Ask UHCS provides general physical and mental health information only and should not be considered specific medical or psychological advice, a diagnosis, treatment or a second opinion. If you would like information regarding services at UHCS, please call 262-472-1300 during normal business hours (M-F, 8:00 - 4:30). If you have an existing condition that could be adversely affected by information provided on this site, or if you have an urgent health problem consult with a health care provider before acting on information contained here.
Who is the Ambrose Health Center named after?
The Ambrose Health Center is named after Stephen Ambrose, MD, 1906-1981. Dr. Ambrose served as the UW-Whitewater physician for 18 years, 1946 - 1964. Dr. Ambrose also served on the University Board of Regents from 1965 - 1972.
Previously submitted questions and answers:
Why can I schedule health appointments online but not counseling?
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.
How do I keep ringworm from spreading?
Answer by Donene Rowe, MD, PHD
You are doing what you can, but as you notice it is impossible to tell ringworm from eczema without looking for fungus under the microscope. If this is the fungus, Tinea, or ringworm I would expect it to get better with treating it for 1-2 weeks with Lotrimin twice/day. If it is not getting better please make an appointment to be seen by a provider and do not put any Lotrimin on it for the day you are seen.
I've never had a GYN appointment before, so I'm nervous about how it will go and such. What is it like? What all will happen while I'm there? I'm also kind of wary about judgment and how "well kept" the area is? Please help.
Answer by Julie Martindale, Health Director
We understand that seeing a healthcare provider on your own can be intimidating. UHCS is always willing to give appointments to students to just meet with a provider, see the space, talk through what would happen and answer any questions - no charge. Just call 472-1300, opt 1 and explain that you would like to visit UHCS and talk to a provider about potentially coming for a future real appointment-a 'Meet & Greet' appointment.
For a GYN appointment - an internal exam is not recommended for anyone less than 21yrs old, unless there are issues, of course. All sterile instruments are used and we can review during that Meet & Greet appt. For further information and pictures use this Mayo Clinic website: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/pelvic-exam/about/pac-20385135 While we do not accept insurance at UHCS, our costs are very low for those items that we do charge. An annual GYN visit will cost $20 and if a pap smear is done, that is an additional $37. But there is a program that most college students are eligible for (and we can discuss at your Meet & Greet appointment or a real appointment) that would not only cover 100% of these charges but also allow you to access free birth control and free STI testing and treatment. We encourage you to come in for a Meet & Greet appointment. This allows you to meet us without any pressure of what comes next. We look forward to meeting you.
How long does it take to get STI test results back?
Answer by Donene Rowe, MD, PHD
It usually takes about a week to get lab results for the most common STI's, but can take several weeks for some STI's if confirmatory or specialized testing is needed.
Does UHCS test for appendicitis?
Answer by Donene Rowe, MD, PHD
There is no one test that can determine appendicitis. The diagnosis of appendicitis depends on a history of right lower abdomen pain and fever and findings on examination that suggest appendicitis. Sometimes a WBC is checked and if that is elevated that further makes appendicitis a possibility. All of these thing we can do at UHCS. Sometimes a CT scan of the abdomen is done to look at the appendix, because certain appearances make appendicitis more or less likely. We do not have the ability to do CT scans at UHCS but may refer patients to the emergency room where they can do this.
Can the health center take out a student's stitches?
Answer by UHCS Staff
University Health and Counseling Services does take out stitches, even if they were not put in here. Please call 262-472-1300 to make an appointment.
I've had counseling appointments throughout last semester, but I don't know if my counselor is the right fit for me specifically. Would it be okay to switch to a new one or am I just being too picky?
Answer by Matt Mallin, MSSA, LCSW
Great question! Having a good personal fit with your counselor is very important and we understand that. There are a few ways to address it. One is that if there is just a style of therapy or something being done in session you don't care for, it's ok to let your counselor know more of what you need or what isn't working. If overall you just feel the connection isn't there and it's impacting what you want to get out of counseling, then you may certainly request to be seen by another counselor, no worries. This happens and our counselors will not be mad or angry. Your new counselor might ask some questions about what it is your looking for etc. If the same issue comes up again, then it might be time to more closely examine how you are communicating your needs with the therapist to determine where the misunderstanding might be coming from.
I have to take a semester off cause of family health. How does this affect me and can I come back next semester?
It is possible to take one semester off and then return to school the following semester. The registrar's office would be happy to provide you with all the information needed regarding taking a semester off and returning to school the following semester. Please contact the registrar's office for more information. They are located in Roseman Hall, Room 2032 or contact them by phone at 262-472-1570.
Finding groups of kids who have lost a parent
Answer by Matthew Mallin, MSSA, LCSW
While UHCS certainly understands the tremendous impact losing a parent has on anyone, there are currently no specific therapy groups on this topic. We are always thinking about and open to group suggestions, and part of the issue is usually finding enough students who can also meet at the same time. On the other hand, we also believe that there can be benefit talking about loss in one of our process groups, even if it's not the specific focus of the group. At this point in the semester, our groups are closed, but we always start new next semester. Also, in the meantime, we'd recommend making an appointment to speak with a therapist individually and perhaps we could help look for groups in the area that might be available. Call 262 472-1305 if you have any more questions. Thank you.
