blue-cross-blue-shield-logoGreat news!!!  ECU Student Health Services is now an in-network provider for BlueCross BlueShield health insurance plans!

Students with BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) health insurance plans now can utilize Student Health Services (SHS) just as they do any other participating provider.  SHS will file any charges to the insurance plan and coverage will be determined by the plan benefits and policy terms.  Deductibles, co-insurance, and any out of pocket amounts are determined by the individual policy; we encourage students and parents to become familiar with what their BCBS plan covers as well as any exclusions or limitations that may be stipulated.

Students desiring to file their BCBS insurance MUST bring a copy of their current insurance information and present it upon check in when they come for visits at SHS.  If the policy holder is a parent, the student must also provide that parent’s name, date of birth, and address.

There is no co-pay at SHS because the student fees paid with tuition cover the office visit charge.  Distance education students do not pay student fees, so they will be subject to a $30 SHS access fee for each visit.

Any charges that are not covered by a student’s BCBS plan will be sent to the Cashier’s Office and applied to the student’s main tuition bill.  Those charges should be paid timely to avoid issues with registration, obtaining grades, or requesting transcripts.

For more information, call us at (252) 328-6841 or e-mail


Nibbles for Health….December

Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse. Here are some reasons it should be an essential part of your diet.

Vitamin C
One cup of broccoli contains the RDA of vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for fighting against free radicals. Moreover, vitamin C is an effective antihistamine for easing the discomfort of the common cold.

Bone Health
Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.

Sun Damage
Broccoli is helpful in repairing skin damage thanks to the glucoraphanin it contains which helps the skin to detoxify and repair itself.

Immune System
One cup of broccoli bolsters the immune system with a large dose of beta-carotene. Trace minerals, such as zinc and selenium, further act to strengthen immune defense actions.

Roasted Broccoli
• 1 ½ pounds of broccoli
• 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
• Juice from half a lemon, about 1 Tbsp
• Kosher salt
• 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste

1 Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl toss the broccoli florets and minced garlic with olive oil and lemon juice until lightly coated. Sprinkle salt over the broccoli and toss to coat.
2 Arrange the broccoli florets in a single layer on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 16-20 minutes, until cooked through and nicely browned.
3 Put the roasted broccoli back in the bowl and toss with lots of freshly ground black pepper and the grated Parmesan cheese. Recipe from

December/January Holiday Intersession Hours and Information

Doctor showing clock

Student Health’s hours of operation will vary around the upcoming winter holiday break.

**Please note:  student fees do not cover services during University intersession breaks. Each SHS clinic visit is subject to a $30.00 fee from December 21-January 8, 2016.**

Thursday, December 17
CLOSED 12:00-5:00pm for a staff and division event

Saturday, December 19 – Sunday, December 20

Monday, December 21 – Wednesday, December 23

Medical care and pharmacy open 1:30pm-4:00pm only.  Office is open for general business (dropping off records, medical releases, etc) from 8:00am-12noon and 1:00pm-5:00pm.  CLOSED 12:00-1:00pm.  ***All students must pay a $30.00 visit charge for medical care during this time since there are no classes or student fees paid during this period***

Thursday, December 24 – Sunday, January 3, 2016


Monday, January 4 – Tuesday, January 5
Medical care and pharmacy open 1:30pm-4:00pm only.  Office is open for general business (dropping off records, medical releases, etc) from 8:00am-12noon and 1:00pm-5:00pm.  CLOSED 12:00-1:00pm.  ***All students must pay a $30.00 visit charge for medical care during this time since there are no classes or student fees paid during this period***

Wednesday, January 6
CLOSED until 1:30pm.  Medical care and pharmacy services available 1:30-4:00pm. ***All students must pay a $30.00 visit charge for medical care during this time since there are no classes or student fees paid during this period***

Thursday, January 7 – Friday, January 8
Medical care and pharmacy open 1:30pm-4:00pm only.  Office is open for general business (dropping off records, medical releases, etc) from 8:00am-12noon and 1:00pm-5:00pm.  CLOSED 12:00-1:00pm.  ***All students must pay a $30.00 visit charge for medical care during this time since there are no classes or student fees paid during this period***

Don’t forget:  anytime SHS is closed, you still have access to medical advice.  Call 911 for emergencies, but if you just want to talk to a nurse about an issue, call 328-6841 and stay on the line to be transferred to our free, 24 hr nurse line. You can also find self care information for treating your problem on our webpage, or you can submit a question to

Have a wonderful holiday break, Pirates!!!

