University Health and Counseling Services
Ambrose Center

About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

Can UHCS provide a medical excuse letter? 
Just as the University does not usually require that its employees provide a written medical excuse for absences due to illness, most instructors do not demand that students provide medical excuses for their absences due to illness or injury. If a student would like documentation of their appointment, the student may log into their MyUHCS and go to "Medical Records" on the portal and click on "Visits" where the list of their appointments can be found. We do not provide separate documentation of visits. It remains that student's responsibility to notify their professors in advance of any absence due to illness and to make arrangements to make up any work.

Are you accredited?
Yes. University Health and Counseling Services is one among the ten percent of college student health centers that are fully accredited. Our accreditation is through the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, a national organization that accredits some 2000 ambulatory health centers offering various levels of care.

Do you have physicians?
Yes. We have a full time medical supervisor who is board certified in family practice, plus a part-time family practice physician, and a limited-schedule, a board-certified consulting psychiatrist. In addition, we have three advanced practice nurse prescribers (also known as “nurse practitioners”). These are nurses with graduate degrees who are certified by the State of Wisconsin to provide health care, including writing prescriptions. Supporting them are a cadre of registered nurses and medical assistants.

Who provides Counseling?
Our Counseling staff includes professional psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, a licensed professional counselor, interns in the Counselor Education masters program and a board certified consulting psychiatrist.

Do you have a laboratory?
Yes, we have a CLIA certified, COLA accredited high-complexity lab on site that handles most routine tests. Less frequent tests, or those requiring specialized equipment, are sent to major reference laboratories in Wisconsin.

Do you do x-rays?
In college health, x-rays are needed too infrequently to warrant maintaining on-site equipment. We refer to local medical clinics and hospitals where we have ongoing relationships. Usually we will only do a local x-ray if your insurance will cover or we may send you back to your covered provider/entity for an x-ray if your insurance requires that for coverage. If you are not covered by insurance this will be an expense you have to cover.

Do you have a pharmacy?
We stock and dispense medications that are most frequently prescribed by our staff. If students need medications we do not stock, we write a script for their use at a local pharmacy.

Can you fill prescriptions from my doctor at home?
No. Only a licensed pharmacy can fill these prescriptions. Since we operate a dispensary, not a licensed pharmacy, we may fill only those prescriptions ordered by our staff as part of a student’s course of treatment at UHCS.

Do I need an appointment to get help?
We recommend appointments to reserve time for your needs. There are a limited number of same-day appointments. Whenever possible, we recommend calling ahead. For Health Services call 472-1300. For counseling, call 472-1305.

What are your hours?
We are open from 8:00 to 4:30, Monday through Friday, except for legal holidays. Late clinic available several days during the semester, call for more information.

What should students do if experiencing a life-threatening emergency?
In case of an emergency, do not try getting to a hospital on your own. Call 911 for immediate and rapid transport to an emergency facility, such as a hospital where the necessary equipment and resources are available. The Whitewater Rescue Squad ambulance carries life support equipment to sustain persons in transport. University Health & Counseling is NOT an emergency facility.

Do you provide alternative therapies?
UHCS is a medically oriented and accredited service. Students wishing to seek alternative health care are advised to consult the yellow pages for Whitewater and surrounding areas. Massage therapy can be scheduled by calling 472-1305. (Student pays massage therapist directly.)

Do I need insurance to use your services?

Should I have health insurance?
We strongly urge all students to carry some form of health insurance. Though there are no charges for professional visits at UHCS, medications, lab, x-ray, and hospitalization are not covered. A hospital stay can put families in debt for years. First, check your family policy to find out what coverage you have. Usually, parents can purchase coverage for dependents over age 19 who are attending college. However, be sure you check how many credits the policy requires of the student to be eligible. Also check what is and is not covered away from home. If in doubt, we suggest you purchase health insurance, see our insurance page for resources.

Will UHCS bill my insurance when I receive service?
No. Over 100 different insurance companies cover our students. Billing so many companies would add considerably to cost. Upon request, we can provide students with a receipt that contains information required by most insurers. Students can use it to apply for reimbursement from their insurance company.

Are there hidden charges of any kind?
There are no hidden charges, but sometimes there is confusion about laboratory charges. Some laboratory tests are paired, meaning further testing may be done of a specimen depending on results of an initial test. We put through charges for the first test, but must bill you separately if a follow-up test is done. Our providers order only those tests they consider necessary. We bill you, the student, at cost for laboratory work, well below typical charges.

Are you an HMO provider or preferred provider?
Our students are covered by HMOs and other health insurers around the US and overseas. We cannot possibly enter into so many provider relationships. Many HMOs reimburse their members for health care away from home. To be sure, check with your plan.

