Health Services - Shorter University


Student Health Services (SHS) is a nurse-directed clinic. Our medical director is an off-campus medical physician.  Treatment in SHS is limited to acute, ambulatory care only. We are not set up or staffed in a manner that can facilitate chronic, long-term illnesses.

Our facility is open on weekdays only. Patients are seen between 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.  The clinic is closed in the evenings and on weekends with no on-call staff.  Physicians are on campus Wednesday afternoon from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. There are no provisions for overnight care of sick students, or isolation of students with communicable diseases. Students requiring these services will be encouraged to return home for the duration of their illnesses. Assistance in making necessary arrangements will be offered if home care is not an option.

Other nearby healthcare facilities are Floyd Medical Center, located within 3 blocks, Urgent Care is across the street from the university, Harbin Clinic and Redmond Medical Center are within a 10 minute drive from Shorter University. A listing of other healthcare facilities is available in Room 219A, Fitton Student Union.


Shorter University Student Health Services follows HIPAA guidelines. The HIPAA guidelines are at the bottom of this web page. There are copies available in the clinic as well. To insure confidentiality of health records, a student’s written consent is required before releasing information.

Authorization for Disclosure to Designated Individuals

Click here for more information on required immunizations

Important notice regarding Meningitis

HIPAA – Notice of Privacy Practices

Drug & Alcohol Treatment – Here is a list of local and national drug and alcohol prevention programs.  Although Counseling Services does not provide treatment services for alcohol and drug use/abuse, the Director of Student Support Services will meet with students seeking such treatment for a brief time to provide support, assess the students’ needs, and assist them with referrals to off-campus resources.


Flu season lasts through the fall and winter months. More than one kind of flu viruses can spread in a flu season.   Should a flu outbreak occur on campus, a team of Shorter University personnel, including top administrators, health and safety personnel, and faculty representatives will plan for appropriate responses.

Flu vaccines will be available at our annual Flu Clinic in the fall semester.

Learn more on how to prevent the flu


Student Health Services
Fitton Student Union, Room 219 A
Floyd Family Medicine Residence – Wednesdays from 2 pm to 4 pm
Clinic Hours – Monday through Friday – 8:30 am to 4 pm


Due to COVID 19 restrictions, the doctors are not currently coming to the clinic on Wednesday afternoons.  This webpage will be updated when doctor visits resume.


Shorter University
Student Health Services
Box 37
315 Shorter Avenue
Rome, GA  30165

Telephone: 706-233-7278
Fax: 706-236-1518

Location: 2nd Floor, Fitton Student Union


Dr. John Desmond, MD
Dr. John Desmond, MD
Medical Director
Loretta Williams, BSN, RN
Director of Shorter Health Services


A completed health/immunization form must be received in Student Health Services prior to registering for classes.

Required Immunizations

  • 2 MMRs
  • TDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis) injection within the past 10 years.

It is recommended you receive the following immunizations and screening:

  • Meningococcal vaccine
  • Hepatitis B (Series of 3)
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)
  • PPD (Tuberculosis screening within 1 year)

NOTE to nursing majors: Shorter University’s School of Nursing requires the Hepatitis B series, tuberculosis (annual Mantoux skin test) and varicella vaccine for admittance to the BSN program.

Click here for more information on required immunizations

All daytime traditional, non-traditional, commuter and residential students must complete a health form and return it prior to registration.


Domestic Student Insurance

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and what it means for most college students. Click here for more information.

Athletic insurance for both domestic and international athletes is mandatory and is offered through the Athletic Department.  All athletes must sign up for it in the Athletic Department in the Winthrop-King Centre prior to playing their college sport. More information on the athletic insurance can be found by going to Choose “Inside Athletics” from the header selections and then scroll down to sports medicine, followed by scrolling to bottom and click the link: Insurance Packet.

International student insurance:

Our goal is for all international students to receive proper medical care while studying in our country.


Wellness Education involves empowering students with the necessary knowledge to take better care of themselves throughout their lifetime. This can be as simple as learning how to make wise choices resulting in an appropriate decision concerning their health or as complex as discussing serious health conditions.

