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A message from the Director to our JMU parents and families:

Let’s face it - we know that at some point most college students get sick and need medical care. Mine did when they were students at JMU, and as a parent I worried about them but also knew they were in good hands. As much as we try to work with students to prevent illness, some days the best we can do is listen to them, respond to their needs, and teach them how to make health decisions in the future. We know that you love your children, you know them better than anyone, and you worry about their health and safety. We want you to know that we worry about them too, and we are here to help them stay healthy and strong so they can succeed in the classroom. Sometimes the best cure is a little rest, a good diet and patience. Sometimes a simple procedure or prescription medication will do the trick. Other times we may need to refer them to a specialist. In any case, when your student does not feel well, we want the University Health Center to be their first option for excellent care. For most office visits there is no charge to the student or you, and when we need to do tests or write prescriptions our charges are lower than you’ll find in the community. Our medical staff are board certified in their specialty areas, they are experienced with the unique challenges of college health, and they love working with students. Help us help your student by taking a look at our website to see all we do and by encouraging your son or daughter to make the University Health Center a part of their total JMU experience.

Lee Ward
Director, University Health Center

Advocate for Prevention

Students can help prevent illness by eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, getting enough sleep, washing hands, covering their cough, and not sharing drinks or food. Also remind your student to get a flu shot in the fall before flu season hits. 

Advocate for Self-Care

Many illnesses are self-limiting and can be managed without seeking medical care. Learning to provide self-care is an important part of becoming an educated citizen. Encourage your student to check out the self-care information located on the Health Center website or in person at the Health Center pharmacy.

Encourage seeking medical care if needed

Students who need medical care have several options at the University Health Center:

  • Schedule an appointment in General Medicine
    • Online scheduling is available through MyJMUChart or by calling 540-568-6178.
    • During peak cold and flu season, same day appointments may not be available. If your student is too ill to wait for the next available appointment, they should try the Talk to a Nurse option.
  • Talk to a Nurse
    • If your student needs help determining the best option for their needs or cannot find an appointment within their preferred timeframe this is a good place to start.
    • Students can call 540-568-6178 and ask to speak to a nurse. The student will be placed on the nurses’ schedule and will receive a return phone call. They will typically hear back from a nurse that same day.
    • The nurse will talk to the student about their symptoms and let them know if self-care should be sufficient or if they should seek medical care. If medical care is advised but there are no online appointments available at that time, the nurse may be able to work with your student to find one that fits their needs.
  • Walk-in to Urgent Care
    • Urgent Care is an option for students who have certain urgent medical needs. These include conditions that require prompt attention rather than waiting for an appointment or that are best handled through that facility due to location and provider specialization. Examples of medical problems typically treated in Urgent Care include:
      • Cuts or injuries that may require stitches
      • Minor injuries including strains, sprains or minor fractures (on-site x-rays are available if needed)
      • Vomiting for more than 24 hours
      • Acute allergic reactions (trouble breathing, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat)
      • Urinary tract infections in females
      • Ingrown toenails
      • Abscesses or boils
Emergencies and After Hours Care
    SRMH Emergency Dept.: 540-689-1300
    Emergicare: 540-432-9996
    MedExpress: 540-432-3080
    Valley Urgent Care: 540-434-5709
    On-campus: 540-568-6911
    Off-campus: 911
Balance respect for privacy with offers of support

College is a time of health care transition. Students who are accustomed to having their health care needs met by their parents or guardians are now learning to manage their own health care needs. Assure your student that you respect their privacy as they begin to navigate their own health care and remind them that you are there for them if they need advice and support.

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