February 11, 2019
Today’s opening of a new primary and express health clinic is the realization of a longtime plan that will benefit both Albion College students and the Albion community at large.
“For three years we have been exploring options that would expand the health coverage for our students and increase options for our employees and neighbors throughout the community,” said Albion College President Mauri Ditzler. “The new clinic comes at just the right time.”
The facility is called Oaklawn Express Care – Albion and occupies the renovated ground floor of 302 N. Monroe St. The location is the west side of Munger Place at 311 E. Michigan Ave., and the clinic's main entrance is on Monroe Street.
Oaklawn Express Care – Albion is the result of a partnership, first announced in summer 2018, between the College and Marshall-based Oaklawn Hospital, which in recent weeks has been transferring its medical services from its former Albion office at 300 B Drive North to the College-owned Munger Place.
“A community health needs assessment listed an urgent-care type of clinic as a top need,” said Richard Lindsey, ’91, Oaklawn’s executive director of legal and community affairs. “It became clear fairly quickly that the responsible thing to do was to find a location for health services much closer to the population center.”
For Albion students accustomed to the College’s own Student Health Services, the new and larger space—within a short walk of campus—will come with expanded services, including extended weekday hours, Saturday hours and the long-range potential for Sunday hours and after-hours medical services.
The clinic, featuring Family Practice and Express Care components, occupies the building's entire ground floor, comprising approximately 8,000 square feet of space. It will be staffed by physician assistants and nurse practitioners. The clinic has X-ray and laboratory facilities for allergy shots and immunizations. A physician will be on call at all times.
The Student Health Services office on Cass Street, which remains open through March 1, will be in a transitionary phase during the first few weeks of the Munger clinic’s operations. Cheryl Krause, director of SHS, said the new clinic will provide a more complete experience for students.
“Although this new clinic will be a change for our students initially, I believe they will find the new services and extended hours a welcome addition to their experience here at Albion College,” Krause said. “Unlike Student Health Services, which is staffed by registered nurses with physician and physician assistants 10 hours per week, staffing in both the Family Practice office and the Express Care will allow Albion College students to be seen by physicians, physician assistants or nurse practitioners with each visit.”
The SHS office will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, March 1. After that, Krause will serve as the College’s health-services liaison to Oaklawn; she will be based on campus, and the SHS office space eventually will be repurposed.
Oaklawn – Albion’s Family Practice hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and normally sees patients by appointment; students can arrange appointments by calling 517/629-2134. Hours for the walk-in Express Care are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; the Express Care office can be contacted at 517/654-1020. Students will need to provide insurance information to the clinic when they are seen. Co-pays and deductibles will be handled as they would be in a physician’s office. The clinic staff will assist students without health insurance.
In addition to financial commitments from Oaklawn and the College, additional funds for the project were obtained through the Battle Creek Community Foundation, the Marshall-based Cronin Foundation and the state of Michigan.
“I am definitely excited, even more so because it’s in my precinct,” said Marcola Lawler, a member of the Albion City Council representing Precinct 4. “There’s a majority of elderly people in my precinct, so now it’s not so far for them to travel to get health care.”
“Our students will benefit from more comprehensive healthcare services,” President Ditzler said, “and at the same time they will enjoy a more robust learning environment as more faculty and staff choose to live in the community.”