Wellness Education comes in various forms. It can be in lecture form before a classroom or a one-on-one conversation with a student in the clinic. Printed materials on men’s and women’s health, acute illnesses, sports wellness and physical fitness are available to the students. In addition, Student Health Services provides information on smoking cessation, drug use and abuse, nutrition, exercise and other health promotion/maintenance issues.


A Registered Nurse is available to give a general assessment of the student. If a more complete assessment is needed, the student is referred to the campus physician (on campus one afternoon per week) or to a local medical doctor.

There is no charge for a visit to the campus nurse or the self-care area of the clinic.  There is a $10 charge to see the physician in addition to a $10 charge for certain screenings (strep, urinalysis, pregnancy, HBG, mono, blood glucose). These charges are billed to your campus account.  Influenza vaccines are available.


Physician visits – 2 hours weekly, Wednesdays 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, walk-ins accepted

Self-care Sections (Two available – one outside the clinic door and one in the clinic’s reception area)
Illness visits – (walk-in)
Referrals as needed

Screenings include – strep, urinalysis, pregnancy, HBG, and blood glucose.

Click here for a health services price list 

  1. For information on nutrition:
  2. For information on quitting smoking:;
  3. For information on controlling weight:


Certain annual, pre-employment, and school non-athletic physicals are available in the Student Health Services by appointment only as campus physicians’ schedule allows.

Shorter University Student-Athletes:

Pre‐participation physicals for the upcoming athletic season will be administered by the Shorter
University Sports Medicine Staff, Floyd Medical Center, and Rome Orthopedic Clinic. There are specific dates and times assigned for each sport.  The dates can be located by going to the athletic website, choose inside athletics, scroll to sports medicine, scroll to physical dates. Each student-athlete is required to have a physical examination by the sports medicine staff and a physician chosen by the head trainer prior to any participation in any intercollegiate sport. The final decision of physical qualifications or reason for rejection is the responsibility of the team physician. The team physician also makes the decision on when an athlete may return to competition after a previous injury.


PPD (tuberculosis screening) is recommended for international students and any students returning from study abroad and missions in countries where tuberculosis is still prevalent (see PPD and other immunizations can be received at Floyd County Health Department and Harbin Clinic’s Department of Infectious Diseases.


Student Health Services is a walk-in clinic. There is a small self-care center as you enter the clinic’s reception room. If further help is needed, a Registered Nurse is available during clinical hours. Small quantities of over-the-counter medications are available for colds, sinus problems, cuts, headaches and pain.

Campus physicians (one faculty physician and one resident physician) from Floyd Medical Residency Program are in Student Health Services each Wednesday afternoon (2 p.m. – 4 p.m.) when classes are in session, except the months of May, June and July.  All medical diagnoses, prescriptions, and orders for off-campus diagnostic tests such as blood tests, x-rays, and MRIs are through the campus physicians. There are many pharmacies in our area including CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreen’s, Walmart and several privately owned pharmacies.  Healthcare personnel can assist students in locating an appropriate pharmacy for their needs.

Appointments are not necessary except for potentially lengthy exams with the doctor such as a pre-employment exam.  All emergency cases are treated first. Upon assessment, if a situation requires a physician, healthcare personnel will refer the student to the campus physician or to an outside medical facility, if a campus physician is not available. In an emergency situation when campus physicians are not on campus, healthcare personnel will refer the student to a local emergency room or an appropriate medical facility. Healthcare personnel will help an ill or injured student arrange transportation to a medical facility.


Shorter University’s Student Health Services supports each of the following observances on campus.

American Heart Month – February
Alcohol Awareness Month – April
Sexual Assault Awareness Month – April
National Suicide Prevention Week – September
National Mental Illness Awareness Week – October
National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness – October
Breast Cancer Awareness Month – October
Great American Smokeout Month – November

Alcohol Awareness Education

Shorter University has a strict no alcohol and other drugs policy.

Click here for Shorter University Alcohol and Drug Policy


Shorter University is a member of the American Lung Association’s Smoke-Free Campuses. Shorter University is dedicated to providing and promoting a healthy and productive working and learning environment for its faculty, staff, students, visitors, contractors, vendors and guests. The Tobacco-Free Policy, effective June 1, 2012, is consistent with that goal. The Policy is the result of many discussions within The President’s Council, the Wellness Committee, and the Alcohol and Other Drugs Coalition. By endorsing this policy, Shorter University demonstrates its commitment to eliminating environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure, reduce harm from tobacco use and secondhand smoke, reduce health insurance and health care costs, promote best healthcare practices and choices for individuals, and establishing a university culture of wellness.

