College plans partnership with VCU Health in providing care services starting fall 2020

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VCU Health will partner with the College of William and Mary's healthcare services starting in the fall 2020 semester, and will operate out of 332 North Henry St near campus. MATT LOWRIE / THE FLAT HAT

The College of William and Mary will partner with Virginia Commonwealth University to increase access to healthcare during the fall 2020 semester, a decision precipitated by COVID-19’s continued impacts on campus health and wellness.

In a statement released Monday, July 20, College President Katherine Rowe said that the College’s collaboration with VCU Health will supplement ongoing efforts to develop comprehensive care resources for students as they return to campus in August. After being screened by a university selection committee, the partnership marks the first time that the College has partnered with a third-party provider in providing healthcare to students, and consists of a 10-year contract between the two Virginia universities.

“This agreement greatly expands our services and allows William & Mary to closely align with a leading university health center,” Rowe said in a press statement. “Our partnership with VCU Health will support immediate needs during the pandemic while also providing the W&M community long-term access to a broad network of exceptional medical and mental health services. This is a terrific example of the kind of innovative collaboration that is essential to the success of a world-class university.”

“We’re going to be good thought partners on how to best respond to the continued health and safety guidelines for those in our campus community and the greater Williamsburg area, so VCU Health is going to partner with us in the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of those who are managing the virus.”

VCU Health aims to play a key role in administering the College’s COVID-19 testing protocols by conducting prevalence testing and supporting the university’s quarantine and isolation housing plans. The College’s testing procedures stipulate that all students will be tested before returning to campus for the fall semester, which is expected to begin Wednesday, August 19.

Associate Vice President for Health and Wellness Kelly Crace said that the university plans to use its new cooperation with VCU Health to maximize adherence to public safety guidelines.

Beyond unique circumstances brought on by COVID-19, VCU Health will work alongside existing College facilities, including the Counseling Center and the Student Health Center, in providing enhanced medical and mental health services to students, staff and faculty. The organization will also lend renewed assistance to sports medicine and care for the College’s varsity athletes, as well as students participating in club and intramural sports.“We’re going to be good thought partners on how to best respond to the continued health and safety guidelines for those in our campus community and the greater Williamsburg area, so VCU Health is going to partner with us in the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of those who are managing the virus,” Crace said in a press statement.

Crace said that the university’s partnership with VCU Health will complement campus’s broader strivings for personal wellness.

“Having a collaborative partner to help us manage the demand that we have is really exciting,” Crace said. “VCU Health really understands our mission of integrative wellness, and they really want to be a part of that vision with us.”