Dr. June C. Samuel, one of Tuskegee’s most beloved faculty members and administrators, has been with the university for nearly 30 years and has certainly made her mark in the health care industry. During her tenure, she has served as the director of Student Health Services and provided leadership for the planning, implementation, coordination and assessment of the University Student Health Services and Programs.
Playing a Key Role
When deciding on a career, Samuel says the health care field has always suited her interests, based on her educational background and skills. She received her master’s degree (M.Ed.) in counseling and student development from Tuskegee University, and has completed the Health Care Executive Certification along with being a certified Health Educator and HIV/AIDS Educator.
“I knew choosing this profession would be challenging, but also very rewarding. Since being at Tuskegee, I’ve been given the chance to provide opportunities that have an impact on others,” she shared. “
When it comes to knowing the ins and outs of student health services, Samuel can certainly attest that the industry is constantly evolving. Samuel works with the department of Student Health Services to ensure that Tuskegee University provides primary health care and education to all enrolled students and promotes the use of preventive methods through health education and counseling.
“There are always new regulations, whether its federal, HIPAA privacy rules, or state regulations, and because of the constant changes we try to incorporate those rules in what specifically will work with our university since we are in a rural area,” she says.
Samuel says without the help of her health team, nothing would be possible.
“Within the health care field, there are always challenges and its helpful to know I can rely on a team of professionals,” she added.
In addition to providing emotional and physical support for students, Samuel strives to educate students on the importance of knowing how to select the correct health insurance.
“Tuskegee is unique, because the university has its own health insurance program. We try to give students an understanding of how the system works, because it’s complex and one day, they will become consumers trying to figure out how it works on their own,” Samuels noted.
Samuel and her team ensures that all 3,100 students are cared for, and they also focus on being the “gateway to health care” for students.
“We guide them to other providers in our network in case they happen to need more care than we can provide,” she added.
Closing the door
Aside from providing clinical services, Samuel coordinates several outreach events for students in regards to health education and prevention.
Samuel has been known to host the annual health fairs on campus, as well collaborating with student organizations to help start the dialogue about HIV/AIDS and drug and alcohol issues.
“Without the help of students, the conversation of these subjects would be silenced, and I’m forever grateful for their support,” she added.
At the end of this month, Samuel will hang up her white coat and retire.
“I’ve worked for more than 30 years in the medical and counseling field, and I think it’s time for me to pass the baton to someone else. Working for Tuskegee has been very rewarding and will always have a special place in my heart,” she concluded.