May 6, 2024

Staff Excellence: Purdue University Student Health Service

The nearly 50,000 students on Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus are high achievers, taking small steps every day toward their giant leaps. When they’re well, they can accomplish anything they set their minds to, and when they’re feeling ill, the Purdue University Student Health Service (PUSH) staff team is ready to help them out of the slump.

“Our main goal is to help the students succeed because when you’re not in great health, you cannot succeed in the classroom,” says Dr. Brenda Masiga-Crowell, senior director of PUSH. “We want to keep people well, keep the university healthy and educate students on how to be healthy at Purdue and beyond, as our medical director, Dr. Craig Nadelson usually says.”

This group of more than 60 employees carries out various roles including medical providers, nursing, physical therapy, radiology, administration, business services and health information management. While their roles range in scope, they are all working toward one larger goal: promoting a healthy campus culture by providing a patient-focused, accredited model of excellence in primary health care.

And it takes everyone to accomplish that, from the physicians and nurses to the insurance clerks and medical receptionists. In 2022-23, radiologists imaged approximately 1,500 students and 300 staff. Health information management staff reviewed 21,194 immunization document submissions. Nurses administered 9,876 immunizations. Physical therapists provided more than 4,300 treatment sessions and consultations for over 950 students. And student insurance and other professionals in the business services area served more than 12,400 patients, offering them guidance that extends beyond their time at Purdue.

“When students come to the health center, they are often seeking care without parental oversight for the first time,” says Lori Blair, PUSH business services manager. “This provides the Business Services Department with the unique opportunity of helping students become more knowledgeable and efficient health care consumers.”

Their passion for serving the campus community allowed PUSH to successfully facilitate 42,847 visits from 14,961 distinct patients last year. And as they strive to meet Boilermakers’ health care needs, they’re also frequently putting their heads together to set bigger goals and explore new opportunities for collaboration across campus.

“I don’t come alone,” Masiga-Crowell says. “I have a whole village of people behind me I can bring to the table to help me look at an issue from every corner, angle and lens. We’ll comb through it, and what comes out is something magnificent — something that another person and I couldn’t come up with by ourselves. The end product becomes a masterpiece.”

Meetings like those have fueled a host of enhancements within PUSH. In 2022-23, PUSH streamlined the pre-matriculation immunization requirement process, made improvements to the electronic medical record reporting system and developed the Exercise Is Medicine program in collaboration with RecWell and the College of Health and Human Sciences. And when the surrounding community experienced a shortage of radiology technologists, PUSH stepped up, partnering with Purdue Athletics to provide radiology during last year’s football season.

But it’s the students on campus who offer some of the most valuable perspectives, and PUSH staff always listen. In spring 2023, the university established the PUSH Student Advisory Board, made up of nine students who serve two-year terms. The group meets at least once each month to offer input on services, processes, educational programs and more to help PUSH continuously grow and advance its high level of care. Since then, the flow of communication between PUSH and students has been steady and effective.

In fall 2023, seniors in the School of Nursing helped PUSH secure a grant to provide free testing for sexually transmitted infections, a service still offered today. And recently, PurdueTHINK, a student-led consulting organization, assisted PUSH in implementing a new resource that provides detailed information about medication prescribed in different countries, allowing staff to investigate international medications and supplements used by international students during a provider visit. The organization is currently collaborating with PUSH to develop a digital map to help patients better navigate the five-story health center.

Though already one of the best entities in college health, PUSH staff will continue reviewing suggestions, implementing changes and raising the bar until they’re on top.

“If there’s a way to do it better, and if there’s anyone else in college health doing it better, we work to understand why and find out how we can do it the same way or surpass those efforts,” Masiga-Crowell says.

They’re exemplary medical providers, nurses, physical therapists and administrative and healthcare professionals, but at the end of the day, they’re just people who care about the health and wellness of every student on campus — people Masiga-Crowell is proud to call colleagues.  

“On those days when it’s cloudy outside, it’s raining or I forgot to take out the trash, I come here and they just energize me,” Masiga-Crowell says. “They fill my cup, and that’s what keeps me going.”

Purdue University Student Health Center 

Purdue University Student Health Center (PUSH) provides high-quality, evidence-based and patient-focused primary health care through an accredited model of excellence for the Purdue student community. PUSH is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. PUSH’s medical providers are board-certified physicians and nurse practitioners. 

Faculty-Staff News

More News

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-24 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at