Medical Services Frequently Asked Questions

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 of $110.00 (price subject to change). This can be billed to insurance.   ­ Students will upload their immunization records to their WT portal. 

2. What if I do not want to get the vaccination?

Students age 22 or over are not required to provide documentation. Exceptions to this requirement must be documented on a conscientious exemption form. ­ Meningitis web page and forms:­ 

3. What do I do with the vaccination information or affidavit?

All Documentation or approved exemption forms regarding the meningitis vaccine must be uploaded on the student portal.  If you need to contact Admissions:
Mail: Office of Admissions, WTAMU Box 60907, Canyon, TX 79016
Phone: (806)651-2020
Fax: (806)651-5285

4.  Do you offer the COVID-19 vaccine?

At this time Student Medical does not offer the COVID-19 vaccine. 

5.  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. 

6.­ What happens if I get sick, injured or need to see a medical provider?

The student can call the clinic at 806-651-3287 to set up an appointment or walk-in and make an appointment with the front desk. We ask that you wear a mask if you are feeling sick in any type of way. This may include, cold like symptoms, upset stomach, allergies, ext.  IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID call 806-651-3287 first!   

Appointments not related to illness, COVID, influenza, colds, etc. and have no COVID exposure, etc. can enter the building after being screened by the SMS staff.  

7. ­ Are appointments required?

All appointments are required. Our office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 pm  Monday-Friday. We can almost always see the student 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.

8.­ Does it cost anything to visit Student Medical Services?

There is no charge for an office visit. There will be a charge if the student needs a diagnostic test, an X-ray, allergy shots, medications, or certain medical procedures. 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, money orders  or credit cards.  Credit card transactions must be made in person.  SMS no longer accepts cash. Students that want to pay over the phone with a credit card need to move funds from their credit card to their Buffalo Gold Card and we would be happy to take the Buffalo Gold transaction over the phone. SMS can also file an insurance claim if the student submits the insurance information and if we are in network with the insurance company.   

9.  ­ 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).

If you would like to­ e-mail a PDF copy of health insurance cards to or fax­­ 806-488-3064.­ Please be sure that the copy of the insurance card is legible and includes a the name of the student and the student's Buffalo Gold Card number.­  

We are in the process of being a Medicaid provider but at this time, we cannot process Medicaid claims.  

10.­ Do you file insurance claims?

Yes, WTAMU can file your insurance claim.  WTAMU is in network with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, United Health Care, Tricare  and First Care.   ­ ­ WTAMU Student Medical Services will utilize a third party billing company.­ The student health fee which is paid by the student with each semester’s academic charges will cover the co-payment. Students may opt to have their primary insurance company billed for services (lab tests, x-rays, medical procedures, medications, etc.) or they may choose to self-pay.­ This service will be specifically for fees incurred within Student Medical Services. Please bring your insurance card to every appointment.­

Note: At this time, we cannot file Medicaid or Medicare claims.  We cannot file claims with Kaiser Insurance Company, Molina, Superior, Amerigroup or First Care - Medicaid.  We are not in network with Aetna and cannot file claims with this insurance company at this time. 

Pharmacy cannot be billed to insurance.  The WTAMU Student Medical Services Class D Pharmacy is not included in insurance billing. ­

11.­ 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.

12.­  Where are you located?

2620 N. Russell Long Blvd,­ Virgil Henson Activities Center Room 104 - Map to VHAC­­   We are located across from the Sports Complex and the Football Stadium.  When you go to the VHAC, you will need to bring your Buffalo Gold Card as you will be carded at the front entrance.  Turn right down the first hallway, past the weight room and past the swimming pool.  We are on the right just before you see the South exit doors to the building. VHAC Room 104.  

13.   How can I schedule an appointment?­

Due to COVID, the online appointments have been temporarily turned off.  However, you can complete your health history, view forms, lab results and send messages through the portal.  

 Healthy Buffs Portal

To schedule an appointment, please call 806-651-3287.  We must screen all patients due to COVID restrictions.


14. What if I cannot keep my appointment?­

Please call to cancel your appointment.  You can call (806) 651-3287 during business hours or cancel your appointment online through the Healthy Buff Portal.  Please cancel at least an hour before your appointment,  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 non-cancellation $30  fee, $45 no show fee for a specialist and a $45 fee for any student that has more than 3 no shows per occurrence.  

15.   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.­ Please bring your insurance card to every visit.­ 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.­  We cannot accept cash, so you might need a credit card or you can pay with Buff Cash.  

