The WKU Board of Regents has voted to privatize the campus Health Services center. Graves Gilbert Clinic will take over operations ahead of the fall semester.
The idea of giving up control of the health center was first announced by WKU President Gary Ransdell in March. Privatizing the health center that serves students, faculty, and staff gave the school nearly $1.1 million in relief for the budget that went into effect July 1.
None of the three doctors or one nurse practitioner currently employed by the school will be kept on after the health center changes management.
WKU Vice President for Finance and Administration said at Thursday morning's regents meeting that Graves Gilbert will make decisions on whether or not to retain the center's remaining employees within 10 days of the contract being finalized.
Mead added both parties have a lot to do in a short amount of time.
“We’ll be moving into helping Graves Gilbert transition to opening on Aug. 1. We want to facilitate Graves Gilbert’s family practitioners to be able to meet our leadership on campus, and start having the campus understand what services are going to be provided at our on-campus facility.”
Staff Regent James Kennedy was the lone vote against authorizing the contract with Graves Gilbert. In a prepared statement read following the vote, Kennedy said WKU had "lost something" by privatizing its Health Services center. Kennedy said the employees who had lost their jobs and those who face an uncertain future love WKU and the campus community and have been proud to provide medical services to their patients.
Before Thursday's vote, regents added an amendment to the proposed contract with Graves Gilbert. Before the contract is finalized, WKU and Graves Gilbert will hire a third-party appraiser to assess the value of the center's medical equipment and supplies.
Graves Gilbert would then purchase the equipment and supplies at the assessed value. If the contract between WKU and Graves Gilbert is terminated for any reason, another appraisal of the equipment and supplies will take place, with the university retaining the right to purchase back those items.
WKU has announced that it will stop operating the Health Services facility July 25.