SHAW and You

About SHAW

Student Health and Wellness (SHAW) strives to be transparent and allow students a safe place to not only receive treatment and information about health concerns, but also be a safe place to offer feedback.

Student Health and Wellness (SHAW) is dedicated to providing Grinnell College students with the highest quality of care and to protecting the privacy of student information. For these reasons, staff use email only to respond to general, non-medical/clinical questions and to send appointment reminders. Emails are not monitored regularly. If you need to speak with your counselor or nurse, call our main number at 641-269-3230 during business hours. If they are unavailable, leave a message with our front office.

Phone: 641-269-3230

Fax: 641-269-4988
Address: 1119 6th Ave, Grinnell IA 50112
Email: (Please note that this email is NOT monitored constantly nor is email is not a secure way to send health information.)

Students Only

  • 24/7 Counseling Hotline: 641-269-4404 - for current students only
  • Online submission of topics for Student Advisory Committee to discuss.
  • Patient Satisfaction Survey (will re-open August 2022)

To request your immunizations or any other health records from SHAW, please complete the records request form. You will then be emailed a Release of Information document to be completed electronically. Please note, that we do not consider email a secure way to send medical records, so all records will be sent via certified mail or faxed.

SHAW Services

How much do SHAW Services Cost?

  • All services at SHAW are free. This includes appointments with our counselors, nurses, PA, TelePsychiatry, and in-town transportation.
  • If a student is referred off campus, this is NOT free. Health insurance will be charged and a co-pay may be required at the time of service.

Will my parents be able to talk to providers at SHAW? Will they be able to see my records?

  • Students over 18 must sign a release for SHAW to share information with parents.
  • Parents may request records for students under 18. These records are no longer available to parents once a student turns 18.
  • Please note if a student is hospitalized for a serious condition or injury, Student Affairs would be the department that would make the student’s emergency contact aware of the situation if appropriate. 

I need to have surgery. Who can help me with accommodations on campus? Will I need a note for my professors?

  • SHAW sends letters of support for students how have to miss class for more than one day but less than a week.
  • If an accommodation needs to be in place beyond a week, students should work with Disability Resources.
  • At any point, a student can seek support from Academic Advising

New Student Health Requirements 

I am having trouble logging in to the Student Portal.

  • Students use their Grinnell College Single Sign on to access the Health Portal. 
  • Be sure you are using your Grinnell College email and password. 
  • If you are having difficulties with this or DUO, contact IT help desk. SHAW does not have access to support login issues.

My medical clearance items are incomplete but I don’t know what I need to do? 

  • If you've entered the item but it isn't showing as complete, don't worry yet! A nurse must manually review the information before marking it as compliant. If they have any questions or need more or different information, they will send you a secure message through the portal. You will receive an email to your Grinnell College email letting you know you have a message.
  • To view messages, or if you have a question you would like to ask, you can log into the Health Portal and hit Messages on the left navigation. You can also call 641-269-3230 during office hours.

Are there certain forms that need to be filled out?

Do I need a flu shot before I come to campus? 

  • This is not a requirement, but is encouraged for all students and employees. A flu shot clinic will be held in the fall to provide easy access to this when they are available for the upcoming flu season. Keep an eye on communications for specific information like dates and locations.

Can I get immunizations at SHAW? If not, where can I get them?

  • SHAW does not provide the required immunizations. However, every fall we partner with the local Public Health department to have an immunizations clinic for students still missing some.
  • Those that miss this clinic can meet with a nurse to arrange an appointment at the Public Health location.

Does health insurance cover the cost of these immunizations?

  • It depends on your health insurance plan. Those on the student insurance have the basic immunizations recommended by the CDC covered. Additional TB testing will NOT be covered.

Health Insurance

Why do we need health insurance if services are free?

  • We are a small clinic with limited services. If someone has an emergency or something beyond our office’s ability, they will be referred off-campus. While no one likes to think this will happen to them, the college has seen enough students receive large medical bills due to lack of health insurance to make this a requirement.

