PLATTEVILLE — Southwest Health Center and UW–Platteville have a new partnership for better student health.
Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner Gerry Lou Sertle, APNP-BC, is now providing direct care on a part time basis to students through Student Health Services on the UW–Platteville campus.
Sertle will see students regarding both general health concerns and mental health issues during her office hours at Student Health Services on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. She joins Todd Riley, M.D., and Nurse Practitioner and Administrative Director Vicki Dreessens, RN-C, APNP, in providing primary care services to UW–Platteville students.
“Mental health is my passion,” says Sertle. “However, there’s a stigma around seeking help for mental health that’s often an obstacle to treatment.
“I want students to know I’m here for them. There’s no reason not to seek help for depression or other mental health issues.”
“Our main goal at Student Health Services is to keep students healthy,” says Dreessens. “We do that by providing primary care services that extend the care our students get at home to the time they spend here on campus. We also stress education to ensure students are good consumers of healthcare.”
About a third of U– Platteville students will seek care through Student Health Services, accounting for more than 5,000 primary care visits each year. According to Dreessens, the on-campus clinic is funded through fees all students pay, making their primary care office visits free-of-charge.
“In recent years, we’ve kept pace with our growing student population," she said. "This agreement is an important step because it allows us to add expertise in mental health and expand our overall ability to care for our student population.”