Virtual Care Group Partnership

A deeper look at the new 24/7 health services available to Grinnell College students.

November 03, 2021

Grinnell College’s Student Health and Wellness knows that health is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While the SHAW office is only open Monday through Friday 8-5 p.m., there are always options available to students who need physical or mental health support or assistance.

What is Virtual Care Group (VCG)?

Grinnell College Student Health and Wellness 24/7 Physical and Mental Health Services

Virtual Care Group is a company that provides virtual health care service to higher education institutes in the continual United States.

How to Access VCG Services

Activate VCG account: SHAW recommends all students do this when they can. Being activated saves you a step when needing services when you are ill. Having your account active means you have quicker access to care.

Once activated, you can log in and access your free telehealth services.

Physical Health Appointments

  • Booked online, by phone, or via the app.
  • Download The Virtual Care Group app via the Apple Store and Google Play.

Mental Health Appointments

  • You may call the Need to Talk line at 641-269-4404.
    Or call VCG Behavioral Health Line 855-522-1226.
  • At the time of calling you can either speak with someone right away if you are in crisis or schedule a future appointment with a provider. You can also download their app (via the Apple Store or Google play) to register and make appointments.

Wait Times

For medical appointments, VCG guarantees that you will be able to speak with someone within 2 hours for medical services. While most of the time the wait is much shorter, you should be prepared for the possibility of having to wait.

For mental health appointments, wait times are shorter for the initial call. The average is less than 10 minutes for behavioral initial calls.

Scheduling Services

You will meet with a provider via phone or video. If you don’t have a private location, you can email SHAW to pre-arrange a location for an upcoming appointment. While there are many providers in Iowa for VCG, specialties and specific requests may take longer to schedule. Just know, that you can schedule with the person of your choice and schedule with someone else if you feel you need care before your ideal provider is available.

Perhaps you want to see a male provider who speaks Mandarin but that provider isn’t available until next month. You can schedule to see your ideal provider next month and with a different provider next week. Or you can schedule with your ideal provider and call the Need to Talk line (641-269-4404) to speak with someone as the need and your schedule allow.

If you have any concerns about scheduling, reach out to the Virtual Care Group.

Need to Talk? 641-269-4404

Grinnell College's Need to Talk line is a number that students can call that connects them directly with a provider they speak with. Currently, this number connects students directly to the VCG mental health line. The person who answers is a counselor who can speak with you if you are in distress. They can also help schedule appointments.

VCG Psychiatry

While VCG does offer psychiatric services, Grinnell College does not cover the cost of them. This is NOT a free service for Grinnell College students. If you chose to utilize VCG Psychiatry you will be required to enter a credit card number. You will be charged around $215 (initial) or $100 (return). Students will get a receipt that they can submit to their insurance company, but services must be paid for out-of-pocket at the time of service. If interested in paying for VCG psychiatry, please call 866-533-1827.

SHAW has a telepsychiatry option available in partnership with the University of Iowa. Call SHAW at 641-269-3230 to schedule a consult about this free service.

Questions or Concerns

VCG partners with many colleges and each has their own contract. Students should never have to enter a credit card or insurance card for any of the basic services. If you have any questions or run into any problems, VCG and SHAW are here to help. We recommend contacting VCG directly. However, you can always let SHAW know about your experience.

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