Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Cougar Health Services Cougar Health Services News

Get your flu vaccine!

Get your flu vaccine

Flu season is approaching fast! You can prevent the flu by getting your flu vaccine at one of our Flu Shot Friday events or by making an appointment with your health care provider.
It’s important that you get your flu shot early in the season. After getting a flu vaccine, it takes about two weeks for your body to develop the antibodies that will protect you from flu virus.

Flu Shot Fridays 2018

Every Friday from September 28 to October 26 *
10 am — 3 pm
Washington Building, ground floor entrance

* Additional flu vaccine outreach will occur on Thursday, October 11 and will be hosted in Bustad Hall 110J, 10:30-1:30

Flu Shot Fridays are open to WSU students, faculty, and staff. We won’t be able to give the vaccine to those who are pregnant or under age 18.

Show up early if you can! We’re giving away free thermometers to the first 150 students each Friday.

Can’t make it to a Flu Shot Friday or want your shot sooner? Flu vaccines are available now in our clinic. Students can make an appointment to get a flu shot.

Cost

Flu shots are covered in full by most insurance plans. If you don’t have insurance or are concerned about costs, we’re here to help you! Contact our billing office at 509-335-3575.

Make sure to bring your insurance card! We won’t be taking payment at the time of service for Flu Shot Fridays, but we’ll get your insurance information for billing.

Parking options

We’ll have some parking spaces reserved in the green lot at Stadium Way and SE Nevada St. for Flu Shot Fridays. Reserved spaces will be marked with orange cones. Metered parking spots are available on NE Washington St.

There are also a number of zoned parking lots available nearby for permit holders. For a detailed parking map, visit Transportation Services. Our building is also easily accessible via public transit. Visit Pullman Transit for routes and schedules.

Get stress management tips on your phone

Get stress management tips

Feeling stressed, need help coping, or just want tips for managing your stress? We can help!

Join our text messaging program and we will:

  • Check in with you every week to see how you’re doing
  • Send you weekly tips for lowering stress
  • Share information about health-related events and resources around campus

To sign up, text “STRESS” to 844-486-0046. You can join at any point in the semester!

You can also check out our stress management workshops and other programs.

New mental health promotion specialist

Earlier this month, we hired a new mental health promotion and suicide prevention specialist, Nikita Alimohammad. Nikita previously worked on our team as a health educator, and will now lead suicide prevention efforts on campus, including coordination for our grant work. This includes SAMHSA’s Garrett Lee Smith Grant and the JED Foundation campus program.

We created the specialist role two years ago as part of WSU’s focus on mental health and suicide prevention. The position was vacant for the majority of the 2017-2018 school year, and filling the role will help us build on previous success in promoting mental health on campus.

In her new role, Nikita will collaborate with campus partners on our community-based approach to mental health promotion. She will analyze collected data and feedback to identify high-risk student populations and improve health promotion student outreach trainings.  One of her first projects will be coordinating the Healthy Minds study, an online survey conducted every year to collect information on student mental health.

Nikita earned her bachelor’s degree in health sciences with a focus in administration and management from California State University, East Bay. She then went on to earn her master’s degree in public health at San Diego State University.

In her previous role as a health educator, Nikita led Mental Health First Aid trainings and supported our IMPACT program and student reinstatement and enrichment workshops.

New name, fully integrated health services

We’re excited to announce Health & Wellness Services and Counseling and Psychological Services have officially integrated under the name Cougar Health Services.

This change reflects our model of student-centered, integrated health services on campus, as well as our staff’s hard work over many years to improve collaboration, streamline processes, and ultimately provide better health and well-being services for students.

As part of this process, we’re merging our electronic health records over the summer. Maintaining one central record for each student will help us provide seamless care across all of our services. We can welcome each student with a full understanding of their health history and the care they’ve already received from us, regardless of which service they used first.

Updated Cougar Health Services materials are available upon request for WSU departments and groups.

Meet our new medical director

Dr. Bonnie de Vries

Our new medical director, Bonnie de Vries, MD, MS, begins work this week. In this role, Dr. de Vries will oversee medical clinic operations and collaborate with partners in Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and throughout WSU to support student health and safety. Dr. de Vries will take on both administrative and clinical responsibilities, opening up additional physician availability for patient appointments.

We invite the WSU community to join us as Dr. de Vries shares her vision for the future of university health services on April 9 from 4-5 p.m. The event will take place in the Health Promotion Peer Education Training Room G41, located in the ground floor entrance of the Washington building. Please RSVP to Melissa Painter at melissa.norton@wsu.edu.

Dr. de Vries is a board-certified family physician with a background in quality improvement and practice transformation. Dr. de Vries earned her medical degree from Albany Medical College, and completed her residency at Maine Medical Center, where she also studied integrative medicine.

