New health center to serve Y. students and missionaries

Before dedicating the new BYU Student Health Center - a "beautiful, modern, peaceful" facility - Elder Richard G. Scott paid tribute Sept. 15 to the college students and missionaries the building will serve.

"You just can't be around the

young adultsT here and not feel uplifted with their enthusiasm and their purity and their righteousness," said Elder Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve.The new health center, located on the northeast end of the BYU campus - across the street from the Church's Missionary Training Center - opened this past June. During the coming year, more than 90,000 BYU students, including married students and their families, and the missionaries at the Missionary Training Center, will be served by the facility.

Also in attendance at the dedication ceremonies were Elder Henry B. Eyring, Church commissioner of education and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve; Elder Merrill J. Bateman of the Seventy and BYU president; and numerous community leaders. In addition to dedicating the new center, Elder Scott also spoke at a BYU devotional earlier in the day.

Elder Scott said the new building, which replaces the outdated McDonald Health Center built in 1955, is an answer to the growing needs of the BYU community.

"When someone comes here," said Elder Scott, "not only will they be in a wonderful, beautiful, physical environment, but they will be in a place where there is true caring and true feelings of wanting to help."

Elder Scott added that the medical staff at the health center "seek and are blessed with inspiration in carrying out their assignments."

The 36,380-square-foot building consists of two floors and a partial basement. It includes a pharmacy; rooms for physical therapy, laboratories and radiology; an exam room/clinic area; and an ambulatory care entry - where ambulances may pick up patients needing additional care. There is also space in the new facility for medical records and administrative, insurance and accounting offices.

Unlike the old health center, the new building also features large, comfortable waiting rooms.

Elder Bateman noted that the building has an important function on campus.

"It is not a hospital, but it is an urgent care facility where people who have problems can come and have those problems looked at and addressed," he said. "If there is a major need we move them on to a hospital, or to a doctor who can care for them on a long-term basis, but on a short-term basis we can solve many problems of our students and the missionaries."

Director Val Christensen predicts that during the next year the staff of the new health center will fill 48,000 prescriptions, perform 45,000 laboratory tests, take 6,700 X-rays and answer more than 20 million questions for an estimated 90,000 patients.

Brother Christensen said the new health center has no parallels. "Brigham Young University is unique in its commitment to the wellness and health of its student body."

He added that the facility is unique in another aspect as well.

"Due to the mission of this university and due to the righteousness of the students and missionaries who attend, our resources here will not be expended on the treatment of diseases and maladies that are avoidable and often plague student populations," he said.

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