Health Center hires new
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
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
"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
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 (www.uh.edu/admin/hc), 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
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)