Published August 12, 2022
When UB students step into the new Student Health Services center, they might be surprised by how different it is from the old health center.
“It’s even better than what I had imagined,” says Brian Hamluk, vice president for student life. “It’s spacious, it’s comfortable, it’s high quality. You feel like you are going into your doctor’s office. This is a major step forward for our student wellness efforts.”
The new health center at 4350 Maple Road, near Sweet Home Road, is now open for business to handle the primary care needs of UB students, replacing the former health center located in Michael Hall on the South Campus.
UB is leasing the 13,000-square-foot building to serve as the temporary home for Student Health Services until the university builds a wellness and recreation center planned for the North Campus.
That project — which also will include the renovation of recreational facilities in Clark Hall on the South Campus — is still several years from fruition. In the meantime, the Maple Road site provides a better environment for the students at UB seeking medical attention, Hamluk says.
“They see the difference,” adds Susan Snyder, director of student health services. “I think they also feel it.”
Handling roughly 24,000 patient visits a year, Student Health Services outgrew Michael Hall, which was built in 1956 not as a health center, but a men’s dormitory. It’s outdated by today’s health care standards, Snyder says.
“Our new Student Health Services building is a remarkable example of how UB is transforming our physical environment to meet our students’ needs,” says Laura Hubbard, vice president for finance and administration.
“We chose the Maple Road location for its convenience, and renovated the space to be inviting and comfortable; to incorporate the features of a state-of-the-art health care practice; and to enable our student health staff to take a best-practice approach to student health and wellness,” Hubbard explains.
The health center staff of roughly 30 began moving into the Maple Road location in July. The UB community was invited in for a peek during an open house on Aug. 10, when Hamluk and Snyder said a few words and thanked those who helped make the new health center possible in a matter of months.
Visitors enter the building from Maple Road to find a reception desk and waiting area.
Behind a closed door, a series of hallways leads to more than 20 examining rooms, including four treatment rooms and two observation rooms. Both are considered “negative pressure” rooms that prevent the spread of airborne illnesses and allow the center to separate the sick patients from those who are well, Snyder explains.
The new health center has an in-house pharmacy and a lab with rapid testing for HIV, pregnancy, urinalysis, mono, flu, strep throat and COVID-19. Chiropractic services also are being planned.
The university is providing shuttle service to the Maple Road health center from both the North and South campuses. The location also has ample parking.
Students must first schedule an appointment for a visit to the health center, but otherwise, the staff is ready for the influx that comes with the start of a new semester, Snyder says.
“We’re really excited to be here and we’re really excited for the students because it gives them the space they deserve,” Snyder says. “We’ve offered really great care for students for years — and now we have a facility that matches it.”