Letters to the EditorOpinion

Letter to the Editor

Free healthcare services accessible for UWT students

Submitted by Madie Brown, UW Tacoma Health Promotion Specialist and Campus-Based Confidential Advocate

Dear Editor, 

Too many students don’t know that they have access to a range of free healthcare services as a UW Tacoma student. 

UW Tacoma recognizes the connection between academic success and health and well-being. UW Tacoma partners with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health (formerly CHI Franciscan) to provide students access to free healthcare services at five Franciscan Prompt Care locations: at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma, and in Bonney Lake, Burien, Gig Harbor, and Puyallup. Office visits are free to UW Tacoma students, in addition to a list of covered services. Covered services are the free healthcare services provided for things like strains and sprains, sore throat, allergies, and sinus issues. Vaccines are free as well. Find the full list at tacoma.uw.edu/student-health.

Services that are not covered include lab work, blood work, cost of prescriptions (though providers at Student Health Services can write prescriptions), imaging (e.g. x-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds), and specialist services (though a referral can be provided if needed). Students will not be turned away for services that are not covered, though they will be billed personally for services that are not covered. Students can use personal health insurance at Student Health Services if they have it, though it is not needed to be able to use Student Health Services, even for services that are not covered. 

Consider utilizing Student Health Services to satisfy the Tri-Campus Immunity Verification Requirement, which requires all UW students to have immunity to measles and mumps, and for students under the age of 22, meningococcal meningitis ACWY. Students can access these vaccines for free at Student Health Services by appointment. 

Walk-ins are welcome for students, though appointments are required for most services. Call 253-428-2200 to schedule an appointment with Student Health Services, and be sure to say that you are a UW Tacoma student when scheduling. Bring your Husky ID card to your appointment. 

Franciscan Prompt Care at St. Joseph’s in Tacoma is also a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site for the Tacoma community. Testing is not free and patrons should call ahead to schedule an appointment. 

Join Psychological and Wellness Services and Virginia Mason Franciscan Health to learn more about navigating Student Health Services and how to maximize your student benefit on Thursday, January 27th from 12:30-1:30pm in GWP 101. Get your questions answered, earn Dawg Bones, and enter to win a prize(s)!

Visit the FAQ page for more information on Student Health Services. You may reach out to Madie Brown, MS, Health Promotion Specialist and Campus-Based Confidential Advocate with any questions.