I have the college insurance.  What are my benefits and how do I access my insurance card? 

  • You must waive or enroll in health insurance every year. Once this is done and the service is active (August 14th), students can log into to create an account and access their insurance information including a card. Students who do not waive or enroll will be enrolled automatically and have access to their card mid to late September.
  • Physical cards are NOT mailed unless they are requested.

Do I have coverage after I graduate? 

  • Yes, until August 13. Coverage starts on August 14th and ends on August 13th of the following year. Even if a student graduates in May, they still have coverage until the end date of August 13th. 

As an integrated health, counseling, and wellness center, we strive to be transparent in what students can expect regarding how they will be treated in terms of respect and confidentiality. 


Your care at Student Health and Wellness (SHAW) will be confidential. We, SHAW staff/providers/student staff, will neither acknowledge to others that you are a client here nor discuss your treatment here without your permission. There are some limits to confidentiality, but they occur only in extreme situations. Your provider will discuss the limits to confidentiality with you during your first appointment. You, of course, are free to discuss your care at SHAW with others.

Many students find it helpful to authorize us to discuss their care at SHAW with a third party, such as their physician, faculty, or a staff member at Academic Advising. You can discuss whether such sharing would be helpful to you with your provider. If you decide that you would like us to communicate about you with someone else, we will ask you to sign a release (authorization) form. You will determine the nature and extent of the information to be shared.

Occasionally a third party consults with our staff out of concern for a student. In those instances, unless you have already authorized us to do so, we do not reveal whether or not you are a client here nor, if you are one of our clients, information about your treatment. However, we do try to assist such third parties by providing general guidance.

Students who participate in counseling at SHAW must agree to the SHAW Counseling General Consent (PDF).

Limits to Confidentiality

There are several situations in which confidentiality must sometimes be broken.

  • Suicidality/homicidality
    When there is a reasonable suspicion that you are at imminent risk of committing suicide or homicide, or if you describe yourself to your nurse or counselor as being at such risk, we will take action to protect your safety and the safety of others. Sometimes this will require breaking confidentiality.
  • Child abuse/abuse of dependent adults
    If you are a legal minor and report that you are being abused by an adult caretaker, we are required by law to report this to the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS). Similarly, if you report that you are abusing a child or a dependent adult, we are mandated to notify DHS.
  • Court-subpoenaed records
    In rare instances, the courts subpoena records. In such a case, we would work with you and with the court to try to limit the release of information to only that which was absolutely necessary.
  • Emergency care
    If you require emergency medical or mental health care, we will provide relevant information about you to those involved in accessing and providing your care.

All students must sign the Authorization to Release/Exchange Information before any protected health information can be released to anyone, including parents/guardians. This form must be signed before a SHAW provider or staff member can discuss your student’s health information with you. We realize that this is sometimes inconvenient, however your student’s privacy is our priority.

This form cannot legally be signed prior to an appointment with a SHAW provider or staff member. This form can only be signed at the time of appointment or for appointments that have occurred in the past. The form will stay valid for one year unless specified otherwise or revoked in writing.

  1. You have the right to receive consultation and treatment in a timely fashion which is commensurate with your symptoms.
    Your corresponding responsibility is to be proactive about contacting Student Health and Wellness (SHAW) when you start to feel badly, rather than waiting until your need is urgent. You are also responsible for either attending or cancelling your scheduled appointments.
  2. You have the right to be fully informed regarding your health and mental health care.
    Your corresponding responsibility is to be honest and accurate in communicating with SHAW staff; to ask questions; and to be an active collaborator in exploring and implementing treatment recommendations. You are also responsible for either following through on treatment recommendations or for letting your nurse/counselor know why you are unable or unwilling to do so.
  3. You have the right to refuse any recommended treatment and to request a second opinion.
    Your corresponding responsibility is to communicate with your nurse/counselor regarding your reactions to treatment and to treatment recommendations.
  4. You have the right to confidentiality.
    Your corresponding responsibility is to understand the limits to confidentiality and to ask questions if you do not. It is also your responsibility to recognize the confidentiality rights of any other students you see at SHAW.

