The university will outsource ACU’s medical clinic to the Hendrick Health System rather than being run by ACU staff.
Dr. Ellen West, medical director of the clinic, said she was told on Friday that May 30 would be her and the staff’s last day.
“It has been a great pleasure to be able to take care of ACU students,” West said. “We see it as our ministry and not just a job. We will miss you all very, very much.”
The clinic will close for the month of June and reopen in July with Hendrick staff, said university officials.
Dr. Allison Garrett, vice president of the university, said the administration is working to decide how to provide healthcare services in June for students with ongoing conditions who have been treated by the clinic.
It is the administration’s hope the students will not see much of a transition, Garrett said. The location will remain the same, the way the clinic operates will remain largely the same and the psychiatric clinic will not be affected by the change.
“I know many of our students have developed relationships with those staff members who work in the clinic, so that part is sad,” Garrett said. “But, ultimately, we thought this was the right direction because we’re going to be able to serve so many more people and save several hundred thousand dollars.”
The switch to Hendrick providers will also allow the clinic to treat ACU faculty, staff and ARAMARK and WFF employees – a service not provided before, Garrett said.
West said she believes the change was made for economical reasons. The staff was told on Friday that it was a win-win situation.
“We just want this to be a win-win for the students,” West said. “We want them to get taken care of.”
The administration doesn’t know who the new staff members will be, but Garrett said she hopes they will form strong relationships with the students.
“I think it’s hard to work here and not fall in love with our students,” Garrett said. “We’ve seen all of our third party service providers really demonstrate love and care for our students as people employed by ACU do.”