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Concerns and Comments about Care at Student Health

Recommended procedures for students with concerns or complaints about the University of Virginia Student Health Center

The staff members of the Department of Student Health are very committed to addressing student concerns or complaints about medical care or administrative policies and procedures at Student Health. Every effort will be made to listen to the concern and respond in an appropriate fashion. The following procedures are recommended when students wish to register a concern or complaint:

Talk with your parents

Sometimes students talk with their parents, who can reassure them if their medical care sounds appropriate, or reaffirm their concerns when appropriate.  Parents will occasionally call us on behalf of the student to discuss medical care concerns. If you want us to speak with your parents, we need your explicit permission. Our commitment to confidentiality will not permit us to speak with anyone about your medical care under any circumstances except life-threatening emergencies.  Please understand that we are most willing to speak to your family but only after we have received your permission.

Talk directly to the person with whom you have a complaint

Consider addressing your concern directly with the person with whom you have a complaint.  We realize that sometimes it is hard to question or confront an individual about medical conditions, treatments, or personal interactions.  Our Student Health staff members are very approachable and willing to work with you to help you understand your medical condition, treatment, administrative procedures, or billing process. We suggest that you either call the individual directly or make an appointment to discuss your concerns.  Please note that each section of Student Health has contact information for Directors and administrators on that section’s webpage – if possible, reach out to the section in which you were seen as this can be helpful in rectifying your complaint.

Talk to the Director of Quality and Compliance

If you are unable to speak to the individual with whom you have a complaint or you are not satisfied with the response you received, you may contact the Director of Quality and Compliance (Myra Pellissier, 434-924-1538).  The Director of Quality and Compliance will act as your representative to investigate events to determine whether there are problems with a process or with an individual.  The Director of Quality and Compliance will work with the director or supervisor of the involved section of Student Health when indicated.  In certain situations, the Director of Quality and Compliance may also seek additional support and consultation from the Executive Director of Student Health.

Talk with the Executive Director of Student Health

If you have not received a satisfactory response by following the procedures listed above, you may contact the Executive Director of Student Health at 434.243.3740.

Contact the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations

Students may contact the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) if they feel that the administration of Student Health is unable to adequately respond to their concerns. JCAHO may be reached at:
The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Blvd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Email:  complaint@jointcommission.org
Phone:  800-994-6610

Note:  Regarding letters to the student newspaper

Writing a letter to the Cavalier Daily may feel like the right approach, but it tends merely to vent your frustration without improving matters. We generally will not respond to a complaint letter to the editor simply because it is a breach of confidentiality for us to communicate about your medical care with anyone but yourself.  Should you choose to write a letter to the newspaper and you expect a response from Student Health, please send us a courtesy copy so we can address you privately and confidentially.