Where do I go if to get tested for a mental health disorder? What is the procedure for that?
Answer by Matthew Mallin, MSSA, LCSW
If you have a mental health concern or questions about diagnosis, the best thing to do is to make a free, confidential appointment with a UHCS therapist. Call 262-472-1305 and schedule your first appointment, or you can make one in person on the second floor of the Ambrose Health Center. Appointments are made based on availability of your schedule and the availability of a therapist. On the day of your appointment, you and the therapist will begin to discuss whatever your concerns are, as well as completing a good overall history to determine your needs. In mental health, there really aren't "tests" to complete, but rather having conversations about your symptoms and concerns and whether or not they meet criteria for mental health disorder. We do use some surveys to help identify key symptoms at intake though. If you were asking about testing for a learning disability/ADHD testing in order to obtain accommodations through the Center for Students with Disability, that is a different thing all together, but we could still help consult with you and figure out where/how to best direct you."
Am I able to receive the Depo-Provera shot at the health center, or do I need to continue seeing my regular physician?
Answer by Kristine Bohrmueller, WHNP- BC, APNP
Yes we do give Depo Provera injections at UHCS. We would need your previous records from your home provider's clinic sent to UHCS. At which time we can schedule for an annual exam to review those records and begin providing your injections. The cost of Depo Provera injections is $60 per injection which would be billed to your student bill or may be paid on site. You may submit your recipt to a private insurance for reimbursement of the cost. We also can help determine if you qualify for Family Planning services and help you sign up for coverage which would cover the cost of your Depo Provera Injections as well.
If you would like to contact one of our providers but aren't sure who to contact, please call 262-472-1300 for Health Services or 262-472-1305 for counseling. If you give your name or student ID number, we can look up your appointment history and help you get into contact with the right person.
Plan B is available at University Health Center and costs between $15.00 - $20.00. No appointments are necessary if a student has seen a UHCS provider previously. Please call UHCS at 262.472.1300 if you have never seen a UHCS health provider.
For a list of medications available at UHCS, please go to http://www.uww.edu/uhcs/fees. All UHCS charges can be paid at the time of service in cash, Purple Points, or check. Or, the charge can be added to your student bill, under a generic Health Services charge. Remember, most emergency contraception is only effective up to 3 - 5 days after unprotected sex.
The gum attachment between my lower lip and gums is hurting. It's only that part that is hurting. I know it is not brused or ripped and I do not smoke anything, what could be the issue?
Answer by Donene Rowe, MD, PhD
The attachment between the lips and bums is called the frenulum. This could be sore for an number of reasons. Like soreness in other areas of the mouth this can result from trauma from food, teeth, etc. from canker sores, from infection, from dental problems and from nutritional problems. This can be treated by using an over the counter analgesic such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If it is not resolving you may want to have your primary care provider take a look at it.
If I wanted to get tested for Gonnorhea, can I make an appointment at UHCS to get this test done? And will my parents find out?
Answer by Melissa Miller, NP
You can absolutely make an appointment at UHCS for gonorrhea testing (or any other STI testing). You can book appointments online or you can call the clinic. Getting tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections at UHCS is generally free for students also. There are a couple of different ways in which students can qualify for free testing. One is made possible by a program called Family Planning Only Services (FPOS) which students can apply for if they meet certain income requirements, are residents of Wisconsin, and 15 years of age or older. You can make an appointment to apply for FPOS by calling UHCS. If students do not have FPOS, they can have testing paid for by Walworth County as long as they make less than 185% the federal poverty level. To utilize this option, students need to sign when they come for testing to verify that they meet the eligibility requirements for the free testing. Next, your parents will not be informed of any testing or treatment. Services you receive at the health center are confidential and information is not shared with those not involved in your care unless the provider feels that you are a harm to yourself or others. Lastly, if results from gonorrhea or chlamydia testing are positive, the information is confidentially reported to the Public Health Department.
Does UHCS have a dietitian or nutritionist?
Answer by Ruth Swisher, RN, MS, Director of Health
UHCS employs medical/nursing and health educator staff. These staff members offer basic nutrition guidance to assist students with a healthy lifestyle and to make healthy nutrition choices. Call 262-472-1300 for an appointment.
UHCS offers STI testing based on the medical needs of the student-patient, when seen by a physician or nurse practitioner during their medical appointment. Costs for testing may be covered by either a program with Public Health or with the "Family Planning Only Services" (FPOS); both programs are available all students. The clinical provider will assist with program enrollment. Call 262-472-1300 for an appointment or book on-line at the UHCS website.
