Health and Wellness

Covid-19   Monkeypox

Good physical and mental health can lead to a more productive and enjoyable college experience. At PennWest California, we care about your wellbeing. Trained professionals are available to respond to your health and wellness needs, and to guide you toward a healthful lifestyle.

Find information for:

Student Health Center

The Student Health Center on the ground floor of Carter Hall is staffed by a medical director, nurse supervisor, certified registered nurse practitioner and registered nurses.

The health center provides quality health care for students and emergency care for all members of the campus community. Healthcare professionals at the center can direct students to other healthcare providers when necessary, work with special populations to address their specific needs, and develop and deliver health and wellness education programs.

Contact Information

Student Health Center

Carter Hall G-53
Phone: 724-938-4232
Fax: 724-938-4509

Health Center Hours

8 a.m. - 7 p.m.  Monday - Friday
Closed weekends

Download the Provider's (MD & CRNP) Schedule

To gain entrance to the Health Center call

In case of an emergency after hours, call 911 or Public Safety 724-938-4299

The health center provides quality health care for students and emergency care for all members of the campus community. Healthcare professionals at the center can direct students to other healthcare providers when necessary, work with special populations to address their specific needs, and develop and deliver health and wellness education programs.

Services at the Student Health Center include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessment/diagnosis and treatment.
  • Urgent, emergent care and stabilization.
  • Referrals to outside agencies, such as specialists, emergency room, Med Express or outpatient testing, as needed.
  • Allergy injections. (We will keep your allergy serum.)
  • B12 and Depo Provera injections.
  • Rapid strep test.
  • Urine screening.
  • Women's Health Clinic services.
  • Education for healthy lifestyles.

Student Health Insurance

Good health is an integral part of your PennWest California experience. Although health insurance is not required for your visit to the University Health Center, PennWest California strongly recommends that all students have medical insurance coverage. 

The campus Health Center offers a variety of healthcare services for PennWest California students, but it does not have any contracts for direct payment to any health insurance companies for clinic or ancillary services, and it does not bill any insurance companies directly

You are responsible for paying all bills for clinic visits, medications, lab work and certain procedures that you may need outside of the PennWest California Health Center.

If you are not currently covered by a health insurance plan, it is recommended that you visit to explore your options for coverage on the insurance marketplace.

Read an open letter to students from Pennsylvania's Office of the Insurance Commissioner. 

Counseling Center

The Counseling Center advises students on ways to make the best personal, social, psychological and career choices during a time of transition in their lives. The center can make referrals to a long-term treatment provider and direct you to other campus resources.

Please note: The Counseling Center is not available during PennWest California's summer sessions; regular hours resume at the start of the fall semester. Students in need of summertime counseling services should reach out to their family counseling provider or local public service agencies. Pennsylvania residents can find a county-by-county list of crisis intervention services here.

FOR MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCIES: Dial 911 or your local emergency number; call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255; text HOME to the National Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or visit your local hospital's emergency room. More hotlines and other resources are listed below.

If you need help finding a therapist in your local area this summer, contact Rachel Michaels, Associate Director for Wellness, at


The mission of the Counseling Center is to enhance the academic experience at PennWest California by fostering students' personal development, thereby enabling them to attain their personal and academic goals while evidencing integrity, civility and responsibility. To accomplish this mission, the Counseling Center faculty provide quality university level, developmentally focused psychological services for students and provide consultation and education services to the campus community.

  • Hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday (fall and spring semesters)
  • Counseling Center: 724-938-4056
  • Emergency Contacts: Public Safety, 724-938-4357 (HELP) or 9-1-1
  • Hotlines and Other Resources
  • PLEASE NOTE: Counseling Center faculty emails are not monitored 24/7. If you are in need of immediate emergency assistance, please call 911, PennWest California Public Safety @ 724-938-HELP or go to your nearest emergency room.

The Counseling Center in Carter Hall is staffed by one licensed psychologist and two licensed professional counselors. These therapists aim to help students overcome personal issues and stressful situations such as:

  • Relationship distress.
  • Academic difficulties.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Alcohol and/or drug use.
  • Trauma.

You can feel comfortable about coming to the Counseling Center. Services are strictly confidential according to state and federal law, and there is no additional charge to California University students.

