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Letter to the Editor: Do not blame university services

By Sandra S. Johnson, Vice President for Student Affairs

I found Alexi Knock's article Aneurysm Almost Kills Student to contain a series of uncharacteristic factual errors and oversights, and the implied lack of consideration and concern for the well being of our students is simply not accurate.

Few universities offer the layered support Hofstra has in place for students experiencing concerns that require transportation to the nearest Emergency Room for medical treatment. Our comprehensive system begins with the certification of all Public Safety Officers as first responders. This allows for quick on-site, pre-hospital care by an officer and saves valuable time that would be lost if our practice was only to rely on ambulance service. In situations where the student is alert, Public Safety is able to expeditiously transport them to the nearest ER in significantly less time, insuring fast access to emergency medical personnel. Most universities rely only on ambulance response in all matters. In addition, we not only have a Resident Assistant in every hall, but also have a professional staff member on call who goes to the hospital whenever a student is transported. Our collaborative relationship with Nassau County Medical Center is important to us and we meet regularly with the director of emergency care. Our close relationship with North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System is also helpful when a transfer is required.

I would also note that in situations where a student is transported to another facility for treatment, our practice is to stay with students until members of their family are able to be on-site. Support does not end with medical concerns; after the crisis the student's advisement dean will contact faculty and assist in facilitating any missed work and/or other academic accommodations.

We are all delighted in the outcome of Molly [Cullen]'s situation; for privacy reasons I will not discuss the particulars of her situation except to state that we were at her side and assisted her in every way possible until her family arrived. We are a student-centered organization that works with our colleagues and partners to develop programs and practices that support students in reaching their academic and personal goals—our focus is on our students.

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