PEMBROKE — With a snip from the giant ceremonial scissors, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke reaffirmed its commitment recently to provide students with quality health care.
A grand opening ceremony was held April 20 for the new Brave Health Center. The 11,532-square-foot building houses Student Health Services and Counseling and Psychological Services.
Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings said buildings on a university campus serve more than a functional purpose. A university’s facilities represent institutional priorities and obligations.
“With the Brave Health Center, UNC Pembroke has a facility that proudly and properly represents our longstanding commitment to the health and well-being of our students,” Cummings said.
The university has provided health services to its students for more than 60 years. However, Student Health Services outgrew its former facility.
Through new technology, advanced medical equipment, and an increase in space, the Brave Health Center will better serve students. Lisa Schaeffer, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, said the vision for the new $4 million center has been 10 years in the making.
“The vision was to create a facility that is welcoming and that supports collaboration between these two essential departments as well as the Pembroke community,” Schaeffer said. “We are thrilled to finally get to this day.”
Student Health Services occupies the first floor and counseling on the second floor. The new building offers a confidential and professional setting for students who receive counseling services.
The quality of services will increase as staff will have the opportunity to seek accreditation through the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory HealthCare.
The Student Health Services floor has six exams rooms, a nursing station, an observation room, treatment room, laboratory, and pharmacy. The student experience will be elevated with the installation of the latest technology, Schaeffer said.
A kiosk area in the lobby will enable students to self check-in, complete insurance waivers and schedule appointments. The second floor includes a secure waiting area with a separate entrance and exit which will ensure confidentiality. There are four observation rooms for clinical training, counseling offices, a relaxation space, and an educational resource room.
Counseling and Psychological Services offers a range of clinical mental health options, including individual, group and couples counseling. Learning disability and psychological assessment is also offered.
“This new building marks the first truly dedicated space for mental health services at UNCP and represents an important step forward for Counseling and Psychological Services,” Schaeffer said.
During the ceremony, two local donors were recognized for their support of the Brave Health Center. Cora Bullard, Student Health Services director, has dedicated 18 years to UNCP. Her husband, Tony, was commissioned as a second lieutenant through the UNCP ROTC program. He holds two degrees from UNCP and their son, Anthony, is a sophomore here. The Student Health Director’s Office has been named in honor of Cora Bullard.
At the front of the Health Center, tucked behind a brick wall lies a 1,500-square foot serenity garden which lends itself to solitude and reflection. The garden includes a water feature, meandering hardscape walkways, several benches, and a collection of intimate spaces of various sizes.
The serenity garden was made possible thanks to the generosity of Dr. Kenneth and Michelle Locklear. Kenneth, a UNCP graduate, has served the Red Springs community as a family physician for 35 years.
Michelle, a registered nurse, supports the university’s CARE Resource Center and serves on the GPAC Advisory Board.
Mark Locklear is a Public Communications specialist with The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.