Duke Pilots Closing East Campus Clinic for Spring 2014

Author name
Chris Heltne, Director of Communications for Student Affairs

Duke Student Health will pilot a consolidation of their clinical services by closing the East Campus Clinic for Spring Semester, 2014.

"There is a combination of reasons for our decision to close the East Campus Clinic," said Dr. John Vaughn, director of Student Health at Duke, "but first and foremost is that we feel doing so will better allow us to deliver the standard of medical care that students deserve and the Duke University Health System demands."

The East Campus Health Clinic was established in the 1990s.  According to Jean Hanson, RN, MPH, administrative director for clinical support services and outreach, it was initially staffed by a nurse only and was intended to handle “simple” cases for the freshman campus. 

“But we have seen a significant increase in the complexity of student health needs over the past decade," Vaughn said, “and we feel the East Campus Clinic simply no longer has the equipment, space or staffing to provide the level of care that students and parents expect from Student Health."

“Most universities, even those much larger than Duke in both land and student population, have only one health clinic on campus," said Hanson.  “To attempt to retrofit the East Clinic to current standards when we have the fully equipped Student Health Center on West Campus just wouldn't be a good use of resources.  We feel that what our students may lose in convenience will be offset by the quality of care that they receive."

In recent years, an increasing number of students are referred, or are self-referring, to the Student Health Center after visiting the East Campus Clinic. Visits to the clinic have been steadily declining over the past few years.

Clinicians who staffed the East Campus Clinic will be moved to the Student Health Center, Vaughn said, noting that this will increase their capacity to serve students. “We wouldn’t do this if we didn’t think this was the best way to serve students,” Vaughn added. “At the end of the spring 2014 semester, we will examine the collected information and make a decision on how best to move forward, with quality care for students as our measuring stick.”