General SHS Information
Where is Student Health Services (SHS) located? Main Campus Student Health Services is centrally located between the Flanagan building and Joyner East. Our Health Sciences SHS is located on the 2nd floor of the Health Sciences Student Center.
Are services free? The “Health Services fee” that is included as part of university tuition is essential to ensuring high quality medical care and facilities, access to licensed professionals, the procurement and maintenance of the latest equipment and technology, and to enable SHS to provide for the health care needs of ECU students through various programs and services. The mandatory fee is an important part of funding for SHS; however, it does not cover the cost of office visits or other ancillary services including but not limited to procedures, lab, radiology, orthopedic equipment, or pharmacy.
Where can I park? SHS on main campus has a limited number of designated parking spaces between the Student Health Center building and Slay Hall. These spaces are marked “Urgent Care Parking Only” and can be utilized with a special parking permit available from our front office staff. There are also metered hourly spots available in the new parking deck. Students and visitors are reminded to be aware of parking requirements in campus lots as SHS cannot assist with or provide excuses for parking tickets or towing.
For the SHS on Health Sciences campus, B4 parking is available near the Health Sciences Student Center. A meter lot is also available off MacGregor Downs Road.
I am too sick to walk to SHS. Can you come pick me up? SHS cannot provide personal transportation. Patients seeking service at SHS who do not feel they can walk to our facility need to arrange transportation via personal vehicle, through a friend, or through ECU transit. Patients too ill to come to SHS by the aforementioned means should call 911 for EMS transport to the hospital. Patients with temporary or permanent mobility issues may qualify for Pirate Access, a transportation assistance program offered through ECU Transit. Visit the Pirate Access page for more information.
Does SHS have real doctors and nurses? Absolutely! Our entire SHS health care team is comprised of fully licensed, certified, and credentialed professionals. On occasion we may have a medical resident or graduate level student who is completing a clinical rotation at SHS, but all of our permanent staff are REAL doctors, nurses, lab technicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nursing assistants, dietitians, pharmacists, and radiology technicians.
What do I do if SHS is closed? If it is an emergency, dial 911 or seek care at ECU Health Medical Center’s emergency department. If it is not an emergency, call our main phone line at (252) 328-6841 and you will be connected with a free, 24 hour nurse line that can help give you advice about your issue. Visit our After Hours Care page for more information.
I need to see a specialist. Can SHS help me? Our providers here at SHS have a broad background in areas of family practice, internal medicine, sports medicine, and women’s health so they are comfortable treating a variety of illnesses, chronic diseases, and injuries. However, should specialty care be indicated, SHS can arrange a referral to an outside provider in the Greenville area.
What is a ‘provider’? A ‘provider’ at SHS is the term we use for our doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
Does SHS provide class excuses or notes for missing class? Please see the Class Excuses page for more information.
Can I still come to SHS after I graduate? Students who graduate are no longer allowed to use SHS. SHS does allow one visit, within 2 weeks of graduation, for students who need to return for follow up or to have prescriptions refilled. Students who graduate are encouraged to sign an Authorization for the Use and Disclose of Protected Health Information form and have their pertinent medical records transferred from SHS to their outside provider of choice.
Who can I contact if I have a comment about SHS or a complaint? We strive to provide the best possible service to our ECU community. If we did not meet this goal with you, we encourage you to contact us. You can download a comment form to mail to us, or come in to SHS to fill one out. We take all comments very seriously and will respond to each and every one. If you were pleased with your visit or interaction with SHS, let us know that too! We enjoy sharing kudos with our hard working and dedicated SHS staff.
Are animals permitted in SHS? In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are permitted in university facilities. Emotional support animals do not meet the definition of a service animal and are not permitted in either SHS facility per university policy.
Do I need to make an appointment to be seen at SHS? At SHS most patients are seen by appointment. While we will certainly see urgent problems like asthma attacks, lacerations, acute injuries, allergic reactions, and burns as walk in patients, all routine illnesses and medical issues must have an appointment. SHS treats between 150-250 patients every day so our appointments are in high demand. SHS utilizes an Open Access scheduling model, which means most of our appointments can only be made same day.