What do you do if a student has an ongoing condition, say asthma, allergy, or diabetes?
Students with ongoing conditions are welcome to use UHCS services. While the student is on our campus, we collaborate with their home provider. For example, we provide allergy injections for students, using allergens supplied by their allergist. We order laboratory tests per request of the specialist, reporting the results back, and saving the student special trips. The fact that UW-Whitewater is UW Systems designated campus for students with disabilities gives us opportunity to become well acquainted with complex disabilities. We are one of the few student health services with a physical therapist on staff.

What do students have to say about your services?
Last year, 98% of students responding to health or counseling satisfaction surveys rated their experience good or excellent. 100% said they would use the service again."I thought that the overall visit to the Health Center was very good, and I would recommend it to anyone who has a problem because the service was very good compared to most health centers I have been to" UHCS Patient.

Do I need to have a physical before coming to campus?
No. Physicals are not required. We do encourage you to become current with your immunizations and to bring your immunization record with you. If you have a medical condition for which you regularly see a physician, authorize that physician to provide a medical summary for University Health & Counseling. The summary will help us coordinate your care. Parents and students having questions about specific health needs are encouraged to talk directly to a professional at UHCS. This can be done by calling 262-472-1300 (Health Services) or 262-472-1305 (Counseling) and asking to speak with a professional.

Who may see my health or counseling record?
This is a question frequently asked at University Health & Counseling Services (UHCS). First, the law protects the privacy of medical and counseling records. Except in the highly unusual circumstance like a court order or an emergency, no one can see your health or counseling record unless a written authorization is signed by you, your parent if you are a minor, or your legal guardian. Apart from these circumstances, your records at UHCS are not available to your parents, teachers, administrators, or anyone else. Even with an authorization signed by the parent of a minor, there is some clinical information that will not be released. We train our staff to pay careful attention to the handling and storage of health and counseling records. Counseling and Health Services records are stored in their respective departments. Some students receive services both in Counseling and in Health Services. Becasue we are an integrated service, providers in both services may view your records for the purpose of coordinating your care. You will be asked to provide this authorization ordinarily during your first visit to UHCS.

May I take my records with me when I leave school?
Your health care and counseling records belong to UHCS. However, you have the right to determine who has access to the information, except in the highly unusual circumstance like a court order or an emergency, the right to know what the record contains, and the right, with a properly signed authorization and payment of any fees, to obtain a copy. UHCS cooperates in sending information to others, for instance, other providers, health centers, or insurance companies, provided we have written authorization.

What information is kept in my health or counseling record?
There are some differences in the formats followed between the Health Service and Counseling Service records. The standard format in the Health Service lists the chief complaint or reason for the visit, the history of the present illness, the objective findings, test results, diagnosis, recommended treatment and progress notes on your treatment. Relevant history may be included in your Health Service record. The standard format in the Counseling Service record includes an initial assessment covering your presenting problem(s) and relevant background, relevant aspects of your history, substance use, assessment of your current psychological functioning, problem identification and, as indicated, a diagnostic impression. Counseling Service records ordinarily include a treatment plan and progress notes of your treatment. Some records may contain information from other providers that we have received with your authorization.

What is done with my health or counseling record when I leave school?
We keep your records for 10 years. They are held in a secure area within our building behind two sets of locked doors. Only authorized staff have access to the keys. After 10 years your records are shredded.

We, the staff of UHCS, respect you and your health care needs. We work hard to safeguard your confidentiality. Should you have questions about the confidentiality of your record not covered here, please feel free to talk to your provider, therapist or the UHCS Executive Director at (262) 472-1305.

More information about our privacy practices online or ask a Health Center receptionist for printed copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices

Why can I schedule health appointments online but not counseling appointments?

At UHCS we recognize the convenience using online services to improve the flow of communication to you and try to utilize our capabilities in this area to the fullest extent possible. We often get asked why counseling appointments aren't available to schedule online when some health appointments are. The primary answer to this is to help ensure that counselors have the ability to use their judgement to keep space available for those who are in the most acute need. Our counselors work with clients to determine the appropriate frequency of meetings based on clinical observation and need, and if slots begin to be filled without a counselor's determination, this could severely impact the health and wellbeing of a student a counselor would have otherwise made an appointment for. We recognize calling on the phone or stopping by in person can be uncomfortable for some, but we make every effort to make that as friendly and easy as possible. We hope you understand the need for this to be so. Please remember that UHCS Counseling Services offers crisis appointments M-F during normal business hours if you are experiencing a significant trauma, suicidal thoughts, or other significant stressor that you would be willing to miss work or class for. 


All information on this website is written by UHCS professional staff unless otherwise noted. No data is collected on visitors to this site. Financial Support for this web site is provided by University Health & Counseling Service, Division of Student Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. This web site does not accept advertising.

This site is not meant to replace the advice of a health care or counseling professional. You should not rely on any information on these pages, or information generated for you by this site, to replace consultations with qualified professionals regarding your own specific situation. Some links take you to a source outside of UHCS. The owners of that site, not UHCS, are responsible for the content.