Student Health Services to be fully operational Monday

Student Health Services is expected to debut two new exam rooms and an office space Monday. ORACLE PHOTO/CHAVELI GUZMAN

Student Health Services (SHS) has been working to provide more services to students. The decision to start renovations was made in January and the work physically began in July. Construction is estimated to be complete by Sept. 18.

Dr. Joseph Puccio, the medical director of SHS, said the renovation will make the space more efficient for patients by adding two exam rooms and an office.

Puccio said the renovation are estimated to cost between $125,000 – $130,000. The SHS renovation utilizes pre-existing space and are not an expansion.  

According to Puccio, the unused space is being renovated because of a change in laboratory services offered. With a growing demand for exam rooms and office space, SHS officials said it would be best to repurpose the space to better accommodate students’ needs

With the renovations, the facility will be able to hire another physician and to reduce wait times.

Puccio said he has not heard of any negative effects to students from the construction and no student has been turned away during the process. Rather, the number of rooms in use decreased. Wait time during construction has been 25 minutes, according to Puccio. 

Cassidy David, a sophomore double majoring in psychology and bio-medical sciences, previously visited SHS. 

“As long as they have enough people working there, then I think they will be more efficient in tending to their patients,” David said. 

She visited when she needed stitches and dealt with  afrustrating wait time.

“It was confusing when I walked in and didn’t know who to talk to first,” David said. “It did seem like a long (wait) time to me because I was in pain.”

Olivia Weber, a sophomore majoring in mass communications, received treatment from the SHS for a case of mono. 

“I wish that they would have emergency or walk-in appointments because it makes it difficult when you have an urgent illness,” Weber said. “I hope it (the renovations) brings faster service to more urgent cases.”

With the addition of another physician, SHS staff is hopeful the office will run more efficiently moving forward.

“It has allowed us to hire another physician, so that we will be able to see more students and to get students through Student Health Services at a faster pace,” Puccio said. 

Adam Bakst, a sophomore studying mass communications, went to SHS last year and experienced the offices before the renovation.

“I think it’s important that the students are healthy, so any improvements to USF students will be a fan of,” Bakst said. “The wait times were bad during the beginning of each semester because that’s when people are getting sick.”

Bakst also said he is hoping that the renovations will bring more expertise and shorter wait times. 

Puccio said after the current renovation, there are no further plans to do future renovations.