New student health and wellness center set to open in May following delays – Oracle

Joseph Puccio, executive and medical director of USF Student Medical Services, said the new building will be well equipped to meet the high demand of students with counselors, a significant increase in testing laboratories, and an expanded psychiatric department. said. ORACLE PHOTO/Justin Seacharan

The end of the new student health and wellness center is in sight as we approach its delayed opening in mid-May.

Using support from the student government, the $27.4 million project will replace the current student wellness center on the ground floor of the Marshall Student Center (MSC). Joseph Puccio, executive and medical director of the USF Student Health Services (SHS), said Cannon Design and Barr & Barr/Horus are the teams leading the design and construction of his three-story building.

At approximately 47,000 square feet, the new building will be three times the size of the current wellness center at 12,500 square feet. With the massive expansion, USF said he would combine three locations (now his SHS building, MSC, and bookstore basement) into one building to offer health and wellness services, Puccio said. is writing

Formerly called “The Student Wellness Center”, the name has been changed to “The Student Health and Wellness Center”. Puccio said the decision was made to better reflect the services offered.

Puccio said the university plans to repurpose the vacant space to provide other student services, but no formal decision has been made on how to use the vacant SHS space.

The new building will include a range of health services for students, including medical and emergency care, sexual health and gynecology, physical therapy, dermatology, psychiatry, and behavioral health.

According to Puccio, a notable difference from previous wellness centers will be the provision of additional opportunities for medical transport to support students suffering from serious injuries and illnesses.

Training opportunities for students in medical fields such as public health and nursing will also be offered, with a focus on gaining hands-on experience in a professional workplace, Puccio said.

In addition, Puccio said there will be an expanded psychiatric department with access to more counselors and psychiatrists, which will allow more students to be evaluated each day. He wrote that the aim is to make the service more accessible and acceptable as USF’s student population continues to grow to more than his 50,000.

According to Puccio, to meet the high demand of students in need of services, the building will be equipped with more examination rooms and counselors in all departments, which will improve daily efficiency and student assessment. increase.

Construction of the building furthers the university’s goals in sustainability, Puccio said.

“Environmental considerations were a key principle during the design phase of the new building…As the building entered its final stages of construction, we were certified as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Sustainability (LEED) Silver. We are making good progress towards that.”

According to Puccio, achieving LEED Silver certification means the building is the third highest certified by Green Business Certification Inc. for its contribution to its commitment to sustainability criteria such as energy, water, carbon and materials. means to get

Puccio said USF’s marketing team will offer tours of the new building for the first few weeks as construction nears completion. He said a scavenger hunt will also be held to create wider outreach and awareness campaigns for the various services on offer.

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