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UTSA Student Health Services awarded AAAHC accreditation

Student Health Services staff

UTSA Student Health Services staff: From left are Alice Shen, Amanda Graves, Beth Wichman, Leah Clark, Lisa Pecor (back), Minnie Alanis (front), April Barlow, Cindy White, Patricia Keenum, Ronda Romike and Christina Palafox.

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(Jan. 22, 2013) -- UTSA Student Health Services has receieved accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). Accreditation distinguishes the clinic from many other outpatient facilities by providing the highest quality of care to its patients as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation.

"I am thrilled to be able to announce that AAAHC has awarded UTSA Student Health Services an unrestricted three-year accreditation term," said Samuel Gonzales, UTSA interim vice president for student affairs. "The staff collaborated with each other and with accredited institutions across the U.S.A. for the last two years in preparing to meet the rigorous standards necessary for accreditation."

Status as an accredited organization means Student Health Services has met nationally recognized standards for the provision of quality health care set by AAAHC. More than 5,000 ambulatory health care organizations across the United States are accredited by AAAHC. Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation; not all that undergo the rigorous on-site survey process are granted accreditation.

Ambulatory health care organizations seeking accreditation by AAAHC undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC expert surveyors -- physicians, nurses and administrators who are actively involved in ambulatory health care. The survey is consultative and educational, presenting best practices to help an organization improve its care and services.

"Going through the process challenged us to find better ways to serve our patients, and it is a constant reminder that our responsibility is to strive to continuously improve the quality of care we provide," said Beth Wichman, director of Student Health Services. "I am proud of their efforts and thank our Student Affairs administration for their support as well."

UTSA Student Health Services has provided medical care for students since the 70s. The clinic has a Main Campus office at the Recreation and Wellness Center and a Downtown Campus office in the Buena Vista Street Building. They offer general medical care, well-women's care, immunizations, laboratory, health education and preventative services. Clinic visits are walk-in. There is no cost to see a medical provider, health professional or health educator. Lab work, immunizations, medications prescribed by medical providers and some procedures are provided for additional charges. Clinic services are limited strictly to currently registered students, however they provide seasonal influenza vaccinations to faculty and staff.

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, founded in 1979, is the leader in ambulatory health care accreditation with more than 5,000 organizations accredited nationwide. AAAHC accredits a variety of organizations including ambulatory surgery centers, office-based surgery centers, endoscopy centers, student health centers, military health care clinics, and large medical and dental practices.

AAAHC serves as an advocate for the provision of high-quality health care through the development of nationally recognized standards and through its survey and accreditation programs. AAAHC accreditation is recognized as a symbol of quality by third-party payers, medical organizations, liability insurance companies, state and federal agencies, and the public.