Editor’s note: Julie Martindale, Health Services Director at the University Health & Counseling Services of UW-W, provided the following information regarding the cold care kits that have been provided to students for the past five years. Martindale and Ann Dudzek, Medical Program Assistant, indicated that at this anniversary they especially wish to express appreciation to the sponsors who make the program possible.
Cold care kit idea began in 2016 when the clinic had student after student coming to clinic with complaints of cough and cold symptoms expecting an antibiotic. We would educate students about viruses and how antibiotics do not kill viruses. But then we had the idea of handing the student something – other than an antibiotic – that may help them care for their colds. Many students are on their own for the first time when they come to college and may not know how to care for themselves when they are sick but not quite sick enough to see a healthcare provider. As well, many come to college without a thermometer which is necessary especially during flu season. So UHCS started in 2016 to ask various business organizations to support a cold care kit for the students in exchange for advertising them as a sponsor on the kit. Also included in the kit was info on how the items can be used to help their cold from getting worse and when to expect an antibiotic. Kits were given to all those who came to the clinic for a visit related to cough/cold as well as to those who came for a flu shot.
We also asked students to complete a survey on what they liked about the kit, what they learned from getting the kit and any suggestions they may have. Overwhelmingly the students liked the kits and over 80% said they learned something new. And the best part is that even though some may have continued to ask for an antibiotic, we were able to hand them something else to help with their cold while we explained why it was not a good idea to take antibiotics for a cold.
Now, in 2021, the kit is larger and becomes even more critical as we deliver services through this pandemic. We appreciate all of our donors as we not only keep our campus healthy but our community as well.
Culver’s in Whitewater, WI
Fort Health Care in Fort Atkinson, WI
Mercy Health System in Whitewater, WI
Ball Corporation in Fort Atkinson, WI
SSM Health in Whitewater, WI
Whitewater Family Dentistry in Whitewater, WI
PremierBank in Fort Atkinson, WI
UW-Whitewater University Center
UW-Whitewater Dining Services
Below: Julie Martindale is depicted with representatives of some of the sponsoring organizations.