Diversity & Inclusion at Penn Student Health Service

The University of Pennsylvania Student Health Service (SHS) values diversity and welcomes students and patients from