Walker Health Center at SUNY Oswego earns reaccreditation

OSWEGO – Mary Walker Health Center, the primary care center for students of SUNY Oswego, has received three-year reaccreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

“We are very proud of it,” said Liz Burns, director of student health services and one of four full-time nurse practitioners that staff the center, along with a registered nurse, a licensed practical nurse and a secretary.

“In order to get through the process, we had to show that we follow best practices in our daily business,” Burns explained. “This is truly an effort accomplished by all of the staff.”

Status as an accredited organization means Walker Health Center has met the AAAHC’s recognized standards for quality health care. Accredited institutions range from ambulatory surgery centers to medical group centers, from community health centers to managed care organizations.

The association made a site visit to Oswego in late April, Burns said. “In particular this year, they were looking at infection control,” she said. “Our surveyor stated we have met all the standards of an office-based surgery center.”

Though Walker Health Center does not offer surgery, it provides primary care services during morning walk-in clinic and afternoon appointments — from 9,000 to 12,000 patient visits a year — and also offers emergency first aid; makes medical, surgical and dental referrals; provides common medications, immunizations and seasonal flu vaccines; does routine laboratory testing; and offers other health services.

With assistance from the college’s Lifestyles Center, Walker Heath Center’s staff also educates students through health and wellness programs, including on smoking cessation, safe sex and other ways to prevent disease and illness.

The health center, which is seeking a part-time physician, currently collaborates with Oswego Family Physicians, Burns said.