editorial-iconA student health clinic will soon be opening on VIU’s Nanaimo campus. Dr. Carrie Chassels, Executive Director of Student Affairs, said the VIU Health and Wellness Clinic is expected to begin providing services the week of May 5, with a grand opening planned for a later date.

The clinic will be open exclusively for all VIU students, regardless of their healthcare insurance. Primary care will be available for all students without any appointment fees. This will include international students, as well as those from out of province.

“We are building a team and currently have a new nurse practitioner and medical office assistant, as well as our existing reception staff, counsellors, and advisors,” Chassels said. The nurse practitioner is an employee of Island Health.

The clinic will offer a full scope of practice, with the nurse practitioner providing the primary care, including prescriptions, specimen testing, reproductive health, and more, Chassels said.

According to the British Columbia Nurse Practitioner Association’s website, bcnpa.org, “In BC, a Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s degree, and advanced knowledge and skills who provides high quality health care.” NPs are able to diagnose, consult, order and interpret tests, prescribe, and treat health conditions.

A general practitioner will also provide some care at the new VIU Health and Wellness Centre.

Details on hours of operation, and whether the clinic will operate as a full walk-in clinic or as a combination of walk-ins and appointments will be announced closer to the opening date.

“VIU has been wanting to provide health services on campus for many years, but momentum benefitting us now began a couple years ago from conversation with the Island Health Authority and the Nanaimo Division of Family Practice,” Chassels said.

The clinic will be on the third floor of bldg. 200, where the Counselling centre currently is. Renovations are still ongoing.