Health Services receives national accreditation

This August, M.S. Shook Student Health Service received accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care for the fourth time, Director of Student Health Services Dr. Bob Ellison said.

AAAHC, a national, private, non-profit organization, is the “leader in developing standards to advance and promote patient safety, quality car and value for ambulatory health care through peer-based accreditation processes, education and research,” according to

Accreditation is awarded to organizations that are found to be in compliance with AAAHC Standards.

“It’s nice to receive accreditation but we never get too satisfied because we know we can improve and do it again,” Ellison said.

Appalachian received the accreditation, which lasts for three years, for the first time in 2003.

“It feels absolutely incredible,” Nurse Supervisor for Health Services Joyce Moretz Young said. “It’s almost like winning the gold medal for student health.”

Appalachian’s Health Services possesses “excellence,” Moretz Young said.

“You are not able to pass this intensive of a survey without being able to demonstrate excellence,” Moretz Young said.

The process begins when the clinic is examined by a representative from AAAHC monitors the clinic for a couple of days to ensure that they provide high quality healthcare, Ellison said.

“It’s not just a quick pass by,” she said. “It’s almost like someone with a microscope or magnifying glass comes in and looks at you.”

Vice Chancellor of Student Development Cindy Wallace and the Office of Student Development were supportive with their words and actions, Moretz Young said.

“From my perspective, I think we have the best staff in student health that we’ve had in years,” Wallace said. “They have worked so hard to deliver the best healthcare possible to our students.”

Wallace said Appalachian’s Health Services provides high-quality healthcare with a very low cost.

“Walking in there, they’re going to be well cared for and, I think, have their needs met, which keeps our students fully engaged in their academic endeavors and their university endeavors,” Wallace said.

AAAHC provides accreditation not only for colleges and universities, but also for community health services, urgent care centers, imaging center, U.S. military health facilities and many other entities, Moretz Young said.


Story: KELLI STRAKA, News Editor and MITCHELL LEA, Intern News Reporter