What is Open Access appointment scheduling? An Open Access scheduling model means the majority of our appointments are reserved for same day use. This enables us to see a large number of students the same day they are sick or injured, instead of having to wait several days to get an appointment. Some visits, such as Pap smears, physicals, nutrition consults, allergy injections, and immunization visits can be scheduled for future dates, but illness or injury visit must be made the same day you desire to be seen at SHS.To ensure that you will get an appointment at the time of day that is most convenient for you, we strongly encourage you to make your appointment as early in the day as possible. Be advised that if you wait until the afternoon to try to be seen at SHS there is a possibility our appointments will be completely booked for that day.
How do I make an appointment? There are two ways, depending on what type of appointment you need:
1. in person, by visiting the ‘Appointments’ office inside of SHS during regular business hours
2. by phone, by calling (252) 328-6841 option 1, during regular business hours
How do I cancel an appointment? If you cannot keep your appointment, please make sure you cancel as soon as possible, as far ahead of your appointment time as you can. If you fail to cancel you will be considered a “no-show” and will be assessed a $25.00 charge to your university account. To cancel an appointment, call (252) 328-6841 option 1, or you can cancel online.
Can I request a specific provider? Yes. We want you to be as comfortable as possible during your visit so if you prefer either a male or female provider, tell the appointment staff your preference when you schedule. If you are making an appointment online, you can choose from the provider names to ensure you see the provider of your choice. Visit our Meet Our Staff page to read about our providers.
What do I need to do before my appointment? For all appointments, make sure you have your current insurance information with you and try to arrive 10-15 minutes early. In addition:
While masks are not required for most people inside SHS, we do ask if you are experiencing fever, cough, or other symptoms of COVID/flu that you wear a mask while in our facility. If you do not have a mask one will be provided.
For a physical, bring any necessary paperwork or forms that you need for SHS to fill out (any areas that require your answers or you to fill in information should already be completed prior to your appointment).
For a Pap smear or gynecological exam, avoid intercourse, douching or vaginal creams for 24-48 hours prior to your appointment.
For screening of sexually transmitted infections, do NOT urinate for at least one hour before your appointment. If you want oral screening for chlamydia/gonorrhea, do not eat/drink/chew for 1 hour prior to your appointment.
For suspected vaginal yeast infections, do NOT use internal yeast creams or yeast treatments for at least 24 hours before your appointment.
What can I do if I am not sure if I need an appointment? You can speak with our appointment personnel by phone or in person or you can ask to leave a message for a nurse to call you. Call (252) 328-6841, option 1.
‘I tried to make an appointment but I was told there were no more appointments available today. What am I supposed to do now?‘ For URGENT needs, such as asthma attacks, allergic reactions, lacerations, burns, acute vomiting, urinary tract infections, fevers greater than 102 degrees, sexual assaults, or acute mental health problems, ask to see the Triage Nurse at our Main Campus location. For routine illnesses and injuries such as colds, flu, sinus problems, sore throats, non-acute muscle or joint pain, prescription refills, etc you should go online, call, or come to SHS the next day to schedule an appointment. You can leave a message for a nurse to call you to discuss your problem as well or purchase over the counter medications at our pharmacy to help with your symptoms until you can see a provider.
‘I was waiting in the lobby for my appointment and saw other students called back ahead of me even though I arrived first. Why did that happen?’ Students are seen at SHS with all different types of appointments but they all share the same lobby area. Most likely the person called ahead of you is seeing a different provider or is here for a different type of service.
What are the ECU requirements for enrollment? Filling out a Report of Medical History form, and submitting all necessary immunizations are requirements of enrollment. See our Enrollment Requirements for more information.
