By Luis Castilla
East Los Angeles College students have long been able to rely on the services of the Student Health Center to fulfill many different basic medical needs.
The Student Health Center offers medical services like blood pressure screening, glucose testing, first-aid care and pregnancy testing.
The center also offers a wide variety of vaccinations along with free condoms and tampons.
Most of the services offered are covered by the health fee students are required to pay every semester.
Services offered at the center change depending on its provider. Right now, the center’s provider is ViaCare.
Carlos Guerrero of Student Services said every time a provider’s contract with the center is up, a new contract is made.
The new contract maybe with the same health provider or a new one.
The provider then bids on the services the center wants to include in its new contract.
The Student Health Center is currently located on the third floor of the F5 building. Carla Juarez, of the Student Health Center, said she remembers when the center was located in a bungalow in 2006 when she was a student at ELAC and a member of the now defunct Students For Equal Rights club.
“There were so many trees. It was beautiful,” Juarez said.
Recently, the Student Health Center started offering COVID-19 testing and vaccinations in response to the global pandemic that took hold in 2020.
Guerrero said one thing the center has focused more on recently is mental health. “It’s something that’s affecting us a lot,” Guerrero said.
New therapy sessions have been added to the center’s list of services.
Michelle Quon, family nurse practitioner with ViaCare, said the center also offers birth control and tests for sexually transmitted diseases.
Society has become more open to mental health awareness and support. ELAC partnered with University of California, Los Angeles for its Screening and Treatment for Anxiety and Depression (STAND) program.
STAND works by having students take a mental health evaluation test .
It then places them in categories based on the results. From there, they are given support options.
Although the Student Health Center has evolved over the years, it continues to expand its services to better serve ELAC.
Guerrero said the Student Health Center is currently working to upgrade its food pantry. Currently the Associated Student Union’s food pantry consists mostly of snacks for students.
Guerrero said the Student Health Center is hoping to open an actual food pantry where students will be able to find groceries.
Guerrero said this version of the food pantry is likely to come sometime next year.
With an ever-evolving list of services, only time will tell what the health center may provide in the next 75 years.