Diverse community of people is a core value of Grinnell College.  We recognize and acknowledge that implicit bias, oppression, discrimination, prejudice, and inequitable systems of privilege and power impact our campus community. Studies show that these factors affect individual physical, mental, and emotional health, sense of belonging on campus, and academic achievement.  As SHAW’s mission is to promote the academic, personal, and social growth of Grinnell students by providing, and facilitating access to, high quality medical and mental health care services, we are committed to the promotion and affirmation of diversity in its broadest sense.

Diversity is that which makes us different from each other, including who we are, where we’re from, what we believe, who we love, and our current circumstances, abilities, and lived experiences.

All staff members and trainees are expected to respect the dignity and worth of the individual, and to strive for the preservation and protection of fundamental human rights. We aim to maintain an atmosphere of respect and trust in which we feel free to explore and discuss our attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors in relation to others who are similar to and different from.

The professional ethics and standards of the various health disciplines represented at SHAW place a high value on the dignity and worth of individuals regardless of their:

  • affectional orientation 
  • age
  • ancestry
  • body size
  • ethnicity
  • gender expression
  • gender identity
  • immigration status
  • marital status 
  • national origin
  • parental status
  • physical/mental ability
  • political beliefs
  • race
  • religious beliefs
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • socioeconomic status
  • spiritual identities
  • status as a veteran 

As a healthcare organization serving the campus community, we work to:

  • Maintain an environment that respects and welcomes people from diverse backgrounds;
  • Affirm and honor diversity in all its forms; 
  • Challenge systems of oppression to create a more inclusive campus community;
  • Recognize and eliminate the prejudice and discrimination that have traditionally affected healthcare delivery;
  • Reduce health disparities; and
  • Continually refine our cultural awareness and competence through professional development, engage in ongoing self-examination of our biases, and be open to feedback.

We want to make it impeccably clear that our staff here at the Student Health and Wellness Center (SHAW) stands in solidarity with black people. All lives will not matter until Black Lives Matter

The SHAW team remains troubled about racial and cultural inequalities in our communities, in our country, and in the health care system in our nation, impacting life outcomes across the life span. We stand with all the families, friends, and communities who have lost loved ones senselessly due to racism. Ever increasing lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic enigmatically by Black and Brown communities only adds gasoline to the fire of injustice and inequality.

We know that the global protests in support of Black lives are essential to motivation of systemic change. At the same time, we acknowledge that witnessing police brutality against protesters and Black people in the news or social media can be overwhelming, confusing, and traumatizing. We are also aware that engaging in uncomfortable conversations about race, social justice, and bringing equality to the foreground can lead to witnessing trusted friends, peers, family, and colleagues as having problematic or racist interpretations.

As part of health and wellness services available to you, our staff counselors are ready to offer our support throughout these challenging times. We also understand if you would prefer a BIPOC (black/ indigenous/ people of color) clinician with whom to discuss these issues. We are happy to help guide to you to a variety of services and clinicians, on and off campus as well as virtually. Here is more information on how to get in touch with a mental health provider.

We know Grinnell values being a learning environment, and in line with that value we hope everyone on our campus is open to learning more about multicultural mental health needs, histories, successes, and practices in our communities. We also recognize the important support and healing that can occur through the practice of multicultural counseling. Here is a list of Black mental health resources online, and another with resources for self-care and mental health.

Everyone here at SHAW values and supports all members of our campus community. We are here to listen without judgment if you have questions or concerns about what these protests mean and your emotional response to them, regardless of who you are. This is a journey we are all traveling together, and we can help each other learn and cultivate an inclusive environment.

All lives will not matter until Black Lives Matter.

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