In spring 2021, Oglethorpe University’s Student Government Association approved funding for a partnership with the Virtual Care Group, a student-oriented telehealth provider. Through this partnership, Oglethorpe students receive around-the-clock easy access to physical and mental health consultation — in addition to current services already provided. Access to the program opened on May 1.
No matter where students are or what time they need it, Virtual Care consultation is available to every Oglethorpe student. This means that even students outside of Georgia can set up appointments to manage mental health or assess physical health.
“SGA is excited to be a part of an initiative that will change students’ daily lives for the better,” says SGA President Taylor Roberts ’21. “Virtual Care will help support students’ needs and better equip them to focus on their academics.”
Students can get in contact with a medical professional about physical health as well. They can ask questions about common health issues like strep throat, allergies, rashes, shortness of breath and more. In instances where medicine is required, doctors can prescribe medications to students that will be available for pickup at a nearby pharmacy. Virtual Care even provides a discount card, providing 60-80% off medications prescribed through their virtual consultations.
“Oglethorpe’s newly-offered Virtual Care plan will allow students to release some of the unsettling financial burdens that research has shown that college students experience as a result of exorbitant health- and counseling- related costs,” says SGA Treasurer and SGA President-elect Justin Bennett ’22.
By partnering with Virtual Care, Oglethorpe will join other institutions in the Georgia Independent College Association — including Agnes Scott College, Berry College and Mercer University — in providing low-cost telehealth to its student population.
This new service comes at a crucial time when students are still navigating the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, issues of social injustice and other mental and physical concerns,” says Dean of Students Dr. Kyle Williams. “Virtual Care will enable students to get the help that they need anywhere in the country at anytime that they need it.”