The Charger Blog

University’s Collaboration with Yale New Haven Health Enhances Student Health Center’s Services

This summer, Northeast Medical Group, part of the Yale New Haven Health System, began operating the University's Nicholson Student Health Center, further ensuring convenient, streamlined, and quality healthcare for students.

September 22, 2022

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

The Alexander W. Nicholson Jr. Health Center in Sheffield Hall.
The Alexander W. Nicholson Jr. Health Center in Sheffield Hall.

Diane Polo ’21 MPH is committed to ensuring that students receive the best care at the University's Nicholson Student Health Center. The health center is now run by Northeast Medical Group (NEMG), part of the Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS), one of the country’s leading health systems.

Polo has been serving as a liaison between the University and YNHHS to ensure a comprehensive understanding of students’ needs and a smooth collaboration.

Polo says that, since this affiliation went into effect on August 1, they’ve made sure students have received the same high level of care they received previously. There are now some new advantages and enhancements that students can enjoy. Students have access to MyChart, a secure web-based service that lets patients access parts of their electronic medical records, such as basic test results, appointments, and a summary of their medical history.

“This will enable students to be more involved in their care, which I think is really important,” said Polo, associate director for health, wellness education, and prevention. “This is really promoting individuality and student responsibility, allowing them to grow as adults now that they’re on campus and taking care of their health on their own.”

‘Ownership of their health and wellness’

MyChart enables students to communicate with their providers at the University’s student health center, who are employees of Yale New Haven Health and are considered part of the YNHHS network of providers, and to view their health records. Polo says students like using MyChart, since it enables them to easily and conveniently make an appointment and communicate electronically with their providers without making a phone call.

The use of MyChart also means an easy transfer of care for students, should they need to see a provider elsewhere who is affiliated with YNHHS, since that provider will be able to access the student’s records. Most of the commonly used local hospitals also use the system.

“Our affiliation with Northeast Medical group will promote the health, wellness, and access for students and strengthen students’ attitudes to maintain healthy behaviors,” said Ophelie Rowe-Allen, Ed.D., dean of students and chief student affairs officer. “Students will be more responsible and take more ownership of their health and wellness. For example, the MyChart app will allow students to access their health information in a timely and efficient manner.”

Ophelie Rowe-Allen, Ed.D.
Ophelie Rowe-Allen, Ed.D.
‘Transform students’ health and well-being’

Dr. Rowe-Allen envisions the student health center working with the University community even more to incorporate important health-related topics as part of the University’s wellness initiatives, strengthening health education. She also believes it could enhance health disaster preparedness support for the University as well as lead to better student health outcomes and even greater educational outcomes.

Affiliated with five leading regional hospitals, NEMG includes more than 130 community practices in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Westchester County, New York. NEMG’s operating of the University’s health center does not impact students’ insurance, and they do need to have a copy of their insurance card when making an appointment.

The University’s affiliation with the organization means more access to testing and vaccines. It will also expand the clinic’s access to resources that are essential for preventative care.

“This relationship will help to continue to foster innovative care and provide more effective services for our students,” said Dr. Rowe-Allen. “Our collaboratory goal is to transform students’ health and well-being on campus.”

‘That extra level of comfort’

The University's student health center offers a variety of services, such as treatment of illnesses or injuries, primary care needs, and reproductive health. The collaboration between the University and YNHHS extends their existing relationship, since NEMG provided COVID-19 testing and vaccinations on campus over the past year.

“To have an affiliation with such a large, well-known, and respected organization such as Yale New Haven Health is great, and it makes the University very appealing,” said Polo. “It provides parents with that extra level of comfort. When they come to the University, they know their students will be taken care of and that we have providers who are part of a system that is renowned and holds high standards. If I were a parent, it would be very appealing to me.”