16. ­ What type of services do you provide?­

  • Routine office visits - illness, injury and preventive care
  • Immunizations and allergy injections including flu and COVID Moderna Vaccines 
  • Women's health services
  • Contraceptives
  • X-ray services
  • Laboratory services through Physician's Preferred Lab and Cytocheck Lab
  • CLIA Waived Tests Rapid Flu, Rapid Strep, Pregnancy tests 
  • Curative COVID-19 testing 
  • Medical equipment loans and purchases 
  • Minor surgery under local anesthetic
  • Pharmacy with antibiotics, asthma medications and oral contraceptives

17.­ Who are the providers and staff members?

  • Director:­ LuAnne Rickwartz, RN
  • Board Certified Family Physician: Jim Gibbs, MD
  • Family Nurse Practitioners: Candy Marshall, FNP, Teresa Smoot, FNP, Peyton Bronson FNP, Michelle Smith FNP, Shravan Devkota FNP and Sherri Drinnon FNP
  • X-ray technician: Donna Adams-Stevens, R.T.(R)­
  • Registered nurses: Hayley Robinson, RN, Patient Assistant Advocate 
  • LuAnne Rickwartz, RN, Director­­­­­
  • CPR/AED - Instructor/ Coordinator: Digne Eze 

18. 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.­ There will be a one time fee of $30 per semester to administer the injection. 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.

19.­ 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 provides a complete list of countries with a list of recommended and/or required vaccines.­
  • International travel Learn about your destination. ­­ Will you need a yellow fever certificate?­ What vaccines will you need?  You will need a COVID PCR test if you are traveling internationally.  Please call to schedule an appointment with SMS several days before your travel so that we can appropriately schedule your lab test.  These lab tests must be done prior to 10:00 am and the results should be available in the late afternoon.  A rapid COVID test is not suitable for travel.   It must be the nasopharanygeal  PCR COVID test.  The cost is $52 for self pay and can be billed to most insurance claims.  
  • ­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.

20.­ 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. 

21.   How can I get a copy of my medical records?

Medical Records - An authorization to release medical records must be signed before medical records can be released.­   The immunization records do not require the authorization to release records.  Simply call us at 806-651-3287 to get a copy of your immunization records on file.  Please note that if you didn't submit the information, we will not have the immunization records.  Fax number 806-488-3064 - scan and e-mail the form to­

22.­ 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 - 806-488-3064.­ Please allow several days for medical records processing from an outside facility.­

23.­ ­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 intersessions.­ We are available­ for immunizations.­ The front desk will remain open during this time.


24.  I have questions about receiving the COVID Vaccine. 

For information on COVID-19 vaccines in Texas please visit the DSHS COVID-19 Vaccine information webpage

As of this time Student Medical does not offer the COVID-19 vaccine. 

25.  I have a question about COVID testing:

COVID19 testing is available weekdays at Student Medical Services. 

  • SMS can perform a Rapid COVID lab test - this is done in the clinic and cannot be used for travel or documentation purposes.  It can be performed if you have symptoms and need the results as soon as possible for health care reasons.  The cost for this test is $13.00 and can be billed to insurance.  
  • SMS also offers the Curative Lab test -For more information please contact Student Medical Services at 806-651-3287


*REMINDER: Faculty/Staff can use insurance to obtain FREE COVID tests from almost any pharmacy. Contact any pharmacy of your choosing for more information regarding this.

IMPORTANT:  If you have symptoms, have been directly exposed to someone who is positive, or if you test positive, please self-isolate and notify your immediate supervisor (if applicable). 

 COVID-19 information can be found at and questions can be directed to the e-mail:

26.  I need to report that I have been exposed to COVID or have been diagnosed with COVID.  

Please e-mail  and quarantine until further directed.  

Coronovirus (COVID-19) Information can be found on the COVID-19 Web page.   

27.   I have questions about how much it will cost at SMS.  

The $70.00 Student Health Fee, paid upon enrollment, covers the cost of most office visits, however, there may be charges for diagnostic tests, injections and some procedures.  This fee also covers Counseling Services - up to ten sessions per fiscal year at no additional cost.  If you are a distance education student, you have probably waived your student health fee.  You can pay this $70 fee to become eligible for services.  Education on Demand students are not eligible for services.  

To view your balance, you  can go to the Healthy Buffs Portal  to view your account summary.

If you have an insurance card that you would like to submit, please send a copy (front and back) to  Please include your full name and your Buff ID.

Payment Options - SMS does not have an online payment program.
To pay with a debit card or credit card, either bring the card to Student Medical Services to be swiped or go to the Buffalo Gold Card web site (go to My Buff Portal and click on Gold Card icon) and move money from your credit card to your Buffalo Gold Card and then call SMS to run the BG card. 806-651-3287. We cannot take credit card payments over the phone.  Students can also mail a check, cashier's check or money order. Include Buff ID# and Driver's license# on your check.  We can no longer accept cash payments.
A hold/restriction will be placed on your transcript until final payment is made, you will still be able to register but you will not be able to receive your transcript until payment is made.  


­­ Updated 3/31/2023