KCU is committed to student wellness. Through student leadership and support from University administration, programming both on and off campus is designed to encourage self-care, resilience and personal growth to address the health of the body, mind and spirit.
Physical Health Services
Student health services are not provided or contracted by KCU. However, KCU students may seek health care through a group of off-campus, endorsed clinical providers who have affiliations with the University. Students may seek medical services for acute care or short-term treatment at any of KCU’s affiliate locations. KCU encourages students to establish a health care home with a primary care provider. Frequently, being an established patient enhances how quickly you can be seen for a problem. If a student requires chronic care or needs to be seen during off-hours, he/she should contact his/her own provider. Clinic information is available via Student Health Resources. Students need to present their insurance card when seeing any health care provider. All expenses for health services are the responsibility of the student.
Emotional & Psychological Support
The University understands the intense environment and extra stress that graduate and medical students experience. Because it is important for students to be emotionally healthy, students are encouraged to utilize the counseling services that are available to them. The University has three licensed counselors on the Kansas City campus and two licensed counselors on the Joplin campus. Students may make appointments in confidence by contacting a counselor directly via phone or email.
Beth Epley, PsyD - Kansas City
Smith Hall 200
Kristen Sager, MSW, PhD - Kansas City
Smith Hall 327
Amanda Lappin, PhD - Kansas City
Smith Hall 300
Brandi Norman, PsyD - Joplin
Caitlin Overfelt, EdS, LPC - Joplin
Chiwoo Choi, MA, LPC - Joplin
The counselors provide immediate support for students on campus through psychotherapy, proactive support programs to assist with the extra stresses associated with medical school and graduate study, and provide additional information and support through the University’s orientation program. They can also assist students who are dealing with any kind of substance abuse or addiction issue. KCU-Kansas City Counseling Services are located in Smith Hall. KCU-Joplin Counseling Services are located on the first floor in the Student Services wing.
For students wishing to be seen by a therapist or psychiatrist off campus, the University offers access to ERS, a free and confidential counseling service available to all students and their families. Students wishing to take advantage of this University-paid service may contact ERS directly at https://students.mylifeexpert.com or at 1-800-292-2780. All counseling referrals and sessions are confidential and are not recorded in the student’s file.
Student Mental and Physical Health Concerns
Inappropriate, unprofessional, or disruptive behavior is at times the result of emotional or mental distress that can be symptomatic of larger psychiatric issues. Students who are reported to exhibit or experience an episode or series of episodes of psychiatric illness and/or symptoms including, but not limited to the behaviors listed below, may be, at the discretion of the vice provost of Enrollment and Student Services or their designee, referred to MAOPS Physician & Health Professional Wellness Program or another similar program, selected by KCU, for a Fit for Practice, substance use or other psychiatric assessment:
- Expressed or exhibited Suicidal Ideation
- Expressed or exhibited Suicidal Acts
- Expressed or exhibited Acts of self-harm
- Expressed or exhibited intent to harm others
- Erratic behavior that impacts the student’s and others’ ability to learn
- Disruptive behavior that disrupts the academic environment
An assessment required by the vice provost of Enrollment and Student Services (or designee) is a thorough mental and physical health assessment, conducted by a facility approved by the Missouri Board of Healing Arts or other similar program, to determine if an individual is healthy enough to practice medicine as a physician, clinician, student clinician, student physician, or student dentist. MAOPS/PHP or another designated similar program will provide assessment resources and assist and coordinate the care of the student health professional throughout assessment and any required treatment deemed necessary as a result of the assessment. Assessment and treatment typically take place at a facility outside of the student’s normal environment.
Assessment and treatment related costs are the responsibility of the student. Student health insurance may or may not cover these costs.
Students referred for assessment are required to comply with any and all treatment recommendations made. Refusal to comply with the vice provost of Enrollment and Student Services’ requirement for an assessment under this Section and any required treatment, will be considered grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from KCU. Not all assessments result in required treatment. Students referred for assessment and possible treatment will be placed on Leave of Absence (LOA) for the course of the assessment and required treatment. Students may not return to their studies until the assessment is completed, any required treatment is completed, and the treatment facility and MAOPS/PHP declare the student is Fit to Practice. A student placed on a LOA under following the required assessment and treatment may be granted an exception to the maximum LOA period specified in the Leave of Absence section detailed in Student Academic Services & Policies , as long as the student is able to return and graduate within the maximum time limit allowed under the Student Handbook for that specific program.
Health Insurance Policy
All students are required to maintain personal health insurance. All students must submit proof of personal health insurance through the University’s online portal should they wish to request to waive the KCU Student Health Insurance Policy (SHIP). Both Biosciences and PsyD students must also submit this information.
