and 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. We can almost always see them on the day they call, and will ALWAYS see them if it is an emergency. Student Medical Services has a board-certified physician, two family nurse practitioners, two RNs, an X-Ray technologist and administrative support staff to meet the medical needs of the student. We can provide everything your family doctor can. We have on-site x-ray processing and lab services, and can do minor surgical procedures (mole and wart removal, sutures, etc.), well-woman care, physicals, immunizations, and allergy shots.
7. Does it cost anything to visit Student Medical Services?
There is no charge for an office visit. There will be a charge if your student needs a blood test, an X-ray, allergy shots, medications, or a surgical procedure. Most of these costs are minimal, and we expect payment arrangements at the time of service. We can bill the student, and accept Buff Gold Card, checks, cash or credit cards.
8. What about insurance?
We recommend that the student carry health insurance. The Student Medical Fee covers services provided on campus, but does not cover any type of specialty care. For example, if a student needs a surgical referral for appendicitis, these costs would be at the expense of the student. If you do not have medical insurance, there is a policy available through The Texas A&M University System - Academic Health Plans - underwritten by BlueCross BlueShield. You may enroll or find more information on the West Texas A&M University Student Health Insurance Web Page or call 855-247-2273 for more information. Students also utilize their insurance benefits to help pay for any prescriptions they may need. If the student has medical insurance, please be sure he/she knows about the coverage and provide him/her a copy of the insurance card (front and back).
7. Do you file insurance claims?
We do not file insurance claims. Students can file their own insurance claims. We will give each student a copy of the bill with diagnosis codes that can be submitted to insurance for reimbursement and/or application towards deductible costs.
8. Can a parent get information about the student’s health status?
We are unable to release any information about the student--even as simple as whether the student has an appointment at the clinic--without the student’s written consent. Privacy regulations, as well as the fact that they are considered adults, prevent us from releasing this information. We also cannot release information to professors or administrators without the student’s consent. If the student is under age 18, we will need permission from a parent/guardian to treat them; and in those cases, we can release information to the parent/guardian.
9. Where are you located? 2620 N. Russell Long Blvd, Virgil Henson Activities Center Room 104 - Map to VHAC
10. How can I schedule an appointment? You can go online www.wtamu.edu/appointments or call 806-651-3287 or come in VHAC 104 to schedule an appointment. Appointments are required.
11. What if I cannot keep my appointment? Please cancel your appointment. As a patient of Student Medical Services, it will be your responsibility to keep scheduled appointments. The clinic will consider a no show/non-cancellation appointment at any time a patient has not given advanced notice within 1 hour of the appointment time or has failed to arrive within 5 minutes of their appointment time. All no show appointments are subject to a $5 non-cancellation fee or a $10 non-cancellation fee for recurring no-shows and/or appointments requiring 30 minutes or longer. No walk-ins -- appointment required.
12. What do I need to bring with me to my appointment? Please bring your Buffalo Gold Card as you will be carded to enter the building. There may be a financial charge for lab testing, x-rays, injections, vaccines, medication or other services. There is no charge for the office visit if you are currently enrolled. It is always helpful to know your medical history, what medications you are currently taking, what medications that you may be allergic to, what surgeries you have had, etc. Although we do not bill your insurance carrier, it is always helpful to provide a copy of your insurance information in the event that we might need to refer you to a specialist, order further diagnostic studies, etc.
13. What type of services do you provide?
- Routine office vists - illness, injury and preventive care
- Immunizations and allergy injections
- Women's health services
- X-ray services
- Laboratory services
- Medical equipment
- Minor surgery under local anesthetic
- Pharmacy with antibiotics, asthma medications and oral contraceptives
14. Who are the providers and staff members?
- Director: LuAnne Rickwartz, RN
- Board Certified Family Physician: Jim Gibbs, MD
- Clay Stewart, MD - Fellowship Trained Sports Medicine Physician
- Family Nurse Practitioners: Candy Marshall, RN, FNP and Wendy Hearn, RN, FNP
- X-ray technician: Donna Adams-Stevens, R.T.(R)
- Registered nurses: Hayley Robinson, RN, Patient Assistant Advocate and LuAnne Rickwartz, RN
- Medical Office Manager: Lori O'Toole
- Pharmaceutical Technician: Thomas Wieck
- CPR/AED Coordinator: Kevin Wright
- Office Assistants: Abigail Miller, Christina Hitchcock, and Kaitlyn Riddle
15. I get routine allergy injections. How does this work in your office?
Allergy Injections are administered in our office. SMS does not provide allergy testing. We can administer the serum from your allergy specialist. You will be required to wait at least 15 minutes after your injection. Please send or bring in your serum, allergist's guidelines and current allergy injection record to Student Medical Services - WTAMU Box 61401, Canyon, TX 79016. For a seasonal allergy prescription or injection, please schedule an appointment with a provider.
17. I will be traveling soon. What injections or medications do I need? What other information do I need to know?
· The Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Travel website http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm provides a complete list of countries with a list of recommended and/or required vaccines.
- Learn about your destination. Will you need a yellow fever certificate? What vaccines will you need?
- Student Medical Services would be happy to assist you with your health care needs during your travel. Please note that Student Medical Services does not carry all of the recommended or required vaccinations but can advise you where to obtain these if necessary.
- Your health care provider may prescribe a prophylactic (preventative medication) .
- Use sunscreen and insect repellent as directed.
- Be careful about food and water.
- Keep a copy of your prescriptions, including the brand or generic name and manufacturer of any medicine that you take regularly or that has been prescribed for your trip (for example, malaria medicines).
- Buy medicines only from licensed pharmacies and get a receipt. Do not buy medicines from open markets.
18. Can I get a sick note for class or work?
The medical staff will write an excuse note for class or work if the student was ill or injured and only if our providers were involved in the medical care of the student. Please note: Our medical providers cannot write excuse notes for illnesses or problems for which we never provided care. Unless specifically requested to do so by the patient, we do NOT place a diagnosis on an excuse note. A patient's medical condition is his/her own private and confidential information. Your instructors and employers have no right to obtain your diagnosis unless you personally choose to share it with them. Furthermore, we do not release information about your medical and/or psychological condition to the University administrators, instructors, parents (unless you are a minor) or employers without your specific request and release.
19. How can I get a copy of my medical records or immunization records?
Medical Records - An authorization to release medical records must be signed before medical can be released. Fax number 806-651-3289 - scan and e-mail the form to email@example.com
20. What if I need medical records sent from another facility to your office?
You can fax the request for medical records to your provider and they can fax your records to our office. Our fax number is on the page - 806-651-3289. Please allow several days for medical records processing from an outside facility.
21. Are you open for services during intersession?
No, we are not open for health care services during intersession. The students are not charged the health fee during the interssions. We are available for immunizations. The front desk will remain open during this time.
22. I have more questions about diseases and heatlh conditions where can I find out more information? Patient Education and Information Section of our Web Page
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Updated February 12, 2014