Changes for Student Health Services

Starting this week, students of Western New Mexico University will have new changes to their access to health services. The WNMU Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management has partnered with Hidalgo Medical Services (hms-nm.org, 888-271-3596) to provide medical, mental health and now dental services for students.

Medical health services will be provided to students at HMS when students show their Mustang ID at the clinic’s front desk. Additional visits or outside referrals and services will be provided and billed to students according to their insurance or income level. Students are also allowed one free dental visit each year from HMS.

 All mental health services will also be provided at HMS starting this week. Students can go to HMS and show them their ID for their non-emergency mental health services. Every student has fifteen free mental health visits at HMS per year. If students are in need of emergency mental health attention, they should visit The Center for Student Success to see a WNMU mental health counselor. WNMU mental health counselors are available 24/7 and student can call them at 575-538-6400 to speak to them. Students who live on campus can also contact the on-call housing staff using the number posted on the back of every suite or apartment door or WNMU Campus Police (575-388-8840).

Students may be concerned that our health services will no longer be on campus, but the new services will be provided only a few blocks away.  Students can also access services for free at any HMS clinic in the Grant or Hidalgo counties. If students are unable to walk to the HMS clinic, they can get a free ride on the Corre Caminos bus using their Mustang IDs.

“I think that it will be a good thing because HMS has a lot more services to offer to students, including psychological care, dental care, and health care. It is an easy walk down the block, so I’m not bothered about the change in location. Most students don’t live on campus anyways, so it doesn’t matter that much if it is on or off campus. I am worried about how it might inconvenience some students to get to HMS because I know that it is not easy for students who are sick to transport themselves,” said James Ahrens, a senior studying Criminal Justice.

These changes to the health services are meant to improve student life and access to better health services. Student health services were not always so easily accessible and this change is meant to allow for increased easily accessible services for students.

“Two decades ago we had a very different set up for health services where students had to go to a doctor’s office by Silver High School. This is an obvious improvement from that,” said Ahrens.

The student Disability Services will now be referred to as Student Accessibility Services and is now part of the Center for Student Success on the second floor of the Juan Chacon building. Scheduling these services can be done at the Juan Chacon building or at 575-538-6138.

It is important for students to have access to affordable health care and the new addition of the dental plan for students has students excited about the changes for student health services.

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Eve Thomas is the editor of The Mustang. She loves to write and is majoring in Sociology and minoring in Political Science.