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Watkins Student Support Fund changes lives

February 13, 2023

The physical and mental health of students has always been a priority for the University of Kansas. The Watkins Health Services Patient Assistance Fund has changed students’ lives by making these vital services available without the worry of how to pay for them. The fund was created to ease financial barriers for students. It provides $50 for qualified students each semester for their health care needs. Students can use the money for prescriptions, mental health counseling, labs, imaging, sexual health and family planning, immunizations, and other health care needs. The Watkins Pharmacy offers most prescriptions at a reduced price of around $8 per medication.

KU’s annual 24-hour giving day, One Day. One KU., expanded this fund and allowed for more students to receive assistance. Student mental health has become a growing topic of conversation, and students who are unable to afford treatment feel the consequences the most. One of the largest uses of the Patient Assistance Fund has gone toward KU’s Counseling and Psychological Services Program (CAPS), which offers therapy to students at $15 a session. Their lower rates allow a student to see a counselor three times a semester strictly using the support from the fund.

“Sometimes $8 is a lot to spend when you’re also trying to eat, and that can be a hard decision for some students,” said Ellen Herman, Watkins Health Services administrative director. “We are open to any donation, even the smallest ones go far enough to help a student who is debating dinner also afford their medication.”

Join us for KU’s most transformative giving day, One Day. One KU., on February 16, 2023.

Making sure Jayhawks feel supported in all areas of their college experience is an important aspect of the KU community.

“The Patient Assistance Fund is a valuable resource that can help alleviate the financial burden for physical and mental health services,” said Alicia O’Leary, a social worker at Watkins. “They are grateful for any support that allows them to worry less about finances and focus more on their studies.”

– Pamela Urlacher

KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

Posted on
February 13, 2023
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Michelle Keller
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