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Health Services

General Overview/Entry Requirements

Cottey College Health and Counseling Services can be found in the Student Wellness Center, located west of Robertson Hall. Cottey College Health Services contracts with local medical providers from Nevada Regional Medical Center to provide medical services to students. The medical provider is available for up to an hour each weekday with medical provider hours posted in each residence hall and individual suites.

Our health care providers are here to assist with any medical needs such as obtaining medical histories and perform physicals, diagnose and treat common health problems such as infections and minor injuries, order and interpret lab work or x-rays, prescribe and recommend medications, and provide health counseling and education. The student health office manager serves as an advocate to meet the students mental and physical health needs. The student health office manager can assist students with faculty notifications, medical referrals, insurance questions, medical billing questions, financial aid services, prescriptions and transportation.

Students who become ill or have an accident requiring immediate attention during hours the Health Services Office is closed should contact an R.A. or residence hall director for assistance. The Nevada Regional Medical Center provides 24-hour emergency medical services. Ambulances may be obtained by calling 9-911 from any campus phone. Many local physicians provide non-emergency care during weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. After hours or weekend care may be available; please see “Physicians” in the yellow pages of the Nevada phone directory.

Health consultation services provided by the College are available at no additional cost to students but may be limited. Students who do not have complete health forms on file with the Health Services Office may be refused treatment. More complete medical services are available in the local community at the student’s expense. While medical insurance is not required for domestic students, some form of medical insurance coverage is highly recommended to provide a degree of protection against the costs that may be associated with an accident or severe illness. International students are required to carry insurance through the provider selected by Cottey College.

All medical information is strictly confidential, available only to Health Services personnel. All new incoming students are required to have a completed health file before their arrival to Cottey College or residence hall check-in may be denied.

Student Resources

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline– Hotline offers 24 hour service to anyone in emotional distress or suicidal crisis. Over 150 crisis centers available nationwide.

Alcoholics Anonymous, Nevada, MO

A organization of men and women who share their successes and challenges in overcoming alcoholism. Their man goal is to remain sober and to help recovering alcoholics achieve sobriety.

Missouri Tobacco Quitline

Missouri Tobacco Quitline provides free and effective counseling by highly trained tobacco specialist.

Narcotics Anonymous, Vernon County, Missouri-

An organization consisting of men and women who share their successes and challenges in overcoming drug addiction. Membership is open to all drug addicts, regardless of the particular drug or combinations of drugs used.

National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) provides help to individuals and families affected by eating disorders.

Understand Health Insurance for College Students and New Grads includes both public and private health insurance information.

Local Pharmacies- Pharmacy Information

Nevada Regional Medical Center, Nevada, Missouri-

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers information on health and safety topics, health statistics and publications.

MyPlate provides useful resources for healthy eating. Using this website it can personalize recommendations for menu planning, calorie intake and physical activity levels.

CampusWell By Student Health 101- A quick resource guide for common health questions for students today.

Cottey College requires all incoming students to obtain the required vaccinations and screenings to prevent disease that may be spread to others by respiratory transmission and therefore can pose a risk to others in the residence halls, attending classes, using College facilities or attending College events on and off campus. Students are required to provide documentation showing vaccination history and/or disease specific antibody titers. Documentation is accepted from your physician’s office, health department, previous high school, or college record, or childhood records. If immunization documentation cannot be found the individual needs to provide documentation of blood titer results showing immunity. Students who do not comply with requirements will be denied class registration and/or housing for the following semester.

Applicants with a medical condition that prevents them from being safely vaccinated may apply for medical exemption by having a licensed, treating medical provider, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant complete a medical exemption request form. Applicants must then submit the completed form to the health services office. Requests that specify a statement from the treating medical provider that the physical condition of the person, or medical circumstances relating to the person are such that immunizations are not considered safe, indicating the specific nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstance that contraindicate immunizations with the vaccine will meet criteria for approval of the medical exemption. Medical exemption requests outside of these categories will be denied. All exemption forms will be reviewed by Cottey’s lead physician, Director of Counseling and Health Services and Vice President for Student Life before approval is granted.

