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Jacqueline Alvarez, Ph.D., Psychologist, Director
Debra Edelman, Ph.D., Psychologist
Sarah Erickson, Psy.D, Psychologist
Laura Fusari, LICSW, Psychotherapist
Ruth Kane-Levit, Ph.D., Psychologist
Darien McFadden, Ph.D., Psychotherapist
George Phillips, Psy.D., Psychologist
Zamir Nestelbaum, M.D., Consulting Psychiatrist
Ira Addes, M.D., Consulting Psychiatrist
The Counseling Center provides assessment, referral, counseling and brief psychotherapy to Amherst College students on a voluntary and confidential basis. Our purpose is to help students cope with dilemmas in their personal development or with painful events, and also to help students develop a resiliency so that they are better able to respond to life problems and concerns. We are here to help in ways to further students’ growth and make their experiences as Amherst students more productive and successful.
There are many issues that are appropriate to discuss with the Counseling Center: adjusting to college, personal or emotional concerns, persistent difficulties in studying, bothersome moods, relationship problems, family problems, or simply a wish to know more about oneself. No commitment is involved in an initial meeting, and sitting down with a therapist is often the best way to decide if counseling might be useful. The Counseling Center has a diverse group of therapists who are trained to listen and to clarify various life dilemmas or troubling feelings. Sessions are scheduled based on what might be most practical and helpful. Some students get what they need with one or two sessions; others might continue a little longer. If the difficulty in question is beyond the Counseling Center's resources, such as a problem that deserves more intensive, specialized or longer-term therapy that the Counseling Center cannot provide, they can refer the students to other resources for help.
In order to preserve the confidentiality of the Counseling Center’s work, the Counseling Center does not intervene in matters between students and other departments at the college (e.g. grades, course extensions, room changes, meal plans, study abroad decisions etc.) nor does it communicate with outside institutions (such as graduate schools and government agencies) without the student’s explicit request and permissions. A student’s choice to come to meet with a therapist is solely the business of that student, unless he or she chooses to share such information. The benefit to you is that you can trust that what you say will stay confidential. Counseling Center records are separate from students’ academic records and are destroyed seven years after a student’s last session at the Counseling Center.
Appointments can be arranged by stopping by the Counseling Center, located in Scott House, which is directly across the street from Orr Rink (the entrance is in the back on the parking lot side of the building) or by calling (413) 542–2354 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. If the situation is urgent, please let us know so that a counselor can meet with you on the day of your call. Please see our website for additional information including crisis appointments: www.amherst.edu/campuslife/counseling.
95 College Street (413) 542–2267
Medical Care Providers:
Warren H. Morgan, M.D., Board-Certified in Family Practice Director Diane Norman, Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
Edward McGlynn, Physician Assistant-Certified
Administrative and Clinical Support Staff:
Camille E. Davis, Certified Medical Assistant
Anna Mastronardi, Certified Medical Assistant
The Keefe Health Center staff emphasizes prevention and early intervention. They recognize the influence of physical, emotional, social and environmental factors on students and incorporate these factors into health care and educational programming. In addition to providing direct patient care, the professional staff plays an important liaison role with other campus departments and services.
The Keefe Health Center is located at 95 College St. It is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. when school is in session. Appointments are recommended and readily available, but walk-in care is also available for more acute medical problems.
When the Keefe Health Center is closed, outpatient walk-in care is available at University of Massachusetts Health Services. Please visit the website for current hours of operation. Transportation to University Health Services is provided by Amherst College Emergency Medical Services (ACEMS) and may be accessed by calling Amherst College Police at (413) 542–2111.
Although students are not charged for Health Center visits, health insurance cards are required at each visit in the event that laboratory tests, X-rays or other tests are necessary.
For students with more serious medical or emotional problems, services are available at Cooley Dickinson Hospital (30 Locust St., Northampton, Mass.; (413) 582–2000) and at other nearby hospitals if complex medical care and/or surgical services are needed. Inpatient care and extended-stay outpatient services are not included in the tuition fee and require supplemental health insurance.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts mandates that every student is enrolled in a qualifying health insurance plan. Amherst College offers an insurance plan underwritten by United Healthcare Student Resources and managed by Gallagher Student Health. See also the Handbook section concerning medical insurance.
Amherst College Emergency Medical Services will transport a student to the appropriate health center—the Keefe Health Center, when open, or University Health Services at other times. The student must arrange for transportation to all other medical facilities.
A student’s medical and mental health care is covered by tuition, if it is provided by the Amherst College staff. Below are listed the services available during the academic year:
- physician, physician assistant and nurse practitioner care, including gynecologic
- injections for allergies and travel (there is a fee for travel vaccines)
- nutrition consultations
- health education programs
- minor laboratory tests performed at the Keefe Health Center
Pharmacy: Most insurance plans, including the college plan managed by Gallagher Student Health, require a co-payment for prescriptions. Prescriptions written by the Amherst College medical staff can be filled through the Health Center or at any local pharmacy.
Eye Care: Examination by the optometrist at University Health Services or other local optometrists.
Health care that cannot be provided by the Keefe Health Center staff is not covered by tuition. Examples are as follows:
- hospital emergency room care
- most surgical procedures
- extended-stay services at University Health Services
- specialty consultation
- ambulance transportation
- dental emergencies and routine dental care
- physical therapy
- X-rays, ultrasounds, MRI and CAT scans
- laboratory tests that are performed off campus
The Keefe Health Center is closed during the summer. For Amherst College students who are members of the Amherst College supplemental health insurance program managed by Gallagher Student Health, walk-in care at University Health Services is covered as indicated in the Student Medical Insurance Plan brochure. For students with other supplemental health insurance plans, care is covered according to provisions of the policy. Students going to University Health Services for urgent medical care need to bring their insurance cards, so that the services can be billed to their insurance company.
Students in need of emergency care should go directly to Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 30 Locust St., Northampton, MA, (413) 582–2000.
Students enrolled in the Gallagher insurance program are covered for emergency services outside the Amherst area. The policy year terminates at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 15 each year, or at the end of the period through which the premiums are paid, whichever is earlier.
The Keefe Health Center staff is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of student medical information. Such information will not be released without consent of the student unless required by law or other special circumstances, which are outlined in the Health Center privacy practices policy. If a student has not reached 18 years of age, the parent(s) will be asked to give permission for certain procedures or hospitalization.
The Keefe Health Center provides pre-participation examinations for all athletes, as well as medical care for athletic injuries. In addition, athletic trainers and physicians with training and experience in sports medicine are available to care for student athletes at the college’s athletic facilities. Health Center staff and training room staff have a close working relationship to ensure coordinated and comprehensive care of student athletes.
Please see the health education website for more information.