Health center opens with speech, tour

Jessie Markovetz

A grand opening ceremony for the University’s new Health Center took place Tuesday afternoon when a former director of several school health programs delivered a lecture in the Connelly Center Cinema.

Dr. Richard Keeling, who last spoke at the University in the early ’90s, addressed about 80 people in the cinema before the audience left for a tour of the new building, located behind Bartley Hall.

Keeling’s presentation focused on the integration of health and academic achievement. He also explored the definition of health, examining it as both a mental and physical phenomenon on an individual level, and the health of the whole community and its role in a learning environment on a collective level.

“There needs to be an emphasis on the whole person, not a separation of mind and body,” Keeling said.He also expressed the role individual health has on the community, using alcohol consumption as an example.

“On many college campuses, drinking has become the main community health issue,” he said. According to statistics he cited, half of all college students drink heavily yet only two percent of those students are ever arrested, creating a health problem for the community and giving a false impression of acceptance of alcohol.

“It affects all of us,” Keeling said. “The health center’s main goal is to function as an academic support program.”

The new health center is designed to not only provide the clinical services offered in Middleton Hall but also housing for the Health and Wellness center (formerly the Center for Alcohol and Drug Assistance), the counseling center and Villanova Emergency Medical Service.

“I believe these services are tied in very closely with our academic mission,” said Rev. John P. Stack, O.S.A., vice president of Student Life, who introduced Keeling.

Rebecca Bramen, director of the health center, felt Keeling’s presentation was appropriate to the center’s mission.

“I think it’s kind of symbolic of [the University] putting the three departments together within the health services building,” Bramen said.

Since opening its doors on Sept. 9, traffic has been higher than normal at the center, Bramen reported.

“We’ve had a greater presence on campus with the new building,” she said. “We’ve been booked every day.”