Friday, September 28, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 27


Health Center hires new doctor, psychiatrist

By Carolina Amengual
Daily Cougar Staff

In an effort to increase and improve its services, the University Health Center is expanding its staff. Two new doctors have joined the clinic and plans call for the hiring of two others.

Lorrie Novosad/The Daily Cougar

Dr. Gretchen Crook makes notations in a patient's file. Crook joined the staff of the UH Health Center in June.

Chief physician James Gray said the center currently has eight doctors at present -- four full-time and four part-time -- and hopes to add a dermatologist and
a dentist soon.

"We have an extensive medical facility, qualified health care providers and a vast network of consultants in any field," Gray said.

Dr. Gretchen Crook, a primary and emergency care physician, started in her new position at the center in June. She brings to the University four years of
experience in family practice. Her last job was at the Darnall Army Community Hospital Outpatient Clinic in Fort Hood.

"I'm excited about this job. I've always been interested in university settings. There are less pressures than in a private facility, so I can spend more time with
my patients," Crook said.

Health education and disease prevention are Crook's top priorities.

"The word 'doctor' comes from the Latin root of 'teacher,' and that's how I approach medicine. I like telling my patients the causes of their illnesses, why I'm
recommending something and what they need to do to get better," Crook said.

"I hope I will have the opportunity to bring some of my teachings to campus. I've already been asked by one student group about giving a lecture," she said.

Dr. Kenneth Arfa, a psychiatrist, began working on campus a month ago. He has 10 years of practical experience in a variety of settings and has been
deeply involved in community mental health.

"I enjoy working here because it's a very positive population of patients," Arfa said.

"People are bright and articulate. They are frequently very interested in learning about their symptoms, the diagnosis and the treatment. Some even come in
after they've done a lot of research about their illnesses."

Arfa said he is interested in promoting health education. He said he looks forward to providing information about mental health through the center's Web
site (, lectures and meetings with student organizations.

He also wants to strengthen ties with other people who provide health-related services at UH, such as CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) and
the Wellness Center, located in the University Center.

Arfa said that college-age people often exhibit psychiatric problems, among them depression, alcoholism, substance abuse and anxiety disorders.

"So, above all, my goal is to better understand the specific needs of the students here," he said.

Gray invited students to take advantage of the resources at the clinic.

"We have one of the very finest insurance programs anywhere. For less than $50 a month, students can have complete coverage," Gray said.

"We want to remind everyone that we are here. We also want everyone to know that we are available at all times, that our e-mails are open to any
questions, that we've put together articles about the most common diseases on our Web site, and that medical history and treatment are strictly confidential."

Gray added that anyone is welcome to take a look at the clinic. He said the staff would gladly show people around.

The University Health Center is located on the southeast side of campus in the Student Services Center complex. Fall hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
weekdays, except Wednesdays (8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.). The staff is available on an emergency on-call basis after hours and during holidays by calling (713)

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