What is the Report of Medical History and how do I complete it? The Report of Medical History is comprised of questions about your health, medications, and allergies. It is important for Student Health Services to have this on file for all students. It must be completed electronically by logging into myPIRATEchart, and selecting “Medical History” from the left hand menu. Please disable any pop up blockers or the form may not display or submit properly. We recommend using a desktop or PC rather than a tablet to complete the form.
What happens if I do not meet the requirements? If immunization requirements are not met, dismissal from school is mandatory under North Carolina Law.
What types of immunization records will you accept? Any of these are acceptable:
• high school transcript/records
• personal shot records (they must be verified by a doctor’s stamp, clinic stamp or health department stamp or signature)
• health department records or state immunization registry records
• military records or WHO (World Health Organization) documents
• previous college or university immunization transcript/records (immunization records do not transfer with academic transcripts; you must specifically request your records to be sent to ECU SHS)
If you cannot obtain records from any of the above, you may download a blank immunization form from our “Forms” page to take to your family medical provider.
Can I submit my immunizations by e-mail? Or fax? You must upload records to myPIRATEchart.
Do I need to have a physical to attend ECU? No, physical exams are not required to attend ECU.
All of my classes are online. Do I still have to meet the immunization requirements? Students taking four or less credit hours on campus and/or students enrolled in online courses only, do not have to meet the immunization requirements for University enrollment. Exemption is automatically given at time of course registration.
I am on allergy injections. Can SHS administer my allergy shots? Yes, the main campus SHS offers allergy injections. Please visit our Allergy Clinic page for more information.
Does SHS offer flu shots? Vaccination is the best way to help prevent the flu. Student Health typically holds flu clinics in the fall semester. Look for information on our website, in the school newspaper, or call us at (252) 328-6841.
What about the meningitis vaccine? The meningitis vaccines (there are 2 different types: ACYW, and B) are not a requirement, but are strongly recommended for all college students, particularly freshmen and those living in residence halls. The bacterial form of meningitis can lead to serious complications such as swelling of the brain, coma, and even death within a short period of time. Vaccines are currently available that will decrease, but not completely eliminate a person’s risk of acquiring meningococcal meningitis. In 1997, the American College Health Association (ACHA) recommended that students consider vaccination to reduce their risk of contracting meningitis and in accordance, ECU SHS recommends both kinds of meningitis vaccine, preferably before you arrive on campus. For more information on the different types of meningitis vaccines, visit the CDC or talk with your family medical provider.
Why does ECU require health insurance? Many universities across in the United States require health insurance as a condition of enrollment. When students who are uninsured become seriously ill or injured, their academic careers are seriously threatened by substantial healthcare debt, disability or both. In August 2009, the UNC Board of Governors approved the implementation of a ‘hard waiver’ Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) on all sixteen 4-year campuses which began fall 2010. The term ‘hard waiver’ means any student meeting specific criteria is required to show evidence of an existing ‘creditable coverage’ health insurance policy OR enroll in the UNC System-Wide Student Health Insurance Plan.
Is SHIP comparable to other health insurance plans? We feel strongly that our SHIP is among the best student plans in the nation. The plan is tailored to help meet the health needs of students at East Carolina University. We highly encourage you to read the summary of benefits (and the fine print) and compare and contrast insurance policies before you make your decision to purchase one health insurance plan over the other. For plan benefits and more information, visit our Student Health Insurance page.
I am covered under a parent’s policy. Do I have to buy the SHIP plan? Students who already have adequate health insurance coverage can waive out of the health insurance requirement by showing evidence of enrollment in a comparable health insurance plan. If a waiver is not submitted and approved by the deadline for each semester, the student will be automatically enrolled in the sponsored plan. All eligible students are billed for the SHIP plan; it is a student’s responsibility to waive out by the deadline to receive a credit back on their tuition bill.
Why do I need health insurance if I pay a “Health Service Fee”? There are fees associated with office visits, lab work, x-rays, medical equipment/supplies, and pharmacy that are not covered by the student health fee. While SHS provides excellent out-patient care for enrolled students, we do not provide specialist care, emergency services, or hospitalization. The student health fee does not cover these services and the costs of these services can run quickly into the tens of thousands of dollars. These uncovered services are the responsibility of the student. Such unexpected expenses can derail, or even end, a promising academic career.