Nibbles for Health….October



Nutrition and Health Benefits

  • A cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which aids in vision, particularly in dim light, according to the National Institutes of Health.
  • Pumpkin is an often overlooked source of fiber, but with 3 grams per 1 cup, and only 49 calories, it can keep you feeling full for longer on fewer calories.
  • Nuts and seeds, including those of pumpkins, are naturally rich in certain plant-based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown in studies to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds contain L-tryptophan, a compound which improves mood naturally and may even be effective against depression.
  • Ever heard of bananas being touted as nature’s energy bar? Turns out, a cup of cooked pumpkin has more of the refueling nutrient potassium, with 564mg to a banana’s 422mg.

Fun Food Facts

  • Pumpkins are usually orange but can sometimes be yellow, white, green or red.
  • The name pumpkin comes from the Greek word ‘pepon’, meaning ‘large melon’.
  • Giant pumpkins can be grown for competitions. In 2010, the world record was 1810 pounds!
  • Pumpkins are popular decorations during Halloween. The tradition is believed to have come from Ireland, where they used to carve faces into turnips, beets and other root vegetables.

Pumpkin Oatmeal in a Crockpot


  • 1 cup Coach’s Oats or steel cut oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tsp stevia (to taste), optional
  • 1 pinch salt


In a bowl that will fit in your crockpot, add all of your ingredients and stir. Place the bowl in the crockpot and fill the crockpot with water until the water comes up at least half way of the inner bowl. Set your crockpot on low for 6 – 8 hours.

Serve with brown sugar, maple syrup, pat of butter, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, or nuts.

Calories per cup: 143, Fat: 2.5, Cholesterol: 0, Sodium: 48, Carbs: 25, Fiber: 6, Sugar: 2.1, Protein: 6

Recipe from


Nibbles for Health…..September

cherries Cherries are packed with health-benefiting nutrients and unique antioxidants. The cherry fruit is part of the Rosaceae family which also includes almonds, peaches, apricots and plums.

Health Benefits:

  • Red cherries are low in cholesterol, fat, sodium and 1 cup of cherries, with pits, contains only 74 calories. They are also a very good source of fiber and Vitamin C.
  • Tart cherries are known to contain certain pigments called anthocyanins that are very effective in relieving pain associated with arthritis and sports injuries.
  • Cherries are also rich in melatonin, which can help relieve insomnia and headaches.
  • Cherries are an excellent source of potassium, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure
  • The powerful antioxidants such as lutein and beta carotene found in cherries are associated with anti-aging and cancer prevention.

Add Cherries to your diet:

  • Add cherries to a fruit salad to add color, flavor and variety
  • Poached cherries make an excellent topping for frozen yogurt.
  • Dried cherries add sweetness to oatmeal or trail mix.
  • Add frozen cherries to a smoothie (see recipe below)


  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 container cherry Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk
  • Add ice for additional thickness

Directions: Add all ingredients to blender and blend until desired consistency.

Healthy Tip: Add frozen spinach for an extra dose of iron and vitamin C

Reminder about summer fees/receiving care in August

Just a reminder… that classes are over, student fees are no longer covering services at SHS.  Any patient treated at SHS will have a $30 per visit charge from August 3-August 21.

To be eligible to make an appointment for care, you must have been registered this past spring or summer, AND be registered for the fall semester.  New, incoming Pirates are not eligible to receive care at SHS until move in weekend (August 21-23).

Please note:  Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) services may be limited during this period).

Questions?  Call SHS at (252) 328-6841 or CCSD at (252) 328-6661.

Have a healthy rest of summer and see you soon for move in!

Summer Fees/Hours 2015

Now that summer has come, many students are not taking classes but they would still like to utilize Student Health Service (SHS) or the Counseling Center (CCSD).  Not in summer school?  You may be eligible to still receive care at SHS & CCSD.

Did you just graduate?  Congratulations!  Due to anti-trust laws, SHS cannot continue to provide your healthcare, but we can 1) help you transfer your records to the office of your choice, 2) provide you with a list of local offices if you need help establishing care outside, or 3) we do have a 2 week grace period following graduation if you need to come in for a follow up of an existing problem (i.e. to get a medication refilled, or to finish up treatment for a particular problem or concern).

