Dedicated Today, New Center Focuses on Healthy Lifestyles

Published: Oct 28, 2010
 The University of Tampa’s newest student center — the Stephen F. and Marsha Dickey Health and Wellness Center — will focus as much on advocating healthy lifestyles as treating common colds. The new center, at the intersection of North Brevard and North A streets, will house traditional health and counseling functions on the first floor, as well as the infrastructure that supports wellness programming on the second.

The wellness programming focuses on social, physical, spiritual and emotional wellness and includes such topics as personal safety, tobacco cessation, nutrition and fitness counseling and stress relief. Organizations and staff within the Office of Student Affairs, such as the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement, Residence Life and Campus Recreation offices, as well as Student Government and Dining Services, collaborate to sponsor hundreds of wellness-related events on campus each year. Programming related to the Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values, which will be dedicated this winter, will also fit under this umbrella.

The new 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. 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 center will be staffed by the associate dean of student affairs, who coordinates wellness programs; the director of the Health and Wellness Center, who is a full-time board-certified nurse practitioner; two full-time board-certified Family Practice nurse practitioners; the associate director of the Health and Wellness Center, who is a licensed mental health counselor; two part-time psychiatric nurse practitioners; two counselors; a licensed clinical social worker; a consulting psychiatrist; three medical assistants; and a receptionist.

“The University of Tampa recognizes that students have physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs,” said Bob Ruday, dean of students. “This facility will be a hub for educational resources and advocacy and will work with other University departments to feature the hundreds of wellness related topics so students will feel well so that they can think well.”

Construction of the center 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.

The new center is dedicated on Oct. 28 and will open for business Nov. 1.

Last year, the health center staff saw more than 1,000 patients for health and counseling services each month.

The campus will hold a wellness symposium on Nov. 5 for the entire campus community. This one-day event, planned by the Student Wellness Committee, will feature a wellness expo as well as more than 15 presentations on health and wellness topics. All of the events will occur in Plant Hall.