By Myles Goldman
Audrey Gottbaum joined the Center for Healthy Living staff as the campus nurse on Jan. 4, replacing Mary Fletcher, who was campus nurse during the 2017-2018 academic year. The previous nurse, Constance Montalbano, retired on Feb. 28, 2017, after serving as campus nurse for seven years. There was no nurse on campus during the fall 2018 semester.
Gottbaum spent over 20 years at NYU’s nurse-run health center for medical students before joining LIU Post. In her new position this semester, Gottbaum has not yet seen many students. No announcement was made about her arrival on campus, according to director of the Center for Healthy Living, Lynne Schwartz, and many students still seem to be unaware that there is a nurse on campus.
“In a school health setting, the numbers will tend to vary greatly from day to day, but I expect for them to increase certainly as people become more aware that there is a nurse here,” Gottbaum said.
Although there is now a nurse on campus, there is no physician on campus. Gottbaum refers students to the Riland Health Care Center on the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) campus for medical services that she does not provide.
“If a student comes in, I’m going to find out why they came to see me, write down their medical history, [and] perform an appropriate physical examination,” Gottbaum said.
“We can only do the basics like take their temperature, [and] their pulse; it’s called a triage.” Schwartz said. “After that, we refer them over to NYIT, free of charge.”
“Students provide their own transportation to NYIT. Students are sent to NYIT every day,” Scwartz said. While the students are being treated off campus, the Center for Healthy Living still stays in touch with the students and the NYIT staff to assure proper care is given. Gottbaum may also refer students to a local Northwell Healthcare facility, like the hospital in Westbury.
“If a student feels sick, for example has a fever, they will be referred to Riland Healthcare Center, where they can be prescribed medications,” Gottbaum said.
Junior broadcasting major Asia Turner, like other students, had no idea there is a campus nurse.
“I didn’t even know there was a nurse on campus, honestly; they need to advertise it better,” Turner said. “It’s good for the school to have a nurse because it’s much more convenient than having to leave campus when you’re sick.”
Courtney Scanapico, a junior healthcare administration major, was also unaware of the nurse on campus.
“Wait, we have a nurse, wow, I’m shocked,” Scanapico said. “I’m surprised that it took this long to have a school nurse. With a school that has a lot of students who live on campus, it’s important to have a nurse.”
Gottbaum is on campus three days a week, on Monday from 9-4 p.m., on Wednesday from 10-4 p.m. and on Friday from 10-2:30 p.m. She can be reached at (516) 299-3468.
Schwartz anticipates that there will be a nurse on campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the near future. Students can meet with Gottbaum at the Center for Healthy Living, in Post Hall, Room C2 without an appointment.