What if I lose my current insurance during the school year? Can I sign up for SHIP at that time? Yes. Students who experience a ‘qualifying event’ may apply for late enrollment in SHIP. Qualifying events with appropriate documentation include:
• Adding a new spouse or dependent child (within 31 days of marriage, birth or adoption).
• Enrolling as a new or transfer student (within 31 days of date of enrollment at the institution).
• Ineligibility under another creditable plan (within 31 days of loss of coverage).
• For international students, arrival of eligible spouse or dependent children from home country at the institution (within 31 days of arrival).
These students must provide proof that they have lost insurance through another group (certificate and letter of ineligibility) within 30 days of the qualifying life event. The premium will be the same as it would have been at the beginning of that period, but the effective date would be the later of the date the student enrolls and pays the premium or the day after prior coverage ends. Premiums are not pro-rated, and the student will be responsible for paying the full premium for the term in which they enroll.
Will I lose my coverage when I graduate or leave the university? You will continue to be covered for the duration of your policy (for example, if you graduate in May and your policy is good through July 31). That should give you time to get settled at your new job or school and obtain health insurance coverage. Student Health cannot treat graduates of the university except in the 2 week grace period following graduation; after that period, care will need to be sought at an outside provider who is in network for the SHIP coverage.
Does the university require dental insurance? Dental insurance is not required. SHIP does not provide dental coverage. If you desire to purchase a supplemental dental policy please visit Dental Blue for Individuals. Since dental insurance is not required by ECU this charge cannot be paid thru the University Cashier’s Office and must be paid directly to Blue Cross Blue Shield.
How will I be billed for SHIP? Your account with the University Cashier’s Office will be charged for the insurance premium; if you desire to waive out of coverage, once your waiver is processed and approved, you will receive a credit for the premium charge.
Will my financial aid cover the cost of SHIP? If you have applied for and are determined to be eligible for loans, you may request that your financial aid package be redone to include the cost of SHIP. Please be aware that you must specifically request to have your financial aid reconfigured–SHIP is not automatically factored into the cost of attendance. Students receiving only grants or awards are not eligible to have their financial aid package redone.
If I waive out of SHIP in the fall, do I need to do anything else the rest of my time at the university? If you waive out of the insurance plan in the fall you can submit the waiver for the entire academic year, however insurance coverage will be verified every semester.
How do I find out about SHIP benefits or a list of preferred providers? Benefits, member services, and resources to find area providers are listed on the Student Blue for ECU website.
What if my health insurance plan is denied through the waiver process or I miss the deadline and get charged even though I wanted to waive out? There is an appeals process. Appeal requests can only be submitted in the fourteen days following the closure of enrollment for fall or spring semester. Each appeal is carefully considered and very few exceptions are granted. All health insurance appeal requests must go through the Student Insurance Administrator’s Office. If you have questions or concerns about the mandatory student health insurance requirement or your individual situation relative to the requirement, please contact the Insurance Administrator’s Office immediately at (252) 328-6841, option 5.
I opted to waive out of SHIP. Why is a charge still showing up on my tuition bill? Once a waiver form has been submitted and approved, a credit in the amount of the premium will appear on the tuition bill.
Does SHS accept any other third party insurances? Student Health Services is in-network with most Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Coventry, First Health Network, MedCost, Tricare East, and UnitedHealthcare plans. Students must bring a copy of their current insurance card to each visit to have charges filed.
Effective February 1, 2023, charges for medical services rendered to patients who are insured with an out-of-network insurance carrier will immediately be charged to the University Cashier’s Office. SHS will continue to courtesy file insurance claims to out-of-network insurance carriers on behalf of its patients. Please note: out-of-network insurance carriers may send payment or denial information directly to the subscriber/insured. It is the responsibility of the patient to make any necessary payments to the cashiers office or follow-up on any denied claims with their insurance carrier.
