March 12, 2010

Student Health Center earns re-accreditation

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Student Health Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale has earned a three-year re-accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).

Since 1996, the Student Health Center has held accreditation from AAAHC, a private, non-profit organization created in 1979 to improve the care provided by ambulatory health care facilities and organizations. The SIUC facility is among more than 4,500 health care organizations nationwide with the accreditation, which signifies that the Student Health Center meets nationally recognized standards for providing quality health care, as determined by the AAAHC.

“We believe our students deserve the best. When you see our certificate of accreditation, you know that the AAAHC has closely examined our facility and procedures. It means that we, as an organization, care enough about our patients to strive to provide the best care possible,” said Dr. Ted Grace, director of the Student Health Center.

Last year the center recorded more than 48,000 patient visits for a variety of services including the clinic, sports medicine, physical therapy, dental care, mental health, the Wellness Center, preventive medicine and orthopedic care.

Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek the association’s accreditation nor do all that seek it receive it. The accreditation process includes an extensive self-assessment and a two-day site visit by a team of ambulatory health care physicians, nurses and administrators. The peer accreditation process incorporates consulting and educational facets, offering organizations information about best practices to help them improve care and services. The on-site survey is specific to organizations providing outpatient diagnostic or medical care, including community and college health care centers.

“Going through the accreditation process challenges us to find better ways to serve our patients, and it is a constant reminder that our first responsibility is to our students and the quality of care we provide,” Grace said.

The mission of the SIUC Student Health Center is “to build a healthy campus community.” Find out more about the Student Health Center online at or by calling 618/453-3311.