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Watkins Health Services reaccredited

Tue, 07/12/2022

LAWRENCE – There are approximately 2,700 institutes of higher education in the United States that have health and wellness services, but just 11% of those are accredited.

Watkins Health Services and the University of Kansas are part of that exclusive club for at least the next three years. Watkins received reaccreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) in March.

“We are thrilled to announce that Watkins Student Health clinic has obtained re-accreditation for three years from AAAHC,” said Ellen Herman, administrative director of Watkins Health Services. “Accredited organizations demonstrate high-quality care in an environment that promotes patient safety, best practices and is considered the gold star in patient care.”

According to AAAHC, accreditation reflects dedication to high-quality patient health care and is a distinguishing accomplishment. Accredited organizations become part of an elite force of organizations that prioritize quality for patients and staff.

Hammad Hussain was the KU Student Senate treasurer and Student Health Advisory Board Chair for the 2021-22 school year and is studying health care information management at KU Medical Center. He’s served on the student health advisory board for more than three years and witnessed Watkins’ merger with The University of Kansas Health System during that time. When surveyors from the AAAHC came to KU in March, Hussain was asked to meet with them. The AAAHC surveyors took part in a two-day visit to learn about Watkins processes, policies and more.

“Watkins excelled in basically every area possible,” Hussain said of the accreditation process. Accreditation is not something every health care organization has to do, but being accredited shows that Watkins is providing optimal service and is “willing to go above and beyond” to show they care about patients, according to Hussain.

Hussain said he believed a key reason Watkins excelled is student government involvement with health care at KU, which he said stood out in a positive manner to the AAAHC surveyors. Student Senate oversees the student health fee at KU, which is a main reason why Watkins has a lot of services that may not exist elsewhere because they are geared toward the needs of KU students, he said.

“I’m proud of the amazing staff that Watkins has and the amazing services we’re able to provide to the students at KU,” Hussain said. “We have a dental clinic that comes on an as-needed basis because that was a need the past few years, especially by international students, because Lawrence doesn’t have many providers.

“Not all health care centers in Kansas have some of the care that we do at Watkins,” he said. “And more services are coming depending on the need and the requests of students.”



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