University of Dubuque to Build University Health Center

May 21, 2019 | University Relations staff

DUBUQUE, Iowa – This summer, University of Dubuque will begin construction on a university health center that will provide students with a first point of access for outpatient and preventative medical care services for physical and brain health as well as referral services to medical facilities for more serious ailments.

Barbara Smeltzer (C’66), undergraduate student resources advisor and “Campus Mom,” and her husband, Jack, reached out to UD about the need for a university health center. Countless students over the years have visited Barbara’s office with a headache, upset stomach, minor cut, or some other ailment.

“The more Jack and I talked about the things that I had seen, the more we realized we needed a student health center on campus. How great it would be when students could go to a health center and it’s not all that far from where they are. They’ll be taken care of,” Barbara said.

Jack added, “I’ve always been one who has liked to do things for people and help people. This is a golden opportunity for us to do that. What better thing can we do than to provide students a place for medical care? And we do love the students.”

The Smeltzers provided an investment of $500,000 for the $1.1 million project. They will also provide an estate gift that will endow operation of the university health center.

“We are very grateful for Barbara and Jack’s investment in the University,” said Jeffrey F. Bullock, president of the University. “Barb and Jack are known as the campus Mom and Dad around here. They are such wonderful role models for all of us, and if there is a couple that cares more about students, I’d certainly like to meet them.”

The Smeltzer-Kelly Health Center, named after the Smeltzers and Barbara’s parents, Maj. Gen. Francis J. and Charlotte Kelly, will be conveniently located near the intersection of Grace and Algona streets. The building, roughly 2,400-square-feet, will include two examination rooms, three mental health offices, a waiting area, a procedure room, and office space.

Staffed by certified medical staff such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners, the Smeltzer-Kelly Health Center will also include telehealth care access.

The campus health center was designed to blend in with neighborhood homes to help students feel at ease.

“It will be a friendly place, because it’s a part of campus,” Barbara said.

The University will continue its partnership with UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital to provide medical care to students.

Construction on the Smeltzer-Kelly Health Center is scheduled to be completed fall 2020. Services will be available Monday through Friday at yet to be determined hours.

“The health center will provide some immediate care and diagnosis and peace of mind for the students as well as for their families,” Barbara said, adding. “I hope it is something that will live into the future and benefit students for many years.”