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Community gathers for Ellington Health Center rededication

Named for retired university physician Robert “Bob” Ellington, a new facility on South Campus integrates university staff dedicated to health and wellness with medical practitioners from Alamance Regional Medical Center and Cone Health.

Dr. Robert “Bob” Ellington speaks during the Aug. 20, 2013, rededication of a student health center that carries his name.

Dozens of current and former university employees gathered Aug. 20, 2013, for the re-dedication of a campus medical and wellness center named for a longtime Elon health director.

The R.N. Ellington Health and Wellness Center moved over the summer from its former location near Moseley Center to a state-of-the-art facility on South Campus with expanded resources and additional parking to serve students, faculty and staff.

The center is named for Dr. Robert “Bob” Ellington, who served as campus physician for nearly two decades before retiring from the university in 2003. Known for his sense of humor and tenaciousness, Ellington treated tens of thousands of patients during his tenure, and he and his wife, Helen, were lauded Tuesday for their commitment to the university.

“We wouldn’t enjoy the success that we do in Student Life, and particularly in Health Services, without your great guidance and leadership,” Elon University President Leo M. Lambert told Ellington in his formal remarks. “It is such an honor for the university to have a name on this building that is synonymous with compassionate care.”

Ellington thanked Lambert for his kindness and sprinkled humor and gratitude into his own words to the crowd. He said Elon University’s health staff is superior to any other in higher education. “I don’t think anyone else even comes close to us,” Ellington said. “We have a wonderful staff, and a wonderful university, behind us. I am happy!”

Ellington's portrait hangs in the waiting area of the R.N. Ellington Health and Wellness Center on South Campus.

The center that carries his name is now located at 301 S. O’Kelly Avenue and houses Student Health Services, Counseling Services, Faculty/Staff Wellness and the Office of Student Health and Wellness.  At 14,000 square feet, it is more than twice the size of the previous health center and faculty/staff wellness centers.

The new student health facility building features nine medical exam rooms, a procedure room for treatments like sutures or IV fluid injections, separate blood-drawing and allergy labs, a larger waiting area for students, a pharmacy and a separate office suite for Counseling Services.

A full-time physician, Dr. Ginette Archinal, joins Student Health Services as medical director, in addition to three advanced care clinicians. Medical staff with Student Health Services is employed by Alamance Regional Medical Center, a part of Cone Health, one of the region’s largest networks of health care.

“We’re going to combine function with beauty with a staff that is the heart of this place,” said Jana Lynn Patterson, associate vice president of student life and dean of student health and wellness. Patterson traced the history of student health services from its early days in one room of an old student center to where the crowd stood before her. “As you can see, Dr. Bob, we’ve come a long way.”

President Leo M. Lambert: "It is such an honor for the university to have a name on this building that is synonymous with compassionate care."

New services that will be introduced this fall include electronic medical records for students to access on their own, an athletic trainer available to the full student body, and the introduction of Sunday hours for medical treatment. Other fee-for-services are also being planned for the upcoming year.

“It’s difficult to articulate the kind of impact this building will have on our campus,” Patterson said.

Also in attendance were past campus health directors Janie Salter and Kitty Parrish, as well as several members of the Elon University Board of Trustees. The dedication concluded with an open house for visitors to explore the various rooms and resources available in the building.



Eric Townsend,
8/21/2013 10:20 AM