Student Health Services Receives New AAAHS Accreditation 

As Stony Brook University’s Student Health Services continues to add new services for students, it is also not resting on its laurels. The department recently received accreditation through the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Services (AAAHS) after a challenging and thorough review of its facilities and offerings. 

“[This is] not required but we do this to raise the bar,” said Marisa Bisiani, associate vice president of Health, Wellness and Prevention Services in the Division of Student Affairs.

Bisiani explained that this rigorous accreditation surveys a multitude of things, including quality metrics and student satisfaction, and looks at services offered to students. “They survey every single facet of our operation from a medical perspective, our policies, how we practice, how well we practice,” she said. “They also look at our environment of care — is the environment safe and clean. Everything.”

While Bisiani is an integral part of the accreditation, she explained that Karen Dybus, interim director of patient services and operations, Student Health Services, was the driving force behind the survey. Every three years, AAAHS sends over its latest operating standards that need to be met in order to be accredited, and the committee begins putting together all of its information. However, Dybus said that even though the accreditation renewal only comes around every three years, Student Health Services needs to keep up with all of the protocols and have documentation for them prior to working towards being re-accredited. 

“We need to be proactive on a regular basis to make sure that we are fulfilling all the things that we need to in a timely manner,” Dybus said. This includes running at least one drill every quarter, two of which are CPR drills.

According to the AAAHS, accreditation ensures continued dedication to high-quality patient healthcare, which is something both Bisiani and Dybus feel is important to the Stony Brook University community. “It does signify to students and their parents and legal guardians that there is someplace on campus that is accessible to them, and has a real quality of care,” Dybus said. 

But, noted Dybus, it’s not just about the accreditation. By examining the processes of Student Health Services on a regular basis, it allows the staff to be aware of possible gaps, problems or outdated procedures. 

“If we do find that there’s something that we can either improve, whether it’s from a clinical standpoint or business standpoint, we can study, measure and come up with a formal report and recommendation,” said Dybus, explaining that after implement recommendations, new studies are commissioned on an ongoing basis to make sure that the department gets the level of outcome that they are striving for. 

“It’s all about process improvement, continual improvement; we’re always trying to do better,” said Bisiani. “Students deserve quality care. They deserve care that they would want themselves to receive or anyone. So we do it because that’s our responsibility. That’s what our mission is.”

In addition to its array of services for both mental and physical health, Student Health Services highlights the following: 

  • External prescriptions: Student Health Services will fill prescriptions from doctors without students having to go off campus. 
  • Lab work: For students who need blood work, it can be scheduled through Student Health Services on campus, without having to find a third-party lab. 
  • Telehealth: Outside of normal business hours, Student Health Services offers telehealth appointments through TimelyCare so students can get care quickly. 

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