USF World News

USF Student Health Services Now Offers International Health Counseling & Vaccinations
September 29, 2011

With a growing scale of international travel, USF’s Student Health Services (SHS) has addressed and answered the question of keeping our travelling Bulls safe from health concerns with the launch of a new travel clinic.

Located in the Student Health Services building, the new travel clinic will provide USF students with the right health counseling and vaccinations needed to travel abroad safely. Giving students the highest priority and keeping in mind the costs otherwise associated with such services, USF Student Health Service Senior Director, Diane Zanto said the only charge to students would be the cost of the vaccine. “We’re in the business to serve students,” she said emphasizing that the purpose of the clinic was to minimize cost and give students a reasonable option to take preventive measures.

The travel clinic is also open to faculty, staff and researchers travelling on USF business. Employees of the university and associates who are not required to pay a semester health fee will be charged a $25 travel consultation fee plus the cost of the vaccines.  Charges can be submitted to the employee’s health insurance.  

The new clinic offers 24 different vaccinations including those for Yellow Fever, and Hepatitis A and B. The cost of vaccinations ranges from $12 – $248 and can be billed to the student’s health insurance or OASIS account, so that there is no immediate cost. Moreover, a fixed payment schedule will be provided to give students a clear idea of how much they will owe before they go through with the vaccination.

Designed to meet individual requirements, the travel clinic intends to provide students with a step-by-step process that begins a four to six weeks before departure and ends upon return to the United States. At present, students may not be protecting their health adequately before leaving for another country. Zanto explains that apart from having few affordable options, most students aren’t necessarily aware of the risk they are taking when they enter a foreign environment where illnesses unfamiliar to the U.S. are commonplace.

The first step that the health clinic is taking is to provide students with pre-departure counseling sessions to prepare them for what lies ahead. Depending on geographic region and local health concerns, students are advised on what health precautions to take ranging from the benefits of taking certain vaccinations to what can be considered safe sexual practice. Hoping to reach as many students as possible, the travel clinic has also included a presentation detailing the basics of health precautions in all mandatory information sessions conducted by the office of Education Abroad.

Upon return to the U.S., students may go through a post-travel screening process. “We want students to protect themselves so that they come back healthy and have no interruption to their studies. The world is growing smaller and we have more students travelling. ”We are trying to make it as convenient and affordable as possible for our students to be safe,” says Zanto.