Wellness Center opens its doors to Rowan community

DSC_0014Staff Writer/Matthew Turner

A ceremonial ribbon cutting was held this Wednesday at the new Wellness Center at Winans Hall, formerly the university bookstore, to celebrate its completion.

The building was originally planned to open in January, but it was ready for business at the start of the semester, said Wellness Center staff.

Rowan officials, Wellness Center staff, teachers and students crowded the lobby of the building listening to speeches given by those who collaborated to make the new building possible.

“About five years ago, a group of us came together in support of this plan,” said Richard Jones, vice president of Student Life. “So this is the culmination of a lot of hard work.”

The senior director of Student Wellness, Dr. David Rubenstein, gave a speech thanking all those who helped make the venture possible. He also thanked his staff of nurses, administrators and vo lunteers that operate the building.

“It’s a facility on the cutting edge of integrating services,” Rubenstein said. “I can’t wait to cut this ribbon and show you what a wonderful building this is.”

The president of Rowan, Dr. Ali Houshmand, said that the new Wellness Center is the type of facility students at Rowan deserve and he promised Rowan had a bright future ahead.

“See what $5 million can do?” Houshmand said. “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

After the speeches guests were given a tour of the building.

The lobby of the Wellness Center is an open area with an information desk, lounge and a self check-in computer system. The automated system makes the process easier for the amount of students that come in to the Wellness Center every hour, Rubenstein said.

“It takes anywhere from one minute to five minutes,” he said. “It makes the process more effective.”

The Student Health Center has a waiting room with a television, a nurse’s desk and patient exam rooms.

Counseling and Psychological Services is also now inside the Wellness Center with its own waiting room — the department was previously in Savitz Hall.

“This is what the students should get,” Rubenstein said. “The students should get all of these services quickly and not have to wait.”

Paintings and pictures lay stacked in the hallways and offices were still being organized, showing that although the building is operational, the staff is still adding those finishing touches to make the building their own.

Healthy Campus Initiatives is within the Wellness Center as well. The organization is committed to educating Rowan students on making healthy lifestyle choices. Interns of the organization, mostly students majoring in health professions, train in classrooms within the Wellness Center.

The rear of the building is where Emergency Medical Services is now located.

There is a paramedic bay, with a stretcher lift, where students can be picked up by ambulances and taken to a nearby hospital. Two new ambulances sit inside of a heated garage, preserving the expensive machines.

Andrew Furlong, an electrical engineering major, is a student who volunteers as an EMT. He said the building is better for Emergency Medical Services than the old location.

“It’s certainly a huge improvement,” Furlong said. “Being in the middle of campus it helps keep our response times to a minimum.”

Inside the EMS headquarters, EMS banners and pictures of old Glassboro State College ambulances hang proudly on the walls. The headquarters is furnished with everything an emergency response team needs, a lounge area, showers, a washer and a dryer.

The former Student Health Center, located at Linden Hall, was established 47 years ago, said Wellness Center staff. Rubenstein said that he expects the new building to remain for another 30 years.

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