Healthcare Timeline

1906First student fees paid for health services ($.50 per student).
 H.L. Chambers, M.D. hired as the first University physician.
1907Sick Benefit Association formed, later named Hospital Association. 
 The health fee was raised to $2.00.
1908With the fee and help from the ladies of the faculty, raised enough money to hire a physician and a nurse and rented space in the “Spencer House” west of campus.
1912James Naismith (1907-1917), M.D. the inventor of basketball, became the University physician.
1914Alice Goetz, M.D. became Dr. Naismith’s assistant and looked after the health of women.
1920KU's "Student Health Department" was represented at the first annual meeting of the American Student Health Association, which made KU a Charter Member. Today, that organization is known as the American College Health Association.
1928Ralph I. Canuteson, M.D. (1928-1965) was appointed first full-time Medical Director.
1930Elizabeth Miller Watkins donated the funds for a student hospital.
1931Groundbreaking for Watkins Memorial Hospital.
1932Watkins Memorial Hospital (now Twente Hall) began accepting patients in January.
1938Hired full-time pharmacist.
 Health fee increased to $5.00.
1940Accredited for the first time by Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH).
1946Physical Therapy department established.
1948Mental Health Clinic established.
1949Hired full-time psychiatrist.
1965Raymond A. Schwegler, M.D. (1965-1973) was appointed Director
 In response to the medical needs of the student population, the new Watkins Memorial Hospital (now Watkins Memorial Health Center) was designed and built.  The new 62,000 square foot building was designed to accommodate students with disabilities
1973Martin Wollmann, M.D. (1973-1983) was appointed Director.
1974The new and larger Watkins Memorial Hospital (at present-day location) opened in March.
1983James E. Strobl (1983-1998) was appointed Director (first non-medical Director).
 Health Education Department established.
 GYN Clinic established and located on second floor.
 Two exam rooms per physician system established.
1984Number of physicians dictating clinic notes increased from three to ten.
 Nurse Practitioner utilized to see patients.
 New Clinic hours of 8-4:30 (changed from 8-11:30 & 2-4:30).
1985Upgraded Physical Therapy equipment and purchased new X-ray film processor.
 Sports Medicine Clinic established.
 Student Health Officer Program initiated.
 Central charting for all medical records initiated.
 Hematology and blood chemistry analyzers purchased to increase laboratory efficiency.
1986Closed food service kitchen at cost savings of $70,000 per year.
 Appointment system initiated in General Medicine Clinic.
 Quality Assurance program started.
 Beak Healthy Newsletter initiated.
 Screening nurse process initiated to shorten patient waiting time.
 Established full-time dietary counseling.
1987Mandatory CPR classes for all health center staff.
 Peer Review program established.
 Inpatient service converted to short-term outpatient observation unit at a cost avoidance of $325,000 per year.
 Registration, Medical Records and Business Office operations computerized through an in-house mainframe.
 Blood pressure checks made available on a walk-in basis.
 Direct check-in established for several specialty clinics (Allergy, Wart, INH therapy).
 Diabetes and Endocrinology Clinic established.
 INH Clinic established.
 Risk Management program initiated.
 Over-the-counter medications, including condoms and spermicides, made available at Pharmacy.
 New colposcope obtained for GYN exams and biopsy.
 Cryotherapy for lesion/wart treatments available.
1988Received first three-year accreditation as an outpatient clinic through the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), a national association.
 Walk-in cholesterol screening instituted.
 Appointment system and Pharmacy operation computerized.
 Dental screening examination initiated.
 Eating Disorders Support Group established (ANAD).
 Adult children of Alcoholics Support group established.
 Diabetic Education group initiated.
 Patient Bill of Rights developed and published.
 X-ray contract established.
 Chlamydia screening began with all pap smears.
 First annual Health Fair.
1989Closed third shift (11p.m.-7a.m.), shifting FTE to more usable hours. “On-Call” physician in health center during all hours of operation.
 Health center closed on major holidays to better utilize staff during peak periods.
 New computerized health assessment program started in Health Education.
 Nursing staff returning phone calls for physicians.
 Mandatory immunization policy initiated.
1990Evening appointments began on experimental basis.
 One nurse per physician work arrangement started with two physicians (experimental).
 Provided kiosk for information to students (located outside, west of building).
 Smoke-free environment for staff and students.
1991Maintained quality of services during Desert Storm crisis.