In addition, she earned a Master of Science degree in nutrition from Columbia University, during which she did clinical HIV research at Harlem Hospital.

Most recently, Dr. de Vries practiced at Southern Maine Health Care, where she successfully led an innovative Advanced Primary Care initiative to create a culture of team-based care, population health, and physician retention.

She also served as the only family physician on the Medical Executive Committee; and completed professional certification through the Hanley Center’s Physician Executive Leadership Institute.

Dr. de Vries was also an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of New England (UNE) College of Osteopathic Medicine, teaching case analysis and team-based learning to future physicians.

Get your mental wellness checkup

student hands typing on keyboard
student hands typing on a computer keyboard

Mental health is a key part of your overall health and well-being. You can use a brief online screening to check in on your mental wellness and see if you should connect with a mental health professional.

Get an online mental wellness checkup today!

It’s free and completely confidential. Immediately following the brief questionnaire, you will see your results, recommendations, and information on university and community support resources.

Need help right now? Counseling and Psychological Services is available 24/7 at 509-335-4511.

1,797 Cougs get their flu shot!

A record breaking 1,797 Cougs got their flu vaccine at our flu shot events this fall!

A flu shot is the number one way to prevent the flu. If you haven’t already gotten your vaccine, now is a great time to get it. Students can visit our medical clinic to get their shot.

When more Cougs get vaccinated, less flu can spread in our community. Don’t forget there are other healthy habits that can help protect you from the flu virus.

We hope you have a happy, healthy, and flu-free winter!

Toolkit for supporting students in distress

Toolkit for supporting students in distress

Student Affairs is currently developing a toolkit that faculty and staff can use to help students who are in distress. The goal of the toolkit is to ensure students have a successful academic career by getting them connected to campus resources that will support their specific needs.

Faculty and staff play a key role in the lives of students. They work closely with them and are often able to notice when a student is having a hard time.

With the help of the toolkit, faculty and staff will be able to recognize potential signs of distress, respond in the moment, and connect the student to appropriate campus resources.

The guide will cover a wide range of concerns. For example, if a student experiences the loss of a family member, financial issues, violence, or a mental health concern, the guide will offer steps for helping the student and connecting them to specific campus resources.

To develop this guide, we reviewed similar toolkits from other universities and sought feedback from WSU faculty, advisors, deans, administrators, and staff. Our team decided to adapt a guide created by UMatter at UMass and tailor it to the specific needs of our community.

The toolkit will be available this fall in an online format. If you want to know when it’s live, you can subscribe to receive email updates about suicide prevention and mental health promotion.

Accomplishments during grant’s first year

Accomplishments during grant’s first year

We recently met with members of the Campus Mental Health Collaborative to discuss ongoing suicide prevention and mental health promotion efforts.

During our meeting, we talked about goals for the SAMSHA Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant and what we’ve done so far.

SAMSHA grant goals

Promote mental health through campus-wide partnerships. Together, collaborative members are actively looking for ways to support each other’s mental health promotion efforts. For example, during our meeting, departments brainstormed the idea of adding a mental health component to their staff and student trainings.

Offer suicide prevention training. Last year we began offering suicide prevention training, Campus Connect. Over 430 Cougs have taken this training and we expanded it to an online format.

In addition to education on best practices for responding to someone in crisis, Campus Connect teaches essential communication and relationship building skills. Departments like Athletics and Residence Life find this training so valuable, they require their employees to take it.

Collect and evaluate data to refine our mental health promotion activities. We want all Cougs to get more information about suicide prevention and to get help if they experience a mental health concern. To measure our progress towards these goals, we use data from the National College Health Assessment and quarterly grant reports. This data will also help us understand how we can support students’ changing mental health needs.

Expand and improve programs for students. This past spring, we launched a stress management texting program which sends students tips for managing their stress – over 680 Cougs have signed up! Currently, we’re expanding this program for student-athletes, and we hope to offer it to more groups on campus.

Moving forward, we plan to adapt content from a research-based stress management workshop. We also are looking for faculty collaborators to evaluate the texting program.

Inform Cougs about support services and decrease stigma around mental health. We’re working with a team of students in the Murrow College of Communication on a campaign to promote a mental health screening tool and educate students about resources and suicide risk factors.

For the remainder of our meeting, collaborative members gave updates on their current mental health promotion activities and we brainstormed ways to use existing resources to expand our efforts. The meeting concluded with feedback on a guide for responding to students in crisis, which is currently in development.

We look forward to building relationships with collaborative members and supporting each other’s work. If you would like to learn more about the collaborative and stay up-to-date on mental health promotion and suicide prevention, you can subscribe to receive email updates.