GV Family Health Center opens convenience clinic to treat campus community


GVL / Sydney Lim

Grace Smith, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University’s Family Health Center opened a convenience clinic for students in Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall (RFH). Operated by the Kirkhof College of Nursing (KCON), the clinic seeks to treat minor injuries and illnesses for students and faculty.

Both walk-ins and appointments are available Mondays and Wednesdays with variability in hours to meet students’ busy schedules. The convenience clinic offers services ranging from acute illness treatments, such as the common cold, to mental health services. The clinic accepts most major insurance companies in an effort to make care accessible to as many as possible.

“We would all like to see this grow over the next couple of years and have it become an interdisciplinary health center,” said Practice Manager Tamara Van Kampen. “We have so many good programs here, and some really talented faculty and staff, and I think that’s something that we should be tapping into.”

With the goal of providing wellness services to all individuals in need, the clinic offers options for uninsured individuals, so they are still able to seek services at an affordable price. The clinic offers a fee-for-service option that allows uninsured individuals to meet with providers with a set payment for office visits.

“We do have an uninsured fee schedule and it’s very reduced prices,” said Patient Services Manager Brianne Burke. “Most appointments start around $35 to $55, and for healthcare that’s very reasonable. Testing and labs would be in addition to that, but we can do quite a bit with the uninsured fee schedule.”

Those behind the convenience clinic also hope to bridge the gap in GVSU’s mental health services. Although the University Health Center provides vital resources to the community, students are limited in the number of sessions they may attend in a given period of time. The clinic is working to grow its behavioral health resources in attempts to help students continue to make progress with their mental health.

“(Students) get 10 free visits, and once those visits are up, if they want to continue therapy they need to find someone in the community,” Van Kampen said. “We will take those students, the ones that are looking for longer-term care, or even emergency care.”

Outside of giving students a wide variety of acute care options for both mental and physical health, the convenience clinic is also working towards supporting the education of healthcare students at GVSU.

“We partner with all levels of the nursing program, dietetics, health information management, physical therapy, health administration (and) social work, which is tons of different programs already,” Burke said. “I think that will just carry over and expand as we can grow onto RFH and campus buildings.”

Burke also mentioned that one does not necessarily need to have a healthcare background to seek professional development opportunities from the clinic, as the front desk is entirely staffed by students. Many students have also been able to work on projects, complete clinical projects or serve as medical assistants through the clinic.

Overall, clinic staff members are excited and say they are ready to serve the GVSU community.

“We are super excited about this opportunity, and we have really great practitioners that students love,” Van Kampen said. “Navigating healthcare can be very overwhelming especially when you are on your own and you’re 18 years old and you’re living by yourself. Students can call and if they have questions, we can answer them.”

To make an appointment, community members should call 616-331-9830 or visit the Family Health Center’s website.