Boynton to open clinic at MCTC

MCTC will now provide primary and preventative care through a new Boynton clinic.

by Cody Vanasse

For students at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, options for health care on campus are scarce. âÄúIf a student needed health services, they might be able to find a band-aid. ThatâÄôs it.âÄù MCTC Director of Student Life Tara Martinez said But thanks to a partnership with the University of MinnesotaâÄôs Boynton Health Service , MCTC students will now have the benefit of an on-campus clinic. The clinic, scheduled to open Nov. 17, will provide quick clinic services, such as physical exams and immunizations, as well as some primary care. âÄúWe were concerned that so many students donâÄôt have health insurance and we didnâÄôt offer any services here,âÄù Martinez said. For now the clinic will be located in a campus building, but the school hopes to expand the clinic once an additional 35,000 square feet are added to the current student union. The demand for a student clinic was noticed when MCTCâÄôs student-led Wellness Advocates for You (WAY) surveyed the student population, and found that health care and lack of health insurance was a major concern of the student body. âÄúWe found that students who got sick without insurance sometimes had to go to the emergency room when they needed health care,âÄù former MCTC student who worked on bringing the Boynton Clinic to campus, Charles Rinerson said. âÄúStudents could then end up with $5,000 to $10,000 in debt and have to drop out of school.âÄù Negotiations with Boynton and the University ProvostâÄôs Office began last spring. The budget for the clinic will be $145,000 and will be paid for through an $80,000 grant MCTC received and a $.75 per credit student health fee. The Boynton fee for University of Minnesota students represents the largest student service fee, costing students enrolled in six or more credits $116.47 per semester. Insured MCTC students will have their insurance billed when they use clinic services and, for the most part, even uninsured students will be covered by the student service fee. However, Boynton Chief Operating Officer Carl Anderson said students will probably have some out of pocket costs. The clinic will start off small with one physician, one nurse and a clerical receptionist and will be open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Boynton said the clinic will be staffed by a mix of current staff and new hires. Anderson said Boynton does not have any plans to expand to other schools, but does think their partnership with MCTC could âÄúopen doors to more discussions.âÄù Students at MCTC are hoping to eventually open the clinic to the surrounding community, an idea to which Boynton is receptive. âÄúI think itâÄôs a great idea for them and it would help us financially,âÄù Anderson said. âÄúThe more people we can provide services to, the more we can help.âÄù