Penn Medicine still holds Cabrini student health records

By Isaiah Dickson
March 28, 2023

Students must call Penn Medicine to retrieve their health records. Photo by Li Lin from Unsplash.
Students must call Penn Medicine to retrieve their health records. Photo by Li Lin from Unsplash.

At the beginning of the fall 2022 semester, Cabrini University announced the end of its partnership with Penn Medicine. The partnership was replaced by the return of campus health services.

Pre-pandemic Cabrini and Penn Medicine partnered in the hope that students would be able to go off campus for health services. The partnership officially started in July 2020. The pandemic put a wrench in this plan and there wasn’t much interaction between students and off-campus health services. When the campus fully opened back up, Penn Medicine didn’t seem to be any more accessible.

Student Health Services is back on campus, minus some records. Photo by Isaiah Dickson.

“We found that there were still COVID-19 protocols at the local Urgent Care,” said Cabrini Vice President of Finance and Administration Jim Cooper. “Students were struggling to find the opportunity to get in to have service.”

This resulted in students going to their own doctors or other Urgent Care locations and ultimately to the decision not to renew the relationship with Penn Medicine. Now Cabrini has brought back its own health services and has no plans of partnering with another off-campus health service. However, the university does plan to bring in a doctor. The goal is to have the doctor full-time by the fall 2023 semester.

“In order to do the traditional health services operations we had on campus previously, we have to have a partnering physician so that the nurse can do the typical things you’d see in a health services area,” Dr. Anne Filippone, dean of Student Engagement, said.

Now that Cabrini has opted to use its own health services, some student health records that were held by Penn Medicine are inaccessible due to HIPAA regulations. Kimberly Perry-Malloy, the new director of health services, has been going through all of Cabrini’s health records and contacting the students whose records dating from December 2022 are still missing.

“There are health forms that are required for all full-time students who either live on campus or off campus,” Perry-Malloy said.

The university requires that these forms be completed so Health Services is aware of any health conditions students may have as well as knowing if students are immunized against certain diseases in the case of an outbreak.

“We need to have those up-to-date records on campus so that we know if something happens, we’re able to provide the health information to treat that student,” Filippone said.

If students are dealing with health issues or EMTs come to campus to provide care to students, these records are vital for treatment. In addition to having immunization records and any health conditions students deal with at the ready, the institution also requires that students have updated health records to be selected for housing.

“They can register for housing, but they won’t be able to get into the selection process until all the records are in,” Perry-Malloy said.

This rule even applies to students who have started a series of immunizations and have a second vaccine due in the summer before the semester starts. These students are allowed to register for housing, but cannot move in until they provide Cabrini’s health services with their health records.

Student Health Services is located on the first floor of Founders Hall. Photo by Isaiah Dickson.

For students living on campus, the consequences of not turning in health forms are clear. However, this isn’t the same for commuter students. Currently, there are conversations about what health services should do regarding commuter students who don’t have their health forms filled out.

In order for a student to submit their health forms to Cabrini they must call Penn Medicine and have an authorization form sent to them via mail, email, or fax. They do not take verbal requests. After completing these forms, students can send them back through the same avenues, and from there Penn Medicine will process their request for their health records to be sent to Cabrini.

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Isaiah Dickson

Hi, I’m Isaiah Dickson. I’m from Brookhaven, Pennsylvania and I’m part of the class of 2024. I’m a Digital Communications and Social Media major and on the Loquitur I serve as the perspectives editor where I’ve previously been a reporter and an assistant perspectives editor. I’ve always enjoyed writing since elementary school. It’s a hobby that I’d love to do as a fulltime job. After college I hope to have a career in screenwriting. I’ve always had an interest in the worlds of television and film. Those are areas that I’m passionate about and I use those interests to help drive my news writing and reporting. Some of the topics I like writing about the most are the stories that are more personal or the stories that shed light on an issue in society. Outside of writing on the Loquitur I enjoy playing basketball, lifting weights, and music.

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