Courtesy of the Student Health Center Website

By Eva Lynch

While many students have taken advantage of the free resources offered by Student Health Services at Catholic University, few are familiar with the seven associates who provide them.  The relationship between these providers and the students they serve is a special one, and getting to know them more personally fosters this relationship.

The first friendly face that students meet is Gina Pryor, an employee of Health Services for 13 years. Among her many responsibilities as office administrator, she helps students book and sign into their appointments. 

“I love being able to connect and interact with the students and be the first one that they see at the front desk,” Pryor said.

Pryor’s hidden talents include singing and dancing, and she is a big fan of “taco Tuesdays” and the Pittsburgh Steelers. You can find her driving to work on Facebook Live, wishing all her Facebook friends a happy day.

After signing in with Pryor, students wait to be seen by one of two nurses: Nurse Jane Ighalo-Edoro or Nurse Rose Mbu.  

Ighalo-Edoro, who goes by Nurse Jane in the office, has worked at the Student Health Center for four years and is motivated by her passion for working with young adults as well as her love of helping people. She loves the cheeseburgers from the Student Restaurant, and she likes to crack jokes and hear about sports at CUA from athletes when they come in for an appointment. 

Mbu, who prefers to be called Nurse Rose, has enjoyed working at Catholic since she began in 2015 because it fulfills her lifelong dream of being a nurse. Mbu arrived in Germany with no prior knowledge of the language except for how to count to ten, but she left fluent after completing her schooling.  She is also fluent in French. Her go-to song for her commute to work is Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran’s newest song, and she advises Catholic University students to stay true to themselves.

After seeing the nurses for a preliminary examination, students are moved to an examination room to be seen by one of three of the nurse practitioners.

Nurse Practitioner (NP) Cathy Hampton works at Catholic University’s Student Health Center along with her job at another clinic. She has worked at Catholic for five years, and she enjoys being around students, even when they are sick. Hampton follows Catholic’s tennis team closely as an avid tennis player herself, and she recently saw and loved the “9 to 5” production at the Hartke Theater.  

NP Emma Toussaint has worked at the Student Health Center for two years, and she loves interacting with students because they challenge her.

“I enjoy this job because it’s diverse,” Toussaint said. “I never know what my students are coming in with, so I have to be prepared for anything and everything.”

She enjoys the soups in the Pryzbyla Center during cold weather, and she also frequents Murphy’s Grill. Her music choice for the commute to work fluctuates between pop and Gospel stations, but her go-to song right now is “Señorita,” by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello.

NP Tiffany Yoder has only worked here for one year, but so far, she has loved working with the student population. Her favorite memory here was DeStress Fest, with which she assisted last year, because she felt students were educated about health in a fun environment. She enjoys watching the university’s football team and listening to Taylor Swift, but she is usually singing nursery rhymes with her two young daughters. She wants students to understand that their punctuality to appointments is appreciated, as it enables the providers to avoid the domino effect of pushing an appointment to a later time.  

Director of Student Health Dr. Loretta Staudt has served at Student Health Services as a physician for 28 years. Some of her favorite memories include watching students who have come to the Student Health Center and received serious diagnoses finally graduate.  

In the mornings, you can find Dr. Staudt swimming in the DuFour Center, and on the way home, you can expect she’ll be listening to Bruce Springsteen. She recently picked up quilting and has played piano for eight years.  

“You have to put yourself first,” Dr. Staudt advised students. “You are the one who can take care of yourself the best.”

Many of the associates say their least favorite trend is vaping. Contraception is also a topic of concern for one of the Nurse Practitioners, Emma Toussaint.

“Unprotected sex bothers me as a trend because people come in wanting to get tested for STDs, and when they find out they don’t have anything, they just go and do it again.” NP Toussaint continued, “A condom can help you so much. It’s very dangerous to expose yourself.”  

The associates also expressed that they love interacting with the students. Many of their favorite memories are when students have reached out after an appointment, letting the providers know how appreciative they are.Overall, the providers at the Student Health Center want you to know that they are there for you. The providers want students to know that they can come in for medical attention or an open ear—but make sure you make an appointment online or by calling Ms. Pryor.

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