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Health Center

In order to treat most illnesses and accident-related injuries, the College maintains a Student Health Center. Appointments are necessary to meet with one of the providers.

In addition to the services listed above, the Student Health Center provides relevant health and wellness programming including educational / informational workshops and screenings on nutrition, physical activity, alcohol and other drug use, tobacco, stress, and general wellness.

All visits to the health center are free. There is a charge for any testing or referrals off campus, as well as prescriptions dispensed by the physician.
 
 

Health Advisory - February 5, 2015

FROM: Kristine Goodwin, VP for Student Affairs

On February 2nd, the College sent a Health Advisory about a confirmed case of meningococcal meningitis at the College.  I am writing today to inform you of a possible second case and to tell you what we are doing to protect the campus community.

Our latest information is that both students remain hospitalized. I ask that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers.  We are in close contact with the students and their families and offering all the support we can.

This is a serious health matter, and we are working closely and collaboratively with the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to address this issue.  As noted in last week’s email, meningococcal meningitis is an infection of the lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.  Health officials notified us today that the meningitis vaccination, which many students received prior to coming to campus in September, is not effective in protecting against the Group B strain which was identified in one of our students.  There is now a vaccine available for Group B meningitis.  This vaccine is approved for persons between the ages of 10 and 25, and those persons above the age of 25 who are immunocompromised.

HEALTH has informed us that only intimate saliva-sharing contacts are at risk, and neither faculty nor staff would fall into this category.  So no prophylaxis or vaccination is indicated for them.  If a member of the faculty or staff has a medical condition in which his or her immune system may be compromised or, if the faculty or staff member does not have a spleen, please contact Elisabeth Walsh, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources/Director of Benefits, for further information.  Elisabeth may be reached at 401-865-2746.

We are working with HEALTH to make this vaccine available and we will be in touch as soon as we have details. 

In the interim, we have expanded the hours of our Student Health Center to be open 24/7 for the immediate future to better respond to any student who presents with symptoms, to continue interviews with those students who have been in close contact with students who are ill, and to provide prophylactic treatment as necessary.  EMTs will continue to be available to go to students’ rooms if needed.

We are working on publishing additional educational material on our web site, and I expect we will have that available within the next 24 hours.

The bacterial infection is spread through direct secretions from the nose or mouth through activities such as kissing; or sharing food, drinks, water bottles, toothbrushes, eating utensils, or cigarettes.  Meningococcal disease can be treated with antibiotics, but quick medical attention is extremely important.

Meningitis may present as sudden onset of fever, headache, and stiff neck. It will often have other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and altered mental status and/or a skin rash. The symptoms of bacterial meningitis can appear quickly or over several days. Typically they develop within 3-7 days of exposure.

A person can be a carrier of meningitis without any symptoms.   While this is not an exhaustive list, the following precautions are recommended by HEALTH:

  • Don’t share food, drinks, smoking materials, eating utensils, cosmetics or lip balm
  • Always cough into a sleeve or tissue
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Use hand sanitizer often
  • Don’t drink from a common source such as a punch bowl

If you or a close contact become sick:

  • Anyone with a high fever should seek medical attention immediately
  • Students should immediately report to or call the Student Health Center (x2422)
  • If you see vomit anywhere, do not attempt to clean it up yourself.  Please report it to the office of Safety & Security (x2391).  They will arrange to have it cleaned.
  • You may become ill with meningitis even if you have not been in contact with someone who is sick

For the time being, the distribution of Holy Communion at all masses will only happen in one species, the Body of Christ.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Student Health Services at 401-865-2422.

 Additional information on bacterial meningitis can be found at the Rhode Island Department of Health website (www.health.state.ri.us) as well as the website for the Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov).

 

Health Advisory - February 2, 2015


Earlier today, the College was notified that one of our students has a confirmed case of meningococcal meningitis.  The student has been admitted to a Boston hospital.  The student’s family is at the hospital and the student is receiving treatment.

The College has followed every protocol in dealing with this situation.  We are in close contact with the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), and they will be issuing a statement later this afternoon.  The College Student Health Center staff has reached out to and interviewed those students considered to be close contacts of the student who is ill.  We have also provided prophylactic treatment to these students.

