Eastern New Mexico University's Health Services is set to reopen Wednesday to students after being closed for a week because of the death of its new director.
Judith Haislett, vice president of Student Affairs, said they have hired a practical nurse to serve ENMU students until they hire a new director. Former director Kris Kuhlman will also step in during the mornings to assist with patients.
"I had been the director of health services previously so I know the system and I have the proper credentials to be the provider there," Kuhlman said. "It does take time to find a replacement."
Students have been referred to Roosevelt General Hospital's physician's clinic in the meantime. Haislett said ENMU has always had a contract with them for referrals and in cases when nurses have to take a leave.
"Having to use them this past week is just routine," Haislett said. "After insurance, we'll pay up to $60 per visit."
Health Services is offered to all students of ENMU and is paid for by their student fees. Haislett said if students do not have transportation to RGH, students can call the ENMU Police Department for an escort.
She said the school's clinic is a basic walk-in and urgent care clinic. She added that it is most utilized for family planning services and personal health.
Haislett said the fall is a busy time of year for Health Services. On average, Haislett said the nurse sees about 20 to 25 students daily but during flu season, they see roughly 30 to 35 students.
"It's flu season, we're seeing a lot of strep (throat)," Haislett said. "It's just a busy time of year for clinics."
Haislett said the death of Terrese Morrow-Guerra has been a difficult loss for the ENMU family. Morrow-Guerra was killed in a motor vehicle accident in Texas almost two weeks ago.
"She's such a good nurse and the students really liked her," Haislett said about Guerra. "She was well-respected and she was fast and efficient."
Haislett said it can take at minimum, two months to hire a new director. For now, ENMU staff plans to work together to make sure students get the proper care they need.
"We felt like it was important to not shut it down," Kuhlman said. "The administration really values that we have these services and a place that students can go to on campus. They feel like they have a medical home here."