Services provided in the PennWest California Counseling Center include:

  • Drug and alcohol programs. The Counseling Center provides an education and intervention program for students with past or current drug and/or alcohol problems. If you need more intensive services, the center can provide assessment and referrals.
  • Psychological consultation. You may visit the Counseling Center for a psychological consultation or short-term counseling, a referral to a long-term treatment provider, or information about other helpful resources. Services are confidential; visit the center or call 724-938-4056 for an appointment.
  • Crisis intervention. If you need help during a crisis, simply walk in to the Counseling Center during regular hours for an emergency psychological evaluation, or call to request a consultation with one of the center's therapists. After hours, call the California University Police Department at 724-938-4357 (HELP) for emergency assistance.

The University has formal agreements with a local psychiatrist who is available for psychiatric consultations. During a mental health emergency, the psychiatrist may provide medical services beyond the scope of the Counseling Center. The psychiatric consultant, as well as selected professionals at local clinics, can provide a broad range of mental health, alcohol and other drug assessment and treatment services to assist during a crisis.

  • There are many people to help you at PennWest California, and our counselors have developed a strong referral system. For example, they can refer you to other campus offices for help with financial aid, tutoring and academic advising. Counselors also can make referrals to the Student Health Center, the Office for Students with Disabilities, the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, the Women's Center, and campus ministries.


The Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Prevention Awareness Recovery Center, called The PARC, provides support, services, resources and referrals for PennWest California students in recovery from addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.

Staff and Hours
  • Office is closed for the summer.
  • Student Wellness Support Services - 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 724-938-4775
  • Graduate Assistants - Monday through Friday
  • Student Workers - Monday through Friday
  • Associate Vice President for Student Affairs - 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 724-938-4232
  • Office for Students with Disabilities - 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 724-938-4012
  • Counseling Center Counselors - 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 724-938-4056
  • Wellness Center Staff - Registered nurse available around the clock Monday through Friday, and from 7 p.m.-7 a.m. weekends; 724-938-4232
Emergency Contact
  • In case of emergency, call 911 or contact University Police at 724-938-4357 (HELP) or 724-938-4299.

    To schedule an appointment to speak with an alcohol and other drug certified counselor, call 724-938-4056.

The PARC is a safe, worry-free lounge where you may spend time and build supportive relationships. It is open to all students, whether you are struggling with the use of alcohol and other drugs, are supporting the recovery of others, or want to learn more about addiction and recovery.

The PARC also offers information about Alcoholic Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and other 12-step meetings in the area.

All of PennWest California's Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) programs and offices, including The PARC, are located on the ground floor of Carter Hall in Suite G-45, adjoining the Wellness Center. 

Class absences for medical reasons:                    

Class absences are excused for medical reasons documented by medical personnel, university activities approved by the appropriate vice president or designee, and/or for personal exigencies, as defined by the faculty member. Activities to be recognized as an excused absence include but are not limited to: scheduled athletic competitions; academic competitions in which the student is a participant; military duties; auto accidents; death of an immediate family member; and medical emergencies. Verification of such absences may be required by the instructor, and the student is responsible for make-up work as required by the instructor.

Students with excused absences are permitted to make up missed work and are responsible for all missed assignments without penalty. In cases where there have been significant absences, the student should consult with the instructor and academic advisor to determine if completion of course requirements is possible or reasonable.

(see full class attendance policy) Policy AC013: Class Attendance (


Class withdrawals for medical reasons:

Any student (undergraduate or graduate), who decides to withdraw from the University during any academic term, regardless of the reason (including medical), must contact the Office of the Registrar immediately.

A university withdrawal beyond the last day to withdraw deadline may be requested to the academic dean for extenuating circumstances (e.g., illness, family tragedy) up through the last instructional day of the semester or term. Such requests must be made in writing to the academic dean over the student’s program (major) and include an explanation as to why the withdrawal did not occur by the deadline, and documentation of the extenuating circumstance(s).

(see full class withdrawal policy) Withdrawals and Refunds | PennWest California (

Learn how to live a healthier lifestyle.

In the Health and Wellness Education Center, students, graduate assistants and staff promote health and wellness opportunities for the campus community.

The center in Carter Hall, Room G-82, is also the meeting place for HEART, the Health Education Awareness Resource Team. This student-led organization promotes health and wellness on campus through drug and alcohol awareness programs; STD programming and clinics; nutrition, stress and body image events; smoking cessation programs; the annual Health Fair, and more.