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Healthcare for students anytime, anywhere: all the WellCat has to offer

The WellCat Health Center at Chico State cares for students through a variety of resources, some of which are not in the physical center
The student health center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and is closed for an hour each day from noon to 1 p.m. Courtesy: WellCat Health Center, taken by Jason Halley/University Photographer
(Jason Halley/University Photogr
The student health center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and is closed for an hour each day from noon to 1 p.m. Courtesy: WellCat Health Center, taken by Jason Halley/University Photographer

It’s about that time in the semester when allergies hit students hard, and the cold hits harder. The WellCat Health Center at Chico State has a variety of resources to care for students, including some that help them outside of the physical center. 

Students can make an appointment with the WellCat by going to the website, calling or by walking into the center. Appointments are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the center is closed for an hour each day from noon to 1 p.m. Masks are still mandatory inside the center.

“It’s always okay to call us, even if it’s something that’s not listed on the website that we do or you’re not sure about,” Satia Sisay, the director of administrative services at WellCat said.  “If it’s something that we can’t do for you, we’re gonna try and help you figure it out. Our job is to help you get the healthcare you need so you can continue being a student.”

Students also have access to TimelyCare, an online healthcare service free to all Chico State students. TimelyCare is accessible 24/7, including during breaks or when the WellCat Center is closed. Moreover, TimelyCare serves universities all over the United States, so students can utilize it even if they are not physically in Chico. 

The service is available on-demand or through scheduled appointments. Students can download the TimelyCare app to schedule appointments and can speak with a licensed physician, health coach or nurse practitioner. 

The WellCat partners with TimelyCare to ensure that students get the care they need after WellCat hours, Sisay said.

 “This was a way to make sure that our students could be served and they would have an expansion of hours so that people are able to do what they are here for, which is to go to school and not have to skip school for an appointment,” said Sisay.

According to Executive Order 943, students can also be seen at any CSU student health center, on all CSU campuses. 

If students need non-emergency care and cannot go to the WellCat, Sisay recommends they visit Enloe Prompt Care, Ampla Health or contact TimelyCare. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.  

February and October are the busiest months of the year for the WellCat, Sisay said. Sisay said this could potentially be because students are getting settled into the semester and have more time to make appointments. Stress has likely been building for students at this time, which can affect their immune systems. 

WellCat healthcare workers — physician Jonathan Gunel, physician assistant Aaron Farmer and lead physician Monica Jazzabi — have some tips on how to stay healthy during the cold and allergy season: 

  • Maintain good hand hygiene
  • Get vaccinated
  • Maintain a healthy diet and stay hydrated
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Minimize exposure to allergens
  • Manage stress
  • Avoid sharing personal items
  • Know when to seek help

From July 2022 to July 2023, the WellCat saw 4,284 students. From July 2023 to present, there have been 2,778 students at the health center. 

The WellCat employs three physicians and always has at least one doctor on site. 

To learn more about the WellCat services you can visit their social media, website or call to ask for more information.   

Amy Blair can be reached at [email protected]



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About the Contributor
Amy Blair, Reporter
Amy Blair is in her third year and is studying journalism, news, as well as criminal justice. This is her first semester working at The Orion. In her free time she enjoys reading, playing music, painting and spending time at coffee shops around town.

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