Lately I have been feeling down. I don't feel like hanging out with my friends or doing anything at all. I don't enjoy many activities and am tired all the time. I have trouble sleeping at night and I have lost some weight. What could be the cause of this?
Answer by Matt Mallin, MSSA, LCSW, Assistant Director, Counseling Services
The symptoms and issues you are describing sound very much like possible signs of depression. While there is no way to say that for certain without speaking to you more, we'd strongly encourage you visit UHCS and come talk to a counselor about these symptoms. There's not always a way to know what "causes" the depression in the first place but the good news is that depression (or whatever you are experiencing) is very treatable and is often helped through having someone to talk to about it. One of the things we know is that the sooner you start addressing concerns, the less likely they will continue and interfere with your friendships and your semester. We have several friendly, trained therapists on staff that would be happy to meet with you and help you understand more of what could be going on. And¦ it's free to students.
Please call 262 472-1305 to make an appointment or you can make one in person on the second floor of UHCS (located on the corner of Starin and Prairie Rds near the bookstore). If for any reason you wouldn't feel comfortable coming to UHCS, please consider speaking to family and friends and perhaps arranging an appointment with your family doctor or a therapist off campus. We're happy to help with anything along the way.
Can you do a fasting cholesterol test?
Answer by Ruth Swisher, RN, MS, Director of Health
Lab tests can be ordered by our clinical staff, based on clinical need. The UHCS lab staff can draw the blood and the test is performed at an outside lab for a fee of $10 for a total (fasting) cholesterol. Another test our clinical staff can offer is a lipid panel for a cost of $20 giving more information on the type of cholesterol (LDL and HDL) as well as triglycerides.
If a student's outside health care provider wishes to order a test on a student's behalf, UHCS offers a process for that to occur. There would be an additional $10 fee for this "Courtesy Lab" process.
As always, please the health service at 262-472-1300 call if further information is needed.
What can someone do if their throat hurts after having oral sex? The symptoms are a cough and itchy throat. Should they be concerned and also come in? (11/13)
Answer by Liz Falk, MS, WHNP-BC
It is possible to transmit sexually transmitted infections (STIs) via oral sex, so it would be recommended to seek evaluation by a health care provider. Even if it is not an STI, ongoing symptoms would be important to evaluate.
What is the policy regarding a student who is involved in self-harm but is not suicidal? Can a student feel safe coming to talk to a counselor or do they need to worry about getting sent to a psych word? 10 (10/13)
Answer by Matt Mallin, MSSA, LCSW, Assistant Director, UHCS Counseling Services
Thanks for asking, that's an important question to have clarified... Absolutely a student should feel safe coming to UHCS and speaking with a counselor about self-injurious behavior. It's understood that self injury, such as cutting, can come from a different motivation than suicide, but it still can be a serious issue that may be more healthfully resolved through counseling. While safety is always a priority, hospitalization is very rare and only done in instances of immediate risk of harm related to suicide or other major self care issues. A counselor can tell you more about that if you have more questions. Overall, self-injury is not an uncommon issue among students and several current clients are working on that issue. Usually it's a mechanism for coping with distressing emotions, or a means to "feel something" at all. Please call 262 472-1305 to make an appointment (or if you have more questions), or come to the Ambrose Health Center in person to make an appointment... we'd look forward to helping with this issue.
Can you become diabetic at any age, and what are the symptoms? (10/13)
Answer by Donene Rowe, MD, Medical Supervisor
You can develop diabetes at any age. Although it is more common to develop insulin dependent (where the pancreas quits making enough insulin) diabetes in childhood and non-insulin dependent (where the body becomes resistant to the insulin that is made) diabetes later in life, either type can appear at any age.
The most typical symptoms are the sensation that you are thirsty all the time, that you are hungry all of the time, the need to urinate frequently and sometimes weight loss.
Do you take Walk-in appointments? (04/13)
Answer by Ruth Swisher, Director of Health & Matt Mallin, MSSA, LCSW
For Health Appointments: Health Services uses an appointment system for students seen by doctors and nurse practitioners for routine needs. This reduces wait times for student patients and increase efficiencies. Often, there are available appointments for the current and next day.
If a student has a time sensitive issue and no appointment is currently available, (by phone, on-line or in-person), they can ask the health center receptionist for a "Same-Day" appointment. The staff assigned to Same-day appointments may see the student/patient, based on the schedule and immediacy of need.
The health center is not an emergency or urgent care facility. If the concern threatens "life or limb", the Rescue Squad should be called at: 911 for immediate transport to the hospital emergency department.
For Counseling Appointments: Counseling Services primarily operates by asking students to make an appointment (phone 472-1305 or in person) before seeing a counselor. Often, there is little wait time before an appointment can be found that fits your schedule. However, Counseling Services does reserve two appointment slots per day, M-F, at 11am and 2pm, for emergency same day appointments. These are primarily meant to be used for situations involving danger to self or others or other immediate concerns.
Last Updated: 02/06/18