Meningococcal meningitis is an infection of the lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The bacterial infection is spread through direct secretions from the nose or mouth through activities such as kissing, sharing food, drinks, water bottles, toothbrushes, eating utensils, or cigarettes.  Meningococcal disease can be treated with antibiotics, but quick medical attention is extremely important.  Vaccination is the best protection against meningococcal disease.

Meningitis may present as sudden onset of fever, headache, and stiff neck. It will often have other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and altered mental status. The symptoms of bacterial meningitis can appear quickly or over several days. Typically they develop within 3-7 days of exposure.

According to the Department of Health, this disease does not spread through the air or through casual exposure, so the risk to students attending Providence College of contracting the disease is low.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Kathy Kelleher, Director of Health Services at 401-865-2423.

Additional information on bacterial meningitis can be found at the Rhode Island Department of Health website (www.health.state.ri.us) as well as the website for the Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov). 


Health Advisory - January 16, 2015

 

The Rhode Island Department of Health has declared that influenza (flu) is widespread in Rhode Island.  Since the start of second semester, a number of influenza cases have been confirmed on the Providence College campus.    

INFLUENZA (FLU) SYMPTOMS:

The influenza illness can include any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Fever (100.4 or above)
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

Students who are experiencing influenza-like symptoms should please remain in their rooms, check their temperatures and contact the Student Health Center at 401-865-2422.  A Student Health Center Staff Member will assist students in following the appropriate influenza protocol. After hours and on weekends, students should call campus EMS at 401-865-2888 for assistance.

IMPORTANT: 

  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and RI DOH recommend that people with influenza-like illness remain at home/out of the classroom until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100), or signs of a fever, without the use of fever reducing medications.
  • If you have a pre-existing health condition, such as chronic respiratory issues, diabetes, or immunosuppression, call the Student Health Center immediately.

For additional information please visit:


Health Center Announcement - N
ovember 3, 2014

 

Student Flu Clinic

When: WENESDAY, NOVEMBER 5th from 5:00-8:00pm
Where: '64 Hall Slavin Center

 


Health Center Announcement - October 21, 2014

 

Student Flu Clinic

When: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23rd from 2:30-5:30pm
Where: Overlook Lounge Slavin Center

 

Health Center Announcement - October 7, 2014

 

Flu, Enterovirus D68 and Prevention Steps

With heightened local and national attention on a virus called Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) and the approaching flu season, Providence College Health Services encourages all community members to get the flu vaccine and to follow thorough personal hygiene practices.

In addition to preparing for flu season, the professionals at Health Services are monitoring and sharing information about Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68).  If you'd like to know about the virus and how best to protect yourself, please visit the Centers for Disease Control's overview: http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/ev-d68.html.

EV-D68 Symptoms

Like the flu, EV-D68 can cause fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, body and muscle aches.  Some people will experience wheezing and difficulty breathing.  The symptoms seem more severe in children and younger teens, especially if they have a history of asthma.

There is no vaccine and no definitive treatment available for EV-D68, other than those measures you would take to treat flu-like illness, such as fever-reducing medication, decongestant, and cough/cold medicines.  However, getting the seasonal flu vaccine is still recommended.   

Steps to prevent EV-D68 are identical to those for the flu

The steps listed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are:

  1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too.
  2. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick.  You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.  It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  4. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.  Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  6. Practice other good health habits.  Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.  Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

Ebola Awareness

The College is also currently monitoring the current global Ebola outbreak.  The College is taking preparedness steps and following guidelines from state and federal public health agencies.  If you have traveled to an outbreak area (see here) or had contact with someone who has traveled to an outbreak area, please notify the Student Health Center (401-865-2422) or your immediate supervisor.

For more information on Ebola, please visit the RI Department of Health and CDC websites.

Conact Us

Student Health Center
Lower Bedford Hall
Phone: 401-865-2422
Fax: 401-865-2809

Health Center Hours:
Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
-By appointment only
-Open during the academic year only: Health services are suspended during Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, spring recess and summer.

Emergency Medical Technicians:
EMTs are available when the Health Center is closed.  EMT services are suspended during Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, spring recess and summer.
Hours: Monday - Friday: 4:30 p.m. - to 8:30 a.m. & 24 hours on Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
Phone: 401-865-2888 

 


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