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New Wellness Center Focuses on Efficiency, Care

Published: October 28, 2010
  View photos from the dedication.

The University of Tampa has taken one more step toward educating the whole student.

The Stephen F. and Marsha Dickey Health and Wellness Center was dedicated Oct. 28. The new building is behind the Vaughn Center, at the intersection of North Brevard and North A Street.

The addition reflects the investment UT leaders and contributors are making to connect education and wellness. For the center’s director, Sharon Schaefer, the new building increases the opportunities to serve students.

“The new health and wellness center is much bigger, brighter and will eventually be more efficient,” said Schaefer, noting that there are now three times as many examination rooms as the old center and that medical records will be kept electronically. “It’s state of the art, and that’s where we need to be. It’s a wonderful blessing from Dr. Dickey.”

The two-story center totals 10,300 square feet and includes a waiting area, eight exam rooms, a triage space, pharmacy, staff offices, holding rooms, counseling offices, conference rooms and a group counseling room.

“It’s beautiful,” said Schaefer of the color pattern, chosen to reflect a water theme. “When you walk into a building that gives you a professional feel, it gives you confidence in your care, and you have higher expectations.”

Research links negative health behaviors like substance abuse and physical inactivity with academic failure. Therefore academic success can be an overall indicator for well-being and can provide a foundation for a healthy adulthood. Chris McCarthy, president of Student Government, has used the health center in the past but thinks the new facility will encourage more students to take advantage of this campus asset.

“The new wellness center will have a positive impact on members of the student body,” said McCarthy ’11. “This facility provides an important service to the campus, and students are happy to know that the center will be able to accommodate all aspects of their wellness."

The center also includes office space for faculty, staff and students who support wellness programs on campus. The programs focus on social, physical, spiritual and emotional wellness and include such activities as Diversity Fellowship, tobacco cessation classes and nutrition and fitness programming.

Construction of the building, which is UT’s second candidate for U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, began last February.

The project was supported in part by a generous gift from Dr. Stephen F. and Marsha Dickey. Stephen F. Dickey is a trustee emeritus of the UT Board of Trustees and was the founder, president and CEO of Tampa-based Doctor’s Walk-In Clinic. Marsha Dickey has been active in many Tampa community groups including The Chiselers, Red Cross Angels and Berkeley Preparatory School Parents’ Club.