UPDATED: April 27, 2016 at 9: 57 a.m.
Given ongoing construction to the Smith Campus Center that will include work in the evenings and on weekends, Harvard University Health Services will temporarily relocate its after hours urgent care services to the Law School’s Pound Hall.
In an email to Harvard affiliates on Monday, HUHS Director Paul J. Barreira and University Executive Vice President Katie N. Lapp wrote that HUHS “will be required to temporarily move urgent care services (which are open 24 hours a day, every day) to an alternate location after regular business hours,” citing the construction on the Smith Center, which is the main location for HUHS.
While searching for the new outpatient care space, Barreira said he and his staff “looked at everything,” even a potential travel trailer. The decision to select Pound Hall—currently home to the Law School’s HUHS clinic—came because of the building’s pre-existing license from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Barreira added that Pound Hall’s proximity to the College and the Quad made the space ideal for an overnight care center, and that the influx of College students should not overwhelm the resources available at Pound Hall.
“This is the most accessible option to the College population,” Barreira said. “The priority in my mind was a location that would be the least disruptive to the College population.”
HUHS has not yet decided on a date to open Pound Hall as an overnight care center, as they must obtain an additional license from the Department of Public Health to use the building as an overnight care location, as opposed to a solely daytime clinic. Barreira said he predicts the transition to begin in June, as long as the University’s request for a license is expedited.
Following this predicted schedule, according to Barreira, the clinic at the Smith Campus Center will likely open in about two years, coinciding with the end of construction at the Smith Center.
“The potential shut down in utilities on nights and weekends is expected to continue as long as the construction is going on, so it didn’t feel reasonable or even plausible that we could set an earlier time and stick to it,” Barreira said.
Meanwhile, a renovation of the Smith Campus Center is in full swing.
—Staff writer Jalin P. Cunningham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @JalinCunningham.
—Staff writer Ignacio Sabate can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ignacio_sabate.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
CORRECTION: April 27, 2016
A previous version of this article indicated that Harvard University Health Services Director Paul J. Barreira looked at "everything" for the new inpatient care space. In fact, he did so for the new outpatient space.
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