President's Newsletter Fall 2020

02 Sep 2020 8:12 PM | Catherine Sharbaugh (Administrator)

Fall 2020 President Letter

Dear SPCHNA Members,

SPCHNA, as well as other College Health Associations, has always been about education, and keeping up to date with changes in the health care system and its delivery in regards to College Health and its access to students. As members, we have enjoyed the many conferences over the years and it gave us time to catch up with other members and friends, visit other schools of higher education and learn about new opportunities. Socializing and sitting with other members, listening to the many educators, collecting those CEUs and always “eating way too much” has always been anticipated every spring and fall. But unfortunately we have had to change all that.

When I took the position of President of SPCHNA, I never thought that a pandemic would hit and that we would not be able to meet, as a group, for an undetermined amount of time. And if we could meet, how many persons, how far apart do we sit? Will the University allow us to use the space as a group? If we plan, will we have to cancel? Since March, the dynamics have changed, almost daily.

As President, I was supposed to send out a newsletter in June. However, the reason I held off was that I wanted to see what Universities would be doing at the start of the new semester. My University, West Chester University, had initially planned to open but that changed in July and now almost all of the learning is Virtual. As I watch the news of Universities opening, inviting their students back, the cases of COVID started increasing and the students were sent home, only to go back to virtual learning. I am happy that WCU did not do in person education this fall.

Many Student Health Centers on campus have had to totally change the way they deliver health care. Telemedicine is now the new norm. Although it does not offer hands on treatment, it is the best we can do during this time. To see a student, we need to screen them for COVID and if the screening is negative, then we will see them. We have had the student with sore throat, cough and laceration at the same time and we have had to change the way we treat them, challenging us every step of the way. Again, how we see a student, test a student while protecting ourselves has been challenging.

Many Universities are testing for COVID and are doing contact tracing which brings new challenges to each university. How do we handle all the positive cases, how do we house them, feed them, care for them. Each University has had to do its own planning. I applaud each University and College Health Center for doing the best they can for the students.

SPCHNA had plans for the May 2020 and Jan 2021 conferences and we were so excited. But because of the pandemic, those plans are cancelled.

The Board will be meeting to discuss Educational Opportunities for its members. We still need to stay up to date with the changes in College Health. We still need the CEUs for our licenses. If any of you have any great ideas/educational opportunities that we can pass onto the members, please reach out to the board. We will let you know what opportunities will be available, as we want SPCHNA to continue its educational mission.

All the best to you  -    Lenore Joyce, RN, BSN  


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