What lab(s) are offered at SHS? A variety of labs are processed in-house, such as urinalyses, pregnancy tests, rapid flu, rapid strep, mono, and complete blood counts (CBC). Many other labs can be collected by the SHS and sent to an outside lab for processing
How fast do lab results return? It depends on the lab test. Most tests return anywhere from same day to within one week. HIV testing is performed through the state lab and those results take 1-3 weeks to return.
Can I call the lab to get my results? No. How results are given depends on the type of test and the reason for the test. Many results are sent via secure messaging from SHS, but you should ask your provider or nurse how your results will be shared with you.
How much do labs cost? The price varies based upon the type of test. Ask the provider at the time of your visit how much your lab tests will cost.
Will my insurance cover my lab(s)? We encourage you to check with your specific insurance policy regarding coverage for lab work. SHS will file claims for insurances but any benefits would be determined by the individual’s policy.
My provider told me I need to be ‘fasting’ for my lab work. What does that mean? Food and drink can interfere with the accuracy of some lab tests. Fasting means nothing to eat or drink except water for 12 hours prior to your lab test. If you take routine medications, they may be taken with water.
My clinical requires titers and a drug screen. Does the SHS lab offer those tests? Yes. The SHS lab offers several titers, including those for varicella (chicken pox), hepatitis B, and measles, mumps, rubella (MMR). SHS offers urine drug testing as well (5, 9, or 13 panel drug test).
Do you accept lab orders from providers outside of SHS? Yes. Please visit our Lab page for specific information.
I am scared of needles and I might pass out. Help! Our lab uses small pediatric needles and has a comfortable reclining chair for you to lie in when your blood sample is taken. If you are not required to fast before your lab work is done, it is best to eat before coming in if you have had a problem with fainting in the past. If you feel weak, tell the lab personnel and they can assist or have a nurse assist you.
Do you offer MRI or CT scans? No, but we do offer digital x-ray at our main campus SHS.
I need a copy of my X-ray. What can I do? You can call (252) 328-6841 to request a copy or come in to SHS to speak with our front desk personnel. Please allow 24-48 hours for your request to be processed.
If I receive a prescription from a SHS provider must I get it filled at the SHS Pharmacy? No, prescriptions from SHS providers may be taken to any pharmacy to be filled. Our pharmacy department often is a cheaper source for prescription items for patients. Please check with our pharmacy regarding medication prices and availability.
Where is the Pharmacy? Pharmacy is located inside the front entrance of the main campus SHS.
Do you take insurance for prescription medications? We currently accept a variety of insurance plans and prescription drug cards. Even if we do not accept your insurance plan, ask our pharmacy department for a price on your particular medication. Many times our prices are cheaper than what you would pay for the same medication with your insurance at an outside pharmacy. Know your co-pay for brand and generic medications so you can then compare this price to what our prices are for your medication. If you have questions about whether your insurance is accepted, call (252) 328-6793.
Are medications cheaper or more expensive than if I went to a retail pharmacy (i.e. Walgreens, CVS, Wal-Mart)? Some of our medications are cheaper than a retail pharmacy if you do not have an insurance plan with a prescription co-pay. Due to low overhead and contract pricing we can offer medications and over the counter products at a reduced rate. If you have an insurance plan with a prescription co-pay please ask our price for your medication and compare it with your insurance co-pay price. You will need to know your prescription co-pay for brand and generic in order to compare prices. We do not accept all insurance plans for medications. If your insurance plan is one we do accept, you will pay your standard co-pay or the actual “cash” price of the medicine, whichever is cheaper.
How do I get Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)? You can purchase the Emergency Contraception Pill from the pharmacy. This product is available for ECU students or faculty/staff age 16 and over. SHS will not sell Emergency Contraception to non-students.
