Letter from Kirk Dougher, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Health and Wellness
At Habif Health & Wellness Center, we care about the health of all of our students. We have been working all summer to prepare for you to return to campus. As we have seen at other campuses around the country, we know we will have students test positive for COVID-19 at Washington University this fall. Our goal is twofold – to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community and to respond in a caring and supportive way when students test positive or may have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19. We stand ready to provide medical care, counseling if needed, and other support for those in our local community. In order to do this, we will need your help.
First and foremost, the most effective way we can collectively stop the spread of COVID-19 is by wearing a mask and maintaining 6 feet of physical distance from others outside of your household any time you leave your residence. Second, we encourage you to seek out services from Habif. For students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional students living on campus or off campus) in the St. Louis region, we can serve as your primary care provider and can best support your health and well-being throughout the semester. If you have symptoms that you are concerned about, or are seeking testing, you should reach out FIRST to Habif Health and Wellness Center. Testing will be more rapid and with greater support when initiated through Habif. Additionally, it is crucial if you receive a positive diagnosis from a provider other than Habif that you report that immediately to Habif at 314-935-6666.
Third, embedded in the COVID-19 Canvas module are ways that Habif is prepared to assist you. These include:
- consulting with you about next steps if you do not pass the daily screening
- providing contact tracing to make sure that your friends and classmates are able to stay healthy and safe
- providing guidance if you have had close contact or exposure to someone who is positive
- getting you faster access and results for COVID-19 diagnostic testing
- providing medical expertise if you should test positive
- being the conduit to the university’s quarantine and isolation housing
- checking in with you during your quarantine or isolation to make sure that we monitor symptoms, track changes, and give you the care you need.
If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you must contact Habif immediately and comply with the instructions provided by the university and the local health department. If you have been tested somewhere other than Habif and receive results showing you are positive or you just have questions about the tests, contact us immediately at 314-935-6666 to speak to one of our helpful medical practitioners. They will guide you through a series of questions and assist you with the service you need.
Habif Mental Health
As COVID-19 continues to impact us physically, we also need to attend to the impact on mental health. This is an uncertain and abnormal time that can often increase our level of perceived stress and exacerbate other struggles we may be having. Habif Mental Health Services is prepared to support your needs. To reduce potential exposures, our primary service is through telemental health to students residing in Missouri. Students seeking new appointments can call 314-935-6695 to be scheduled for an initial consultation. Please call as early as possible on the day you wish to be seen. Available appointments will be scheduled on a same-day basis until there are no more appointments available for that day. Staff cannot respond to voicemail requests for appointments. From there, we can recommend other services to find the one that will be most helpful to you. Additionally, a counselor will be available online to respond to any urgent needs via that same telemental health service.
“Let’s TeleTalk” is available to students both inside and outside of Missouri. This program, designed to provide quick consultations without the formalities of scheduling an appointment or completing paperwork will use the “waiting room” feature available in Zoom to maintain complete confidentiality. Our care manager will also continue to provide referral support services to students.
- Provident Behavioral Health student support line (314-935-6666) will continue to be available to all students regardless of location. This line is available after-hours and is able to immediately connect you with a therapist to assist you.
- Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Center will continue to serve students via telemental health and virtual programming and mentoring for the fall semester, with the exception of the need for emergency evaluation. Contact the RSVP Center, 314-935-3445, 9 am – 4 pm. During the university’s COVID-19 response, the RSVP Center will continue to offer on-call emergency services 24/7. If you need assistance, please call 314-935-6666 or 314-935-5555 and ask to speak to the on-call counselor at the RSVP Center.
- SARAH, the Sexual Assault and Rape Anonymous Helpline, is available at 314-935-8080. Beginning September 21, SARAH counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the academic year.
- Uncle Joe’s is a peer counseling resource that is available by calling 314-935-5099.Beginning September 14, they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, excluding university holidays and breaks.
- WashU COVID-19 FAQ page
- WashU Health & Safety page
- WashU Who to Call page with additional phone numbers and emails
As a last reminder, WashU Cares continues to support students of concern. If you are in need of support or if you are worried about a friend who is having a hard time, you can file a WashU Cares report form online. Once WashU Cares receives a report, a team member will reach out to the reporting party to provide resources and make sure students are connected to the support they need in order to be successful at WashU.
Please take good care of yourselves and feel free to contact us anytime. We’re here for you.
Kirk Dougher, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Health and Wellness
Below is an update on the Habif Health and Wellness Center’s modified operations. Habif is open and available for the undergraduate students living on campus, as well as undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who continue to reside in the St. Louis community.
- We have continued to block the ability for students to self-book appointments via the web portal. In order to keep our community safe and allow for proper screening, all appointments should be made by calling Habif at 314-935-6677.
- Hours: Monday-Thursday: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Friday: 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
- After-hours students can call 314-935-6666 and follow the prompts to connect with the Nurse Advice Line
- We are offering brief mental health check-ins and consultations via phone or offering telemental health visits via ZOOM to those students who meet our criteria.
- Medication prescribed by Habif psychiatrists can continue to be monitored and refills provided.
- If a student needs mental health support, wishes to speak with a clinician, or connect with their psychiatrist, please call 314-935-6695 during business hours (Monday-Thursday: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Friday: 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.)
- For after-hours mental health support, students can call 314-935-6666 and follow the prompts to reach a counselor.
- Additional information about mental health services can be found here.
- Additional information about available resources for coping during COVID-19 can be found here.
- Hours: Monday-Thursday:, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Friday: 10:00 a.m-5:00 p.m.
- Students needing to transfer prescriptions to or from Quadrangle Pharmacy may call 314-935-6662 during business hours.
Health Promotion Services
- Communications: Health Promotion Services staff members–collaborating from home with our undergraduate Peer Health Educators, graduate practicum students, and Habif colleagues–are creating relevant messages* for all WashU students regarding COVID-19 and related subjects. Check out our recent posts and follow us on social media to stay connected and find out about upcoming opportunities to learn and engage :
* Key subjects include alcohol and other drugs, mental health promotion, and sexual health promotion during the pandemic.
- Supporting Campus Partners: We collaborate with the Center for Teaching and Learning in order to help their staff and faculty members help students in distress.
- Student Involvement in Health Promotion: 34 undergraduate Peer Health Educators and 4 graduate practicum students are active 2020-2021. Look for some of them in the Because Campaign images online and around campus.
- Helping Students Stay Well at WashU: We have built a COVID-19 Care Kit for each student expected on campus Fall 2020. The kits contain a thermometer, a WashU-branded mask, a hand sanitizer, and a reminder of the public health guidelines/how to contact Habif. They are available at COVID-19 testing events on campus and at Habif
- Contact Us: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Health Insurance Plan
- The Student Health Plan through United Healthcare Student Resources is a fully funded insurance plan with nationwide (and even international) coverage. Students who purchased this plan should be able to utilize it and find a UHC in network provider wherever they are.
- For provider lists and other information visit United Healthcare Student Help Center
- UHC will cover COVID-19 testing as ordered by a medical provider. Any treatment related to COVID-19 will be covered as any other illness would ($350 deductible, 20% coinsurance).
- Students in St. Louis are encouraged to use the testing services offered on campus.
- UHCSR has suspended all referral requirements through 4/30/2020, meaning that students will not be required to see Habif providers for primary care during this time.