Read the full policy


Beginning January 1, 2004, the State of Georgia requires all college students living in campus housing to be vaccinated against meningococcal disease or sign a waiver stating they have received information about the disease and have elected not to be immunized. 

Meningococcal disease is a serious disease that can lead to death within only a few hours of onset; not only can the disease be fatal, many who survive are left with a severe disability, such as the loss of a limb, mental retardation, paralysis, deafness, or seizures;

Meningococcal disease is contagious but a largely preventable infection of the spinal cord fluid and the fluid that surrounds the brain;

Scientific evidence suggests that college students living in dormitory facilities are at a moderately increased risk of contracting meningococcal disease; and

Immunization against meningococcal disease will decrease the risk of the disease.

The meningococcal meningitis vaccine is highly effective against four of the five most common strains of the bacteria that cause meningococcal meningitis.  Studies show that a high percentage of cases on college campuses are vaccine preventable.

By signing the form on the reverse page, you are acknowledging that you have read this notice and have either received the vaccination or choose not to at this time.  Should you desire to get the vaccination against meningitis, Student Health Services can help you arrange for it at one of our local health facilities that offer the vaccine.

Notice of Privacy Practices

Effective April, 2003
You may tear off this sheet and retain it in your files.



The privacy of your medical information is important to us.  We understand that your medical information is personal and we are committed to protecting it.  We create a record of the care and services you receive at our organization.  We need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements.  This notice will tell you about the ways we may use and share medical information about you.  We also describe your rights and certain duties we have regarding the use and disclosure of medical information.


Law Requires Us to:
1.     Keep your medical information private.

  1. Give you this notice describing our legal duties, privacy practices, and your rights regarding your medical information.
  2. Follow the terms of the notice that is now in effect.

We Have the Right to:

  1. Change our privacy practices and the terms of this notice at any time, provided that the changes are permitted by law.
  2. Make the changes in our privacy practices and the new terms of our notice effective for all medical information that we keep, including information previously created or received before the changes.

Notice of Change to Privacy Practices:

  1. Before we make an important change in our privacy practices, we will change this notice and make the new notice available upon request.


The following section describes different ways that we use and disclose medical information.  Not every use or disclosure will be listed.  However, we have listed all of the different ways we are permitted to use and disclose medical information.  We will not use or disclose your medical information for any purpose not listed below, without your specific written authorization.  Any specific authorization you provide may be revoked at any time by writing to us.

FOR TREATMENT:  We may use medical information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services.  We may disclose medical information about you to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, or other people who are taking care of you.  We may also share medical information about you to your other health-care providers to assist them in treating you.

FOR PAYMENT:  We may use and disclose your medical information for payment purposes.

FOR HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS:  We may use and disclose your medical information for our health-care operations.  This might include measuring and improving quality, evaluating the performance of employees, conducting training programs, and getting the accreditation, certificates, licenses and credentials we need to serve you.

ADDITIONAL USES AND DISCLOSURES:  In addition to using and disclosing your medical information for treatment, payment, and health-care operations, we may use and disclose medical information for the following purposes.

Facility Directory:  Unless you notify us that you object, the following medical information about you will be placed in our facilities’ directories: your name, your location in our facility; your condition described in general terms and your religious affiliation, if any.  We may disclose this information to members of the clergy or, except for your religious affiliation, to others who contact us and ask for information about you by name.

Notification:  Medical information to notify or help notify a family member, your personal representative or another person responsible for your care.  We will share information about your location, general condition, or death.  If you are present, we will get your permission if possible before we share, or give you the opportunity to refuse permission.  In case of emergency, and if you are not able to give or refuse permission, we will share only the health information that is directly necessary for your health care, according to our professional judgment.

Disaster Relief:  Medical information with a public or private organization or person who can legally assist in disaster-relief efforts.

Research in Limited Circumstances:  Medical information for research purposes in limited circumstances where the research has been approved by a review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of medical information.