If I have a new prescription from a doctor’s office (not Student Health) can I get that filled at your pharmacy? Yes. Bring in the new prescription and we will gladly fill it if the medication is carried at the SHS Pharmacy. Some manufacturer and or insurance restrictions regarding quantities may limit your purchase to a 3 month supply of medication per 90 days. Due to limitations of cost, budget and space we cannot carry every prescription product available.
Can I get my current prescription from another pharmacy filled at your pharmacy? Yes, if your current prescription is a medication we carry and has valid refills still available, we can call and transfer that prescription to our pharmacy department. Please call us in advance and give us your name, birth date, medication name, and the pharmacy’s phone number which presently fills your prescription. It is also helpful to have your prescription number for that medication.
How can I pay for my prescription or over the counter medication at the SHS Pharmacy? We accept cash, personal checks, MasterCard/Visa or if you are a student you may charge the medication to your cashier’s account at the cashier’s office. Please be aware that any dollar value left at the cashier’s office can block your ability to do university related activities such as registering for classes or graduation so please pay your bill at the cashier’s office in a timely manner.
If I send my prescription bill to my account at the cashier’s office, will my parents be able to see what medicine I am taking? No. The charge shows up as a pharmacy charge only and does not list the medications name or reason for taking the medication.
What prescriptions and over the counter medicines do you carry? We carry a wide range of prescription and over the counter items for acute care purposes only. Due to contractual arrangements and limits of space most chronic care medication prescriptions are referred out to local pharmacies. For questions concerning prescription or over the counter items we carry, please call (252) 328-6793.
If you do not carry a medication that I need, can you stock it for me so I can get it at the SHS Pharmacy? Due to limitations of cost, budget, and space we cannot offer every medication needed by patients. We regularly review our prescription medication list and add or delete items as usage trends change. Please call (252) 328-6793 to check and see if we carry your medication and find out the cost to you.
If I have graduated from ECU can I still get my prescriptions filled at the SHS Pharmacy? Due to anti-trust laws and contract agreements with manufacturers we cannot fill new prescriptions or grant refills after graduation. We will allow you to use our services up to two weeks after graduation, during this time you should look for another pharmacy to establish your prescription account with. If you still have an active prescription at the SHS Pharmacy with allowable refills we can transfer that prescription to a pharmacy of your choice. Please have that pharmacy call us to perform a prescription transfer.
Will my medical records be shared with anyone? What if my parents call SHS and want information? Your medical records are completely confidential. Unless you give us written permission, or you are 17 years old or younger, we cannot disclose any information to anyone, including parents, friends or professors.
How can I obtain a copy of my medical record(s)? You will need to request your records by filling out a release of information form from our Forms page or; if you prefer, you may come in to SHS and speak with our front desk personnel. SHS will need to know what parts of your medical record you would like released, to whom it is being sent, and the method of delivery (fax, mail, or patient pick up). Be advised, there is a Charge for Medical Record Copies. Requests for medical record releases are handled as quickly as possible but you should allow 24-48 hours for processing.
What is HIPAA? What is FERPA? HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which protects patient rights regarding personal health information. FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act which applies to educational records. Both acts affect your health records since SHS is a health care facility on a university campus.
How does SHS help protect my privacy? SHS makes privacy a priority. All of our employees receive annual HIPAA privacy training and sign confidentiality statements. Our appointment offices are quiet and away from the flow of patient and visitor traffic so you do not have to discuss your medical issues out in the open. Our pharmacy offers a private consultation room if you would like to speak with a pharmacist regarding medication or over the counter items. No student employees are utilized in the clinic area and all of our computers with medical record access are password protected. Our communications via phone, e-mail, or in person are all carried out with regard to keeping information as private as possible. We even maintain a secure online portal called myPIRATEchart where you can make appointments, receive many lab results, communicate with a nurse, and even view your immunization record from the privacy of your residence hall or apartment.
I charged my SHS bill to the cashier’s office. Will it say on the bill why I was at SHS? No. It will list a charge from SHS, but not specifically what that charge was or why you were in our facility.