Students receive health care from Lafene for over a century

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Lafene Health Center is a place where students can go to whenever they are in need of any health related issue. Lafene offers a wide variety of help to meet every students needs on campus. (Allison Evans | The Collegian)

Lafene Health Center, originally housed on the second floor of Anderson Hall, was not given its current name until after World War II, according to Lafene Health Center’s history page.

During over a century of renaming, moving and transition from a hospital to a health center, students have turned to Lafene Health Center in a time of need.

“We’ve changed,” Julie Gibbs, director of Health Promotion, said. “It was a hospital, but now (it’s) just a clinic.”

Lafene is host to various medical clinics and expertise to help take care of students. From the general clinic to physical therapy, to the women’s clinic, to X-rays, Lafene provides with care for all type of illness and injuries.

“The most popular is the general clinic,” Gibbs said. “We see a lot of students there.”

But the general clinic isn’t what Lafene is known for. The Health Center gets a reputation for always asking if a female student is pregnant and for screening for sexually transmitted diseases.

“We have to ask those questions,” Gibbs said. “We’re following protocol, and we have to adjust practice if you’re pregnant.”

When students are not poking fun at the pregnancy ordeal at Lafene, they turn their noses up at the free clinics. Typically, college students find free things desirable, but when it comes to Lafene, the rumors of misdiagnosis and no treatment are endless.

“I think a lot of the reason people think the doctors aren’t as good is because they don’t have to pay a copay” Brittany Husong, junior in communication studies, said. “But it’s free because we’re students.”

The Health Center’s budget is funded by students though the student health services privilege fee. Students taking 12 hours pay a $129.96 for the health fee.

David Unruh, senior in finance and privilege fee committee chair, said he believes that the high health fee is understandable.

“(It’s high) because students have the ability to get a checkup and its free,” Unruh said. “Health is something K-state promoted from the start. What is more important than your health?”

Services such as physical therapy and X-rays and the pharmacy are not included in the student fee, but students have access to discounted services.

“Vaccinations and stuff at Lafene is reduced,” Unruh said. “A student from California can come to Lafene for a checkup and not worry about going home. And typically the services are cheaper here.”

Yet, the very reason some students stay clear of Lafene Health Center is also the reason that students return when they need help.

“(Students) might not be able to go somewhere else when they are sick and then (for) people like me who go all the time, its nice,” Husong said. “My main concern is my health and it helps me that (Lafene) is there.”

Husong received medical aid from the doctors at the Health Center over six times during the fall of 2014. She keeps returning to Lafene because of the atmosphere, the doctors and because it’s convenient.

“It’s easier,” Husong said. “It’s right there on campus. I’ll go other places and there will be a long wait time, but (they) are really good about getting you in the same day.”

A September 2014 Lafene survey showed of the 493 people that returned their response cards, only three were unhappy with their visits. Seven were unhappy with the wait time.

After over 100 years of service, Lafene’s staff is proud to serve the K-State students. Not only does Lafene Health Center have reduced fees, free appointments and a friendly atmosphere, the Health Center is an accredited outpatient facility and its doctors and nurses are certified.

“Our doctors love working with students,” Gibbs said. “There is certain kind of desire to be in college health.”

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Jamie Teixeira
My name is Jamie Teixeira and I am a senior English and journalism with a minor in Leadership. I am the president of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society, a tutor at the K-State Writing Center,and a member of the K-State Tap Dance Ensemble. My future plans are to become an editor or publisher of children's literature. Outside of school I love to read and cuddle with my kitten, Bert.