Section: archive

Students propose weekend hospital shuttle

By Eric Geller

After meeting with Student Council, the dean of students and the manager of business services in the past month, the Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) is finalizing its plan to offer weekend shuttle rides to the Mount Vernon Urgent Care Center, filling a longstanding gap in the Kenyon Health Center’s services.

Daniel Akuma ’14, president of SHAC, said the group was waiting to meet with the Office of Campus Safety to iron out the details of its plan.

“We’re scheduling a meeting with them to find a way that we can collaborate with them,” Akuma said. “It could even be a triage system where the students call Safety, and then Safety lets us know to go pick them up.”

The Health Center is not open over the weekend, which means students who need medical assistance must either find a ride into Mount Vernon or call 911 to request an ambulance. The latter option can be very expensive, costing anywhere between $200 and $500. Last year, SHAC asked the College to address the issue by employing students who could be trained to provide services similar to those at the Health Center over the weekend. Akuma said liability issues prevented that project from moving forward.

“This year, we decided to take on this project from a different angle ナ so that students can be the one who take their fellow students to urgent care,” Akuma said. “We know that people definitely fall sick or get injured, and it’s not every injury that you want to call 911 services for.”

Akuma said the rides will probably be free at first, but that SHAC would “see how costly it is to make this service available” and possibly “attach a little bit of money to it” if necessary.

SHAC will set up a phone number students can use to request transportation to the Urgent Care Center, and group members plan to take shifts over the course of each Saturday and Sunday. “We’ll probably just do a few hours during the weekends, have someone who is on call for the first hour out of four total hours, or something like that,” Akuma said.

There are also plans to work with Greek organizations and other student groups to build a larger pool of available drivers.

Early in the semester, the group met with Student Council to present its idea. “They had a lot of recommendations for us to improve the weight of our request,” Akuma said. One of the Council’s suggestions was to survey the student body about the demand for weekend rides.

“The word out there is that [students] want this service,” Akuma said. “It’s definitely what students want, so we have that to back us up.”

In addition, Akuma said, the success of the SHAC weekend rides program might convince the College to start offering its own weekend transportation to Mount Vernon medical facilities.

“If this works out very well and the College sees that this is something necessary that students have put together themselves, I believe that it’s something they can invest in,” he said.

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