Office of Student Affairs

Student Health

The Counseling Center

Scott House
(413) 542-2354 
www.amherst.edu/campuslife/counseling
counsctr@amherst.edu

Jacqueline Bearce, Ed.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
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. The Counseling Center helps students deal with dilemmas and personal problems so that they might have more productive college experiences.

Students come to the Counseling Center for many reasons, such as adjusting to college, personal or emotional concerns, relationship problems, family concerns, bothersome moods or simply wish to know more about themselves. There is no commitment 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 in ways of listening to and helping students clarify various life dilemmas.

Sessions are scheduled according to what might be most practical and helpful. Some students get what they need with one or two sessions;  others might continue 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 than we can provide, the Counseling Center can refer the students to other sources of help.

The Counseling Center staff take the confidentiality of their work very seriously. Coming to the Counseling Center is your own free and private choice.The very fact of your coming to the Counseling Center is considered to be your own business. Therapists are willing to meet or speak with parents, but only with the student's permission. The Counseling Center does not get involved in administrative decisions, such as room choices, meal plan exemptions and the like, or academic extensions or study abroad decisions, except for very rare instances that are discussed ahead of time. The Counseling Center does not discuss students with other departments of the college without the student’s permission. The benefit to you is that you can trust that what you say will stay confidential. 

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: www.amherst.edu/campuslife/counseling.

Keefe Health Center

95 College Street
(413) 542-2267

Warren H. Morgan, M.D., Board-Certified in Family Practice, Director
Diane Norman, R.N.C., M.S.N., Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
Edward McGlynn, P.A-C., Physician Assistant-Certified
Christine Bergeron, C.M.A., Certified Medical Assistant
Camille E. Davis, C.M.A., Certified Medical Assistant
Denise McGoldrick, M.S., Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Health Education
Anna Mastronardi, CMA, Certified Medical Assistant
Lauren Hopfenspirger, Data Entry/Administrative Assistant

The Keefe Health Center staff emphasizes prevention of disease and early intervention. They recognize the influence of physical, emotional, social and environmental factors on the student and incorporate these aspects 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.

Health Care Provision

The Keefe Health Center is located at 95 College St. It is open on 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.

Hospital Services

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.

Supplemental Insurance Plan

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts mandates that every student participate in a qualifying health insurance program. Amherst College offers an insurance plan underwritten by United Healthcare Student Resources and managed by the student benefit division of the Gallagher Koster insurance agency. See also the Handbook section concerning medical insurance.

Transportation

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.

Services Covered by Tuition

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
Services with Additional Costs

Pharmacy: Most insurance plans, including the college plan managed by Gallagher Koster, 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 optometrist at University Health Services.

Services Not Covered by Tuition

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 dental surgery
  • physical therapy
  • X-rays, ultrasounds, MRI and CAT scans
  • laboratory tests that are performed off campus
Summer Care and/or Out-of-Area Care

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 Koster, 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, and the services will be billed to their insurance companies.

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 Koster 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.

Confidentiality

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.

Sports Medicine

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.