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Recommended procedures for students registering complaints and concerns regarding the Student Health Center

The staff members of the Department of Student Health are very concerned about addressing student complaints or concerns regarding medical care or administrative policies and procedures at the Health Center. Every effort will be made to listen to the concern and respond in an appropriate fashion. The following procedures are recommended for students who wish to register a concern or complaint:

Talk with your parents
Sometimes students talk with their parents, who can reassure them if their medical care sounded appropriate, or reaffirm their concerns if necessary. Parents will occasionally call us on behalf of the student to discuss medical care concerns. If you want us to speak with your parents, we need your explicit permission. Our commitment to confidentiality will not permit us to speak with anyone about your medical care under any circumstances (except life-threatening emergencies). Please understand that we are most willing to speak to your family but only after we have received your permission.

Talk with your care provider directly
Consider addressing your concern directly with the care provider who saw you during the visit in question. We realize that sometimes it is hard to question or confront a health care professional about his/her decisions or treatment. Our providers are very approachable and willing to work with you on understanding your medical condition or treatment. We suggest either calling the provider directly or making an appointment to discuss your concerns.

Talk with or write a Director at the Health Center
A section Director supervises all staff in each are listed below. If you would prefer speaking with the "person in charge", consider calling, writing, or making an appointment with the appropriate person listed below:

General Medicine: Joe Chance, MD - 982-3915
Gynecology: Chris Peterson, MD - 924-2773
Student Disability Access Center: Bob Diamond - 243-5180
Counseling & Psychological Services: Matt Zimmerman - 924-5556
Health Promotion: Jamie Leonard - 924-1509
Administration (insurance, lab, pharmacy, or reception): Bill Tolley - 924-5471

Talk with or write the Executive Director of Student Health
The Director of Student Health is administratively responsible for the entire operation. If you do not receive a satisfactory response by following the above procedures or you simply feel you need to register a complaint with the Director, call or write:

Dr. Chris P. Holstege, MD, Interim Executive Director
Department of Student Health
University of Virginia, P.O. Box 800760
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0760
924-2670 or 924-5471.

Talk with the Vice-President of Student Affairs
The Vice-President of Student Affairs is administratively responsible for the entire staff at the Department of Student Health. If you do not receive a satisfactory response from the previous steps mentioned above, or you wish to register a complaint at the highest administrative level, call or write:

Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice-President and Chief
Student Affairs Officer
Office of the Vice-President for Student Affairs
University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400303
Charlottesville, VA 22904
924-7984

Write a letter to the student newspaper
Writing a letter to the student newspaper may feel like the right approach, but it tends merely to ventilate a student’s frustration without improving matters. We generally will not respond to a complaint letter to the editor simply because it is a breach of confidentiality to communicate about your medical care with anyone but yourself. Should you choose to write a letter to the newspaper and you expect a response from the Health Center, please send us a courtesy copy so we can address you privately and confidentially.

Contact the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations
Students may contact the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) if they feel that the Administration of Student Health is unable to adequately respond to their concerns. JCAHO may be reached at:

The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Blvd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
email: complaint@jointcommission.org
website: www.jointcommission.org