KCU sponsors a health insurance plan in partnership with Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Relation Insurance. To submit proof of insurance and waive the available KCU policy or to purchase the KCU-sponsored policy, visit the Relation Insurance website. (Select KCU from the menu of schools and click submit; this will direct to the KCU page.)
Open enrollment dates for the KCU-sponsored policy vary by year, but generally begin in mid-July and close in late August. Details will be communicated annually to students via email and on Canvas.
Every students’ health insurance policy should have minimum coverage levels, which include coverages of chronic health issues, acute health issues, emergent care, and catastrophic events. The following are the minimum coverage levels that the student’s personal coverage must meet:
- Insurance company must be based and operated in the United States
- ACA-compliant plan
- $3,000 deductible or less (for individuals)
- Unlimited plan maximum
- State-specific Medicaid may be accepted upon review.
Policies which only cover catastrophic events are not acceptable. Policies which are provided through health care co-ops are not acceptable.
All international students must purchase their health insurance through the KCU-sponsored policy. Canadian students cannot use their Canadian Health Service policy as acceptable coverage while enrolled at KCU.
Prior to beginning clinical experiences, COM students in their third and fourth year must submit proof of personal health insurance to Clinical Education.
All students must report any break in coverage or change in health insurance while attending classes on campus through the site referenced above. COM students must report any break in coverage or change in health insurance to Clinical Education during the third and fourth years.
Student Supplemental Medical Insurance Policy
KCU has partnered with Hartford Life Insurance Company to provide student supplemental medical insurance coverage for all students. The student supplemental medical insurance policy attempts to help students cover medical expenses that are incurred during KCU academic-related activities, which are not covered by the student’s personal medical insurance, such as injury or illness while participating in KCU courses, labs or clinical training that take place on KCU campus or at an offsite location approved by KCU.
The student supplemental medical insurance policy does not replace a student’s personal medical insurance policy and students are still required to carry their own personal medical insurance. In accordance with every insurance policy, exclusions apply. If a medical injury, including a needle stick, occurs as a first- or second-year DO student, please contact Student Services for information as to whether your injury qualifies for this coverage and directions for filling out a medical claim form. If a medical injury, including a needle stick, occurs as a third- or fourth-year DO student, please contact the assigned CE coordinator for information whether the injury qualifies for this coverage and directions for filling out a medical claim form. Forms for filing a medical claim through this policy can be found on the CE web portal as well as the KCU intranet, under the Student Services section.
Exposure to Blood & Bodily Fluids
Students are expected to utilize universal precautions at all times when they are exposed to blood or bodily fluids. Students who are exposed to blood and/or bodily fluids should follow the policy of the institution where the incident occurred. The University and institution where the incident occurred should be notified immediately. A copy of the completed incident report must be sent to the Office of Clinical Education or to the dean of the COB. For incidents occurring on a KCU campus, please refer to Injuries Occurring on Campus.
Injuries Occurring on Campus
If a student experiences an accident or injury on campus, the student should report the incident to Safety & Emergency Management and Student Services immediately, and no later than 24 hours after the occurrence. If the University is closed, the incident should be reported the next business day. A member of Safety & Emergency Management will complete an accident/injury report.
The director of campus operations will assign the incident report for investigation and forward to the chief compliance officer.
A preliminary review, if warranted, will gather additional information while it is fresh and accurate in the minds of those involved or who may have witnessed the incident. The campus safety manager will assess the situation and present recommendations for any corrective action to the Safety and Loss Control Committee.
Data and statistics from all incident reports will be collected, analyzed and presented to the Safety and Loss Control Committee for review. This information will assist the committee in determining whether intervention is needed.
Reportable events may include but are not limited to the following:
- Any injury to a student occurring on University premises or in connection with University business.
- A condition presenting a safety hazard.
- Damage to University property.
Medical Treatment of Students by KCU Faculty
KCU faculty will not provide medical treatment of, or medical advice to, KCU students except in emergency situations while awaiting emergency response. Student must seek health care advice and/or treatment off campus from a non-KCU related source. Students may view KCU’s website or intranet for a list of recommended health care providers in the Kansas City and Joplin areas, who do not have a conflict of interest related to assessing student performance.
Although not allowed or encouraged, should a KCU faculty member have to provide medical treatment for a student, they are required, per University policy, to recuse themselves from any and all situations where they may have to assess, grade, and/or decide promotion for that particular student.
This includes clinical clerkship preceptors who have a direct assessment and grading responsibility for assigned KCU students. Students who are on rotations should always avoid seeking medical treatment/advice from their clerkship preceptor.
If a student has difficulty in finding medical treatment/advice, they can contact Student Services for a referral to an appropriate physician.