BOONE, N.C. — A trip to the doctor for Appalachian State University students is as easy as logging on to a computer. On March 31, Appalachian’s M.S. Shook Student Health Service began offering virtual visits through Zoom — a video communications platform being used across campus for virtual classes and meetings.
While the Appalachian campus is operating under special conditions during the COVID-19 situation, the university’s health clinic remains open — virtually. With many students no longer residing on or near campus, and with physical distance recommendations in place, Zoom visits allow the clinic’s staff to continue serving students in a safe and convenient manner.
Margaret Bumgarner, administrative director of Student Health Service, said the password-protected Zoom technology will initially be used for visits related to medication refills and adjustments, mental health needs and skin rashes. Students can self-schedule an appointment through their App State Student Health MedPortal.
Telemedicine — the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients using a telecommunications infrastructure — has been in use for some time, particularly in rural areas with provider shortages, Bumgarner said.
“As technology has become more secure, telehealth options have expanded,” she said. “It is a good tool, and we hope it will be popular with students.”
Once the COVID-19 crisis is resolved, telemedicine may remain an option offered by Appalachian, Bumgarner said.
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About Appalachian’s M.S. Shook Health Service
Appalachian State University’s Mary S. Shook Student Health Service is a primary care ambulatory campus health clinic helping meet the needs of Appalachian students. Centrally located on campus, it is fully accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. The health clinic’s dedicated and experienced staff physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nursing and support staff provide high-quality health care at low cost. Learn more at https://healthservices.appstate.edu.
About the Division of Student Affairs
The Division of Student Affairs at Appalachian State University is committed to the development of lifelong learners and leaders by engaging and challenging students within a culture of care and inclusion. The division consists of 14 units that offer activities and services to help students develop more fully by becoming global learners, fostering healthy relationships, appreciating diversity and different perspectives, understanding community responsibility, enhancing self-awareness, developing autonomy and living ethically. These units include the Career Development Center, Wellness and Prevention Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Services, Parent and Family Services, University Housing, Student Engagement and Leadership, Student Conduct, University Recreation, Multicultural Student Development, Student Legal Clinic and Off Campus Student Services, Electronic Student Services, Child Development Center, and Staff Development and Strategic Initiatives. Learn more at https://studentaffairs.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.