For students seeking religious exemption, the student must send a letter of request to the Vice President for Student Life. In addition to the letter, the student should also include supporting documentation as it relates to the religious exemption request. Examples of supporting documentation may include, but are not limited to, a state issued religious exemption form and/or signed letter from a head of church.

Students who receive the immunization exemption approval will be required to sign the Cottey College Exemption Certificate. All exemption documentation must be submitted to the Health Services office by August 1 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester. All exemption forms will be reviewed by Cottey’s lead physician, Director of Health and Counseling Services and Vice President for Student Life before approval is granted.


  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), two doses at least 28 days apart
  • Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanuss (DPT), primary series, four doses acceptable
  • Polio, primary series, doses at least 28 days apart, three doses acceptable
  • Tdap or Tetanus Booster, must be within the past ten years
  • Hepatitis A, two doses, at least six months apart
  • Hepatitis B, three doses
  • Meningococcal (hyper link to Meningitis on Campus)
  • Varicella, or disease history

Please note that vaccines are not available at Cottey College Health Services

Certain college students are at increased risk for meningococcal disease, a potentially fatal bacterial infection commonly referred to as meningitis.

In fact, freshmen living in dorms or residence halls are found to have a sixfold increased risk for the disease. A U.S. health advisory panel recommends that college students, particularly freshmen living in dorms, learn more about meningitis and vaccination.


Meningitis is rare. But when it strikes, this potentially fatal bacterial disease can lead to swelling of fluid surrounding the brain and spinal column as well as severe and permanent disabilities, such as hearing loss, brain damage, seizures, limb amputation and even death.


Meningococcal meningitis is spread through the air via respiratory secretions or close contact with an infected person. This can include coughing, sneezing, kissing or sharing items like utensils, cigarettes and drinking glasses.


Symptoms of meningococcal meningitis often resemble the flu and can include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, rash, nausea, vomiting, lethargy and confusion.


Certain college students, particularly freshmen who live in dor­mitories or residence halls, have been found to have an increased risk for meningococcal meningitis. Other undergraduates can also consider vaccination to reduce their risk for the disease.


Yes. A safe and effective vaccine is available to protect against four of the five most common strains of the disease. The vaccine provides protection for approximately three to five years. As with any vaccine, vaccination against meningitis may not protect 100 percent of all susceptible individuals.

To learn more about meningitis and the vaccine, visit your local health care provider. You may also visit the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or the American College Health Association,

All Cottey College students are required to receive the meningococcal vaccine before arrival to campus, Please note, that vaccines are not available in Cottey College Health Services.

Tuberculosis Screening for Domestic Students

Incoming Domestic Students: All incoming domestic students must complete a tuberculin skin test (PPD) or QuantiFeron blood draw within six months before their arrival to campus. Chest x-ray will be required for anyone with a positive tuberculin skin test. In the event of a positive tuberculin test, the x-ray must be completed and documentation received by health services before students arrival to campus.

Incoming International Students

Along with the required immunizations, all incoming international students are required to have a chest x-ray completed before their arrival to campus with negative chest x-ray test dates no earlier than May 1 for the fall semester, and September 1 for the spring semester. I-20s will be revoked by the college on August 1 for fall incoming students or December 10 for incoming spring students if a negative chest x-ray has not been received. All records must be submitted in English.

