There will be no major changes to the Health Center and the College will hire a new director of health services to replace Sandra Hayes, Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster announced in an email yesterday. The College had been considering outsourcing all or part of the Health Center’s operations.

The announcement came only hours before a planned demonstration in opposition to the possibility of outsourcing any part of the campus’ health services. According to the protest’s Facebook group, around 60 students were planning to attend. 

In place of the demonstration, Foster hosted a forum attended by 10 students. 

Foster first announced that his office would be reviewing the current Health Center structure at the beginning of the semester. 

“This is an area that is changing in dramatic and rapid ways,” Foster said regarding health care in a January interview with the Orient. “The whole landscape is shifting, not just nationally, but right in our own town. It seemed like the right time for us to look at what might be possible.” 
As the College announced developments in this decision, several students, led by juniors Kaylee Wolfe, Ian Kline, Adriane Krul and Anna Reyes, expressed a desire for further transparency and student involvement.

“My concern is that because that information hasn’t been totally forthcoming in this process, we haven’t been able to participate as informed students,” Wolfe said.

The petition expressed concern regarding the potential for outsourcing, including the future of the Health Center staff and familiarity with the Bowdoin community.

Initially intended to address student questions, the open forum held occurred yesterday also allowed Pacelli and Foster to explain their reasoning in coming to this decision.

“I think we did learn a lot from students about the things that are most important to them about how the Health Center operates now both in terms of the things that are working well but also the things that we might do differently,” said Pacelli.

The administration will now begin a search for a new director of health services going forward, involving students and Health Center employees in the process.

-Marisa McGarry contributed to this report.