Funeral Director, Coroner, Medical Examiner:  To help them carry out their duties, we may share the medical information of a person who has died with a coroner, medical examiner, funeral director, or an organ-procurement organization.

Specialized Government Functions:  Subject to certain requirements, we may disclose or use health information for military personnel and veterans, for national security and intelligence activities, for protective services for the President and others, for medical suitability determinations for the Department of State, for correctional institutions and other law-enforcement custodial situations, and for government programs providing public benefits.

Court Orders, Judicial and Administrative Proceedings:  We may disclose medical information in response to a court or administrative order, subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process, under certain circumstances.  Under limited circumstances, such as a court order, warrant, or grand jury subpoena, we may share your medical information with law-enforcements officials.  We may share limited information with a law-enforcement official concerning the medical information of a suspect, fugitive, material witness, crime victim or missing person.  We may share the medical information of an inmate or other person in lawful custody with a law enforcement official or correctional institution under certain circumstances.

Public Health Activities:  As required by law, we may disclose your medical information to public health or legal authorities charged with preventing or controlling disease, injury or disability, including child abuse or neglect.  We may also disclose your medical information to persons subject to jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration for purposes of reporting adverse events associated with product defects or problems, to enable product recalls, repairs or replacements, to track products, or to conduct activities required by the Food and Drug Administration.  We may also, when we are authorized by law to do so, notify a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading a disease or condition.

Victims of Abuse, Neglect, or Domestic Violence:  We may disclose medical information to appropriate authorities if we reasonably believe that you are a possible victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence or the possible victim of other crimes.  We may share your medical information if it is necessary to prevent serious threat to your health or safety or the health or safety of others.  We may share medical information when necessary to help law-enforcement officials capture a person who has admitted to being part of a crime or has escaped from legal custody.

Workers Compensation:  We may disclose health information when authorized and necessary to comply with laws relating to Workers Compensation or other similar programs.

Health Oversight Activities:  We may disclose medical information to an agency providing health oversight for oversight activities authorized by law, including audits; civil, administrative, or criminal investigations or proceedings; inspections, licensure or disciplinary actions; or other authorized activities.

Law Enforcement:  Under certain circumstances, we may disclose health information to law-enforcement officials.  These circumstances include reporting required by certain laws (such as the reporting of certain types of wounds), pursuant to certain subpoenas or court orders, reporting limited information concerning identification and location at the request of the law-enforcement official, reports regarding suspected victims of crimes at the request of the law-enforcement official, reporting death, crimes on our premises, and crimes in emergencies.

You Have a Right to:

  1. Look at or get copies of your medical information.  You may request that we provide copies in a format other than photocopies.  We will use the format you request unless it is not practical for us to do so.  You must make your request in writing.  You may get the form to request access by using the contact information listed at the end of this notice.  You may also request access by sending a letter to the contact person listed at the end of this notice.  If you request copies, we will charge you no more than $ 1.00 per page, and postage if you want the copies mailed to you.  Contact us using the information listed at the end of this notice for full explanation of our fee structure.
  2. Receive a list of all the times we or our business associates shared your medical information for purposes other than treatment, payment and health-care operations and other specified exceptions.
  3. Request that we place additional restrictions on our use or disclosure of your medical information.  We are not required to agree to these additional restrictions, but if we do, we will abide by our agreement (except in the case of an emergency).
  4. Request that we communicate with you about your medical information by different means or to different locations.  Your request that we communicate your medical information to you by different means or at different locations must be made in writing to the contact person listed at the end of this notice.
  5. Request that we change your medical information.  We may deny your request if we did not create the information you want changed or for certain other reasons.  If we deny your request, we will provide you a written explanation.  You may respond with a statement of disagreement that will be added to the information you wanted changed.  If we accept your request to change the information, we will make reasonable efforts to tell others, including people you name, of the change and to include the changes in any future sharing of that information.
  6. If you received this notice electronically, and wish to receive a paper copy, you have the right to obtain a paper copy by making a request in writing to the Director of Student Health Services/Privacy Officer at Shorter University, SC # 2120, 315 Shorter Avenue, Rome, GA  30165.


If you have any questions about this notice or if you think that we may have violated your privacy rights, please contact us.  You may also submit a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  We will provide you with the address to file your complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  We will not retaliate in any way if you choose to file a complaint.