 Added four new board-certified physicians: three female, one male.
 Increased healthcare involvement with the Athletic Department.
 Physician-nurse teams shortened patient waiting time.
 Mental Health reorganized into Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS).
 Sports Medicine Clinic received the Governor’s Council on Fitness award.
 Pharmacy staff received special recognition in associations and participated in organizing programs for school & community regarding substance abuse.
 Health Education’s Peer Health Advisor class became university credited course.
 Watkins Admissions & Radiology departments coordinated with the University to process MMR requirements on all incoming students.
 Customized our computer system to increase efficiency of patient processing, which included patient registration and billing services.
 Anonymous HIV testing initiated.
 Street named in honor of Dr. Raymond Schwegler (Shwegler Drive).
1992Health center wide re-cycling instituted.
 Remodeling of Health Education, CAPS and Administrative areas.
 Hired GYN nurse practitioner.
 Received additional three-year accreditation through AAAHC.
 Hired a board-certified female physician to replace a retiring male physician.
1993Additional outpatient and staff parking with closer proximity to the health center.
 Added a fourth full time pharmacist and expanded pharmacy hours to 9:00 p.m. M-F.
 Increased anonymous HIV testing hours from half day to full day.
 Initiated Herpes Study with KU Medical Center.
1994New fee for the Watkins Health Center addition was approved by the Student Senate by acclimation.
 Resurface of Schwegler Drive.
1995Received another three-year accreditation from AAAHC.
 Construction began on the new 17,000 addition to north end of Watkins to provide more exam rooms.
 Implementation of new Pharmacy software that included online adjudication with insurance companies.
1996Construction on new addition continued.
 Remodeling of existing building began.
 Online adjudication completed in the Pharmacy.
 Health center hours changed to 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., M-F; 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday; and 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
1997Construction on new addition and remodeling of existing building completed.
 Relocated personnel to new work areas.
 Established improved patient and record flow.
 Updated computer system (both hardware and software) throughout the health center.
 Designed and implemented bar-coded labels and visit/charge form processing.
1998Expansion of the appointment system from 20% appointments to 80% appointments.
 Received fourth consecutive accreditation for another three years from AAAHC.
1999Carol Seager, M.S.A. (July 1999) was appointed as Director. She was instrumental in changing the culture to focus on Customer Service.
 Grant received from Merck & Co. as one of 17 sites to perform clinical studies on the effectiveness of their HPV vaccine.
2000 Installed new computer system (PyraMed) for patient scheduling, registration and billing.
2001Triage implemented.
 Mandatory Health Insurance for International Students.
 Golf Clinic.
 Coverage for spouse/domestic partner added.
 Immunization Clinic available to general public.
 Meningitis Vaccination mandate.
 Tuberculosis mandate for International Students.
 Wellness Resource Center expanded to include alcohol education/sanction program.
 Customer Service Plan (RISE) introduced.

HPV Vaccine – SHS participation as 1 of 17 study sites.

 Long Range Plan implemented.
 Received an additional three-year accreditation through AAAHC.
2004Received additional three-year accreditation through AAAHC.
2007Received additional three-year accreditation through AAAHC.
 Celebrated 100 Year Anniversary
 Participated in the development & practice of the Worldwide Emergency Response Plan.
2008Replaced PyraMed system with Point and Click system for patient scheduling, registration, billing, etc.
 Final draft of Pandemic Plan and Website.
 Roof replacement.
 Radiology/Athletic Department - Developed a contract with KUA to allow Radiology staff from Watkins Health Services to do x-rays at the new complex.
2009Adoption of Electronic Health Record (EHR) provided by Point and Click.
2010Deployment of a secure patient web portal to allow online appointment scheduling as well as communications between providers and patients.
 Received additional three-year accreditation through AAAHC.
 Participated in Leading roles for the countrywide H1N1 Pandemic Response.
 Chancellor appointed Carol Seager, WHS Director, as KU’s representative to the Board of the Lawrence Douglas County Health Department.
2011Deployed a Laboratory Information System (LIS) to facilitate lab orders and returning results to the electronic medical record system.
 Chancellor again appointed Carol Seager as KU’s representative to the Board of the Lawrence Douglas County Health Department and KU representative to Women’s Leadership Council of Kansas.
2012Adopted computed radiography system to replace the original X-ray “film” process.
 Addition of After-Hours Nurse Helpline.
