SHAC: a four letter acronym that represents health advocacy for all students at the University of Georgia. The UGA University Health Center is a student-centered facility that offers exceptional health care services to the students and faculty at UGA. It is incredibly comforting for UGA students to know that there is a health care facility focused on the needs of students nestled in the heart of the UGA community. It is also safe to say that at the University Health Center, we strive to keep our Georgia Bulldogs healthy!
As Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) board members, we act as liaisons to promote a positive and open channel of communication between the University Health Center staff and the student body. We are responsible for translating the student health issues, concerns, and ideas of over 36,000 UGA students into recommendations for improving care at the University Health Center. To serve students in this capacity is a privilege that requires an abundant amount of responsibility.
Our board is composed of a dedicated group of students with academic backgrounds ranging from public health and sociology to food science and linguistics. Our board also has the pleasure of working alongside a UGA Pharmacy student, a Medical College of Georgia med student, and a resident physician. These graduate students and physicians help contribute to the diversity of our SHAC team.
As you can imagine, the diversity of our board makes for great discussion and collaboration when attempting to improve and maintain the health of our student population.
The most exciting part of serving as members of the committee is working with Dr. Jean Chin, UHC Executive Director, and Kristine Groft, Student Leadership Coordinator. At our bi-weekly meetings, we like to think of ourselves as top “UGA-CIA Health Agents” receiving classified information. We work on special projects, analyze Patient and Client Utilization Reports from multiple health center clinics, discuss the development of new initiatives and campaigns, and meet with our respective subcommittees to plan health promotion events for the UGA community.
Improving and maintaining mental health for our peers is a top priority for the University Health Center staff and all of our SHAC board members. As a result, we plan and facilitate various outreach programs such the “What’s on Your Mind?” campaign, provide educational outreach, and inform students about the availability of the counseling and psychiatric resources and mindfulness yoga classes on campus.
As one might be able to tell, our role as SHAC members extends beyond completing projects and promoting programs. It is about ensuring that every UGA student feels their best physically and mentally to perform their best academically. We view ourselves as a microcosm of the unending support that UGA provides to its students. There is nothing like being a Georgia Dawg while getting to serve the health of your Bulldog family!