University Health Services provides medical care to students, faculty and staff of Southern Arkansas University. The facility is open Monday-Friday, 7:30AM - 5PM and gives students the resources they need to treat immediate health care concerns.  Though most services are basically free, small cash fees are charged for certain tests, said Cami Riggins, RN.

However, not all students seem to know about University Health, said Mandy Hanson, director and nurse practitioner.

“Many students tell us they didn’t know that we’re here,” she said. “They can come by any time.” All students are permitted to receive free over-the-counter medications from University Health Services.

Students must present their SAU ID card when visiting. If a student does have health insurance, a copy of the card will be made. However, University Health Services will treat students without insurance, as well.

Athletes must visit their athletic trainer for a referral before visiting University Health Services. Clinic services are also available to faculty and staff as well as their spouses. Beds are available for commuting students who become ill during the day.

“We are a walk-in clinic, but we do recommend making an appointment,” Jonni Carter, administrative specialist, said. An after-hours number, 870-904-1447, is available for students with medical needs or questions occurring after 5PM.

University Services treats a variety of acute cases, including: minor injuries; testing for strep, mono, influenza, UTI’s and pregnancy tests; sickle cell testing for all athletes; TB skin testing; immunizations (which all students must have to enroll); allergy and tetanus shots, and birth control counseling.

A former nurse in Magnolia public schools and an SAU nursing program graduate, Hanson said she enjoys working in the university clinic. “I always loved being a school nurse and I like it here. I can do a lot more for the students.”

Pletcher said much of their work involves educating students on how to take better care of themselves and how to seek out proper medical care. Carter said that extends to international students, who come to the clinic for necessary vaccinations.

Pletcher said the clinic sees students with concerns about anxiety and depression. “We then encourage them to get connected with our University Counseling Center, which is located next door to us.”

“If there’s something we are unable to treat, we will refer or help set up an appointment for them with local physicians’ offices or the health unit.”

Hanson and her staff do encourage patients to seek out their own family medical doctor for such chronic conditions as diabetes and high blood pressure.

University Health is located on the second floor of Reynolds, Room 215. For an appointment, or more information, call 870-235-5237, or email

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