All international student who have received a BCG vaccine as an infant, are required to have the QuantiFeron blood draw. The QuantiFeron blood draw is a specialized test administered to aid in the detection of tuberculosis. Because QuantiFeron does not interact with the BCG vaccine, it gives an accurate indication of the presence of tuberculosis germs in the body. The QuantiFeron blood draw is scheduled during orientation at Cottey, and the fee is applied to the students account in the Business Office. Incoming students may complete the QuantiFeron blood draw requirements before arriving at Cottey. If the QuantiFeron blood draw was administered between 60-180 days prior to student’s arrival, student will be required to complete the QuantiFeron blood draw retest on campus. If the QuantiFeron is administered between 30-60days prior to student’s arrival, a retest will not be required. A positive QuantiFeron test and a negative chest x-ray indicates latent tuberculosis infection and preventative medication therapy (e.g., INH) is required. Medication therapy can be administered by the Cottey College physician.

A positive QuantiFeron blood draw and positive chest x-ray requires immediate medical attention. Upon completion for medical attention, approval from the vice president for student life and the lead physician of Cottey College is required to attend Cottey. Documentation must be submitted to Health Services, including physician’s notes, lab work, chest x-ray report, negative sputum test and clearance to attend college.

Returning Students

All returning students are required to complete a tuberculosis screening form upon returning to campus after a summer or semester away from campus. Students who have met one or more of the tuberculosis screening criteria, will be required to have tuberculosis screening complete in the form of skin test or QuantiFeron blood draw, no earlier than one month before student returns to campus, with results submitted to Cottey Health Services.

Tap here for the tuberculosis screening form.

Health and Counseling Services Staff

Jeanna Simpson, LCSW, Director of Health and Counseling Services
Ext. 2157

Blaklee Sanders, LSW, Counselor
Ext. 2157

Robin Conner, Student Health Office Manager
Ext. 2157

Health Services Texting Line, Available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Please note this is not a medical emergency line.

Contracted Medical Providers for 2023-2024

Dr. Heather Russell
Sonja Albright, DNP, APRN-BC
Katelyn Erwin, DNP, APRN-BC

Frequently Asked Questions

Students can make an appointment to see the medical provider by email Robin Conner at, by calling extension 2157 from any campus phone or by texting the health services texting line 417-765-0343.

Students may walk in to health services to be seen by the medical provider within the first fifteen minutes of the start time. Students who have made an appointment will be seen with walk-ins after, in a first come, first serve

There is a small health fee included in your tuition that will cover your health services needs. Through health services, visits on campus are free at the time of service. If a medical provider recommends blood work, medical testing or imaging of campus, that will be the responsibility of the student. If a medication is needed, the medical providers will provide a script to the student, and the payment for the medication off campus, will be the responsibility of the student.

Immunizations are not available at Health Services; however, the Vernon County Health Department, located within walking distance of campus, has vaccinations available usually at a reduced fee.  The Vernon County Health Department is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and accept walk in appointments throughout the day. Vernon County Health Department can be reached at 417-667-7418 for more information. All required vaccines should be administered before your arrival to campus.

Cottey College Health Services does not excuse a student from class, it is always up to the faculty member’s discretion to excuse an absence. Students may request notification be sent to their faculty members if they were seen by the medical provider in Health Services. A notification release of information may be signed by the student and an e-mail will be sent to her faculty members stating she was seen by the medical provider in Health Services. Generally, no medical information is released.

The closest pharmacy is Woods Supermarket Pharmacy located one block west of Cottey.  Students also use Wal-Mart Pharmacy. For a complete listing of local pharmacies, please tap here.

Please keep in mind, if a student is 18 or older, their medical information is confidential.  If a student wishes their medical information to be shared with family, an individual, or another physician, they may sign a release of information giving Cottey College Health Services members the authorization to discuss their medical information.  Health Services staff encourages the student to discuss medical concerns with parents.

International students are required to carry insurance provided by the college.  Although domestic students are not required to have insurance, it is strongly recommended.  Please see Resource tab for more information on insurance.

If a student has seen by the physician in Health Services and the physician feels an x-ray is necessary, the physician will write an order for an x-ray for the student to take to the Nevada Regional Medical Center.  The x-ray and any fees incurred at the Nevada Regional Medical Center are the responsibility of the student.