If you did not graduate, but are just not taking classes in summer school, you may still be eligible for care at SHS and/or CCSD.  In order to qualify for services at SHS/CCSD in the summer when you are not taking classes,

          • you must have been enrolled this past spring AND
          • you must be registered for fall classes

If you meet those criteria, you can be seen at SHS/CCSD for a special summer fee.  The summer fee is necessary because you are not taking classes for the summer or paying any tuition, so you are not paying the usual health fee.  To pay the health fee for either SHS or CCSD service, stop by the Student Health Center.

There are 2 options for paying the summer fee for care at SHS:
Per visit fee $30.00
Need multiple visits? Pay $60.00 for unlimited visits per summer session.

Need care at CCSD?  One option is available:
$60.00 per session (the per visit fee is not available for CCSD service)

First summer session fees are charged May 18-June 23.
Second summer session fees are charged June 24-Aug 31.

Once summer classes end, the only option for the fee is $30 per visit from August 3-August 21. (CCSD’s services may be limited during this period)

Questions?  Call SHS at (252) 328-6841 or CCSD at (252) 328-6661.

Have a healthy summer!

Stomach bug/stomach flu (Norovirus)

norovirus-symptoms-259x300Ever had nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea that came on you quick and ran through you like a mack truck?  Ever feel like throwing up and at the very same time having to sit on the toilet? (gross, but true…)  Then you have probably experienced a “stomach bug” or “stomach flu” or maybe even thought you had “food poisoning”–all these phrases usually point to a the true culprit, Norovirus.

Norovirus is a nasty virus that is responsible for wreaking havoc on day care kids, college students, and even cruise line passengers around the world.  It causes rapid illness with severe nausea, what seems like never ending vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes explosive….ugh), headache, fever/chills, and abdominal pain/cramping.  Although sometimes called a “stomach flu”, it has no relation to influenza or the seasonal flu.  It is spread easily, with the virus particles living on contaminated surfaces for days and maybe even weeks (eww…) So…..bad news first.

Bad news:  We are seeing an increase in cases right now at SHS.  Norovirus spreads easily, especially in close quarters (i.e. pretty much every college environment).  It hits incredibly hard, and while it does not last long, it can take you a while to get your strength and food tolerance back.  Evidence shows alcohol based hand sanitizers are not effective against norovirus–but soap and water hand washing is.  Also bleach based solutions help disinfect, but those are not as easy to use on all types of surfaces.

Good news: While you may feel like it is never going to end when you are the one going through it, it actually usually moves out quick: most people recover in 1-3 days.  It is a virus, so there is no magic cure.  Most cases can be managed at home, with the right tools (see below), but if you are not improving or you cannot stay properly hydrated, we may need to intervene with IV fluids.

HOW TO TREAT IF YOU ARE SICK: The most important issue is hydration.  You lose a lot of fluids through vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.  While you may be scared to drink when you are vomiting or running to the bathroom so often, it is important to incorporate small amounts frequently to stay on top of your fluid balance.  You do absorb some fluids even if you are continuing to visit the bathroom often.  Use sports drinks, clear sodas (think Sprite, Ginger Ale, 7 Up), water, ice chips, clear broth soups–avoid dairy, alcohol or caffeine.  You can take over the counter medications for fever/aches (Tylenol or ibuprofen/Motrin) and nausea (sometimes they are boxed as motion sickness tablets)–if you need to stock up, come see our pharmacy.  Rest.  Clean contaminated surfaces with a diluted bleach solution (5 to 25 tbsp bleach per gallon of water).  WASH YOUR HANDS–you shed the virus in vomit and diarrhea.  Once you feel human again, start your stomach back on a bland diet–nothing spicy, greasy, or dairy–good starter items are crackers, clear soups, toast, applesauce, bananas, plain baked potatoes.  Take it slow until you can tolerate more foods.

Prevention:  WASH YOUR HANDS.  We can not say it enough.  Wash your produce well too when preparing food and cook items properly (norovirus can be spread through a sick person handling food).  Try to avoid sick persons if you can and wipe down used surfaces with the bleach solution mentioned above.  And again, WASH YOUR HANDS.