 Implemented Walk-in Clinic.
 Implemented Peer Health Educator pilot program in McCollum residence hall.
 Expanded the electronic medical records system to include digital radiography and lab interfaces.
 Expanded tuberculosis surveillance to include KU students studying abroad and international students on the Edwards campus.
2013Carol Seager retired as Director March 2013.
 Joe Gillespie was named Interim Director (March-November 2013).
 Douglas Dechairo, M.D. (2013-2019) was appointed as Director/Chief of Staff on November 24, 2013.
 Purchase of “Beakers” utility vehicle for use in outreach activities by the Health Education Resource Office.
 Animal therapy incorporated into stress management programming by Health Education Resource Office.
 Received an additional three-year accreditation through AAAHC.
2014Began offering Massage Therapy service.
 Opened Beaker's Daily Dose snack shop inside the pharmacy.
 Began using student volunteers known as Watkins Health Navigators to staff information booth at main entry.
 Extensive remodel of first floor lobby and hallways with input from students. In fact, the design of the lobby was largely the creation of a KU senior in architecture.
2015With approval of Student Senate and KU Administration, the name of “Student Health Services” was changed to “Watkins Health Services” (WHS).
 Replaced the Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning (HVAC) system in the north wing of facility.
 Opened a Faculty & Staff Clinic for KU employees.
 KU CARE (Campus Assistance, Resource, and Education) Coodinator established as a confidential resource for sexual assault and intimate partner violence.
 Health Education Resource Office acquired and began management of the Jayhawk Buddy System.
 OrthoKansas opened a satellite office on the second floor.
 Expanded image of WHS through greater use of social media.
 Began a multi-year project to replace the HVAC system throughout the health center.
2016Hired Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.
 Began offering tobacco cessation program to faculty and staff for a nominal fee.
 Began offering a bundled set of STI tests at a reduced price.
 Led efforts to purchase/install 68 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in buildings throughout campus.
 Received an additional three-year accreditation through AAAHC.
2017Patient chaperone protocol established.
 Regulated the carrying of concealed handguns inside Watkins Memorial Health Center
2018Self-check in kiosks installed in lobby.
 Traditional phone system converted to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) through Skype application.
 Implemented C-I-CARE customer experience philosophy.
 Watkins Health Navigators (formerly volunteer positions) became paid student hourly positions to staff information booth at main entry.
 Project to complete the replacement of the HVAC system throughout health center was completed.
2019Diana Malott named interim director.
 Pavika Saripalli, M.D., named interim Chief of Staff.
 Expansion of gender-affirming care services.
 A record number of flu shots were given following an aggressive marketing campaign targeting students.
 Obtained MedSafe collection kiosk for safe disposal of unused/expired medications.
 Received an additional three-year accreditation through AAAHC.
2020Navigated operational changes through COVID-19 global pandemic, implemented screening protocol and drive-up testing.
 Served as primary partner on KU's Pandemic Medical Advisory Team.
 Began offering virtual appointments through Zoom application.
 Many non-clinical staff began remote work from home.
 Registration & Records department remodeled to provide more privacy to patients checking in.
 Paint and flooring were upgraded throughout the health center.
 Point of Sale (POS) module instituted in pharmacy to streamline checkout process.
 Kory Barrett named interim Administrative Director.
 Sherri Vaughn, M.D., named interim Medical Director.
2021The University of Kansas Health System assumed medical oversight of Watkins Health Services.
 Ellen Herman, MAOL, named Administrative Director.
 Graig Nickel, M.D., named Medical Director.
 Became a COVID-19 vaccine distribution site for the KU and Lawrence communities.
 Health Education Resource Office (formerly a department within Watkins Health Services) became a stand-alone Student Affairs unit co-located in the Watkins Memorial Health Center building.
 Complied with 21st Century Cures Act by providing patients with access to their visit notes.
 Gained access to Surescripts and EPCS allowing providers to transmit prescriptions electronically and keep the health center in compliance with federal requirements.
 Transitioned from high complexity laboratory to a point-of-care laboratory, outsourcing many tests.
2022Established the Student Patient Assistance Fund to provide financial assistance to students who are unable to afford a medical procedure, medicine or other healthcare expense recommended by their provider. 
 LMH Health opened a satellite office on the second floor to provide physical therapy services.
 Received an additional three-year accreditation through AAAHC.
2023Kansas Sports Medicine provides Sports Medicine.