Yale Daily News

As the University continues to grapple with the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, Yale Health is expanding its infrastructure to a new Campus Health Office.

Stephanie Spangler, vice provost for health affairs and academic integrity, made the announcement in a Jan. 19 email to the broader Yale community. The office, which Spangler wrote is part of a larger initiative to “promote the health of our campus community,” will continue to develop in the months ahead. The announcement also comes at a time of rising concerns about mental health support amidst an ongoing lawsuit and student access to care at Yale Student Health.

“During the past three years, when faced with an unprecedented public health emergency, many of us came together in new ways to create the processes and resources to fight and prevent COVID-19 infection,” Spangler wrote. “As we developed initiatives specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, we also identified opportunities to improve the programs and systems we use to address more routine student and employee health issues … Our experience during the pandemic also reinforced the importance of robust and proactive planning for future health emergencies.” 

Spearheaded by Yale Health Chief Quality Officer Madeline Wilson, the new office will oversee community members’ routine health documentation and requirements. This includes vaccination registration and insurance concerns. The office will also, in connection with University administrators, be in charge of shaping public health policy and communicating these policies with the entire Yale community. 

So far, student response to the initiative has been positive. Jack Cloherty ’26 noted that he hopes the creation of the new office will help to alleviate some of the issues he has had with Yale Health insurance since his arrival at Yale this fall.

“I called ahead of time to make sure that my health insurance worked for my medication,” he told the News, “When I went to pick it up from the pharmacy, my insurance was denied despite being told that it was accepted earlier on the phone … I’m hoping a new health office on campus would be more organized and cohesive in their approach to insurance and serving the student body.”

Josh Donovan ’26, however, expressed some apprehension at the creation of this new office.

Donovan’s issues with Yale Student Health relate to matters of daily appointment creation and communication, rather than the organization’s administrative structure. He cited an instance where he waited at Yale Acute Care for over four hours before being seen, despite there being few other patients in the waiting room. He told the News that he wished resources would be put towards helping students receive care on a day-to-day basis alongside larger infrastructure changes.

According to Wilson, the new office will not have a dramatic impact on students’ day-to-day concerns.

“We do not expect major impact on how students navigate Yale Health or get appointments for routine health needs or for mental health concerns,” Wilson wrote in an email to the News. “That will continue to be managed through Student Health and Mental Health and Counseling.”

Over time, however, Wilson noted that the office will continue to evolve. This includes collaboration efforts with the Provost’s Office, Emergency Management, Environmental Health and Safety and Yale IT Support.

The new Campus Health Office will be located at Yale Health, 55 Lock Street. 

Kaitlyn Pohly is a sophomore in Silliman College. She serves as the Student Life Reporter for the University Desk and previously reported on Student Policy and Affairs. Originally from New York City, Kaitlyn is a History major. Outside of the classroom and the newsroom, Kaitlyn dances with YaleDancers.