Winton hires new doctor

By Allison Divine

In an effort to allow students to develop a relationship with their physician, the Health and Wellness Center has hired a single doctor to replace the group from Parkway Family Physicians that visited once a week last year. The new physician, Dr. Stephanie Walters, will be on campus 12 hours a week. Six of those will be spent with students, while the rest will be spent on administrative duties.”I feel lucky to be here. It feels like a really good fit so far,” Walters said. “Working in a clinic or hospital would have been fine, but there’s more.Basically since the first year of medical school I knew I wanted to work with this age group.”

Walters’ credentials include an undergraduate degree in sociology from Grinnell College. She went on to spend 10 years at the University of Minnesota for her medical accreditation. She spent three years in a fellowship specializing in adolescent and young adult health while earning a Master’s degree in public health.

“I adore this age group and college students,” Walters said. “I feel very comfortable talking about and managing a wide variety of problems and concerns. [I’m] very comfortable with sexual and reproductive health [and] the needs of GLBT students,” she said. She added that as a former student athlete herself, she is also comfortable with “exercise-related injury.”

Walters said, “If adolescents or young adults have concerns or issues [about basically anything], that’s what I’ve been trained to do, and that’s what I just love, love doing.”

Denise Ward, director of Health Services, said that Walters’ hiring is part of “greater change” on which they have been working for several years. Having one doctor will “allow students to develop a relationship with the physician” as Health Services attempts to pay better attention to what is of the “most use to” and “best for” students.

Costs are associated with this change. Ward said that we will experience “additional costs for additional benefits.” While Walters’ time is free now, Ward suggested that that could change in the future. Walters suggested that the college could potentially move to a third-party billing system in order to provide “full spectrum primary care.”

Ward and Walters “both just felt like this would be a really good start,” Walters said. “Hopefully if it goes well, we’ll be able to find more time and more hours for me to be here in the future.”

Walters will be splitting her time between Macalester and Hamline University. While she will be there 20 hours a week, she will only be here 12 hours. Her official hours are Tuesdays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursdays from 8:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.