If you are sick and need advice, or if you have questions, call us at 252-328-6841 or email us at  If you have been treating yourself and you are not getting any better, not able to hold down fluids, are not peeing regularly (a sign of hydration) or are having severe abdominal pain, you may need care by a health care provider.  Call us.  Sometimes IV fluids are necessary to help you.


Source and more information:  CDC Norovirus Overview


Has the flu gotten you?

Flu activity is high in North Carolina and we are seeing an increase of cases here at Student Health.  Patients with routine appointments (Pap smears, annual women’s health exams, physicals, etc) should consider rescheduling their appointments to avoid contacting sick persons in the Health Center.

Signs of the flu:  sudden onset of fever, body aches, fatigue, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache.  Rarely it can cause diarrhea or vomiting, but influenza and the “stomach flu” are NOT the same thing.  Flu makes you feel horrible, fast. Like hit by a truck horrible.

***If you think you have the flu, call us at 252-328-6841 before coming to SHS or making an appointment.  Often an appointment is not necessary as the nurses can give you advice on treating your symptoms at home.  This helps keep other students healthy as well by limiting sick patient in our lobby.***

What to do if you are sick:  stay away from others until you have been fever-free for 24 hrs without having to take fever reducing medication.  Take ibuprofen/tylenol for aches and fever, drink a lot of fluids, rest, and cover your sneezes and coughs with a tissue that you throw away. WASH YOUR HANDS.  Are you high risk for flu complications?  Read this and if it applies, call us at 252-328-6841.

  • Do you need a friend to pick up food for you at the dining hall?  You can fill out this form and let your buddy grab you something to eat.
  • Do you need to let your professors know you are sick?  Log onto Onestop and use the “Flu Self Reporting Form”.  Be advised:  this is NOT an excuse.  But, it lets your professors know you are ill and they may work with you on missed work.

What to do if your roommate or someone you love is sick

If you aren’t sick, here are a few things to do to try to avoid the flu:

  • get a flu shot–although the best time to get vaccinated is early fall, it is not too late.  We still have shots available here at Student Health–come get one today.  Call us at 252-328-6841 to schedule a time.
  • Avoid sick people–if your friend says they don’t feel well, maybe you should cancel that study session or lunch date.
  • Don’t eat, drink, or smoke after others.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth–we don’t realize how much we introduce germs into our system just by our habits.
  • Wash your hands more than you think is necessary.  Also, alcohol based sanitizers do work against flu, so get a bottle to keep in your bag.
  • Surfaces are gross!  Doorknobs, chair rails, keyboards, money, pens, phones, etc all can harbor flu virus particles.  Remember to clean your hands often especially after touching items others have used.

A few FAQ:

  • Does SHS test for flu?
    Yes, we can.  It is done by swabbing nasal secretions and costs $32.  But, in many cases, it is not helpful since the treatment for flu is based on symptoms, not test results, so your treatment is the same whether the test is negative or positive.  The test is not perfect either, so it may not be entirely accurate.
  • Should I see a doctor?
    In most cases, if you are healthy and have no underlying major medical issues like asthma, pregnancy, diabetes, HIV, heart conditions, cancer, etc, you do not need to see a health care provider since flu typically resolves on its own.  However, if you have severe symptoms or feel that you are not improving, you need to call your doctor or if you have an emergency, call 911.
  • If I have flu, do I need Tamiflu (antiviral medication)?
    Maybe.  Learn more here.  If you have a severe case, or are at high risk for complications, then your doctor will probably prescribe an anti-viral if you are early in the course of illness.  Antiviral medication does not cure the flu but may shorten the duration of symptoms or help prevent complications.  Talk with your health care provider about antiviral options.
  • If someone close to me has the flu but I do not have any symptoms, can I get Tamiflu as a precaution?
    SHS, in accordance with CDC guidelines, does not recommend Tamiflu in healthy persons with no flu symptoms.

Still have more flu related questions?  Email us at

Also, don’t forget: anytime we are not open, you always have the 24hr nurseline available to you for medical advice.  Call our main number, 252-328-6841, and listen to the instructions for speaking with a nurse.

Student Health continually monitors the flu situation.  Look to for updates and please follow us on Twitter (@ECU_SHS) for the most up to date information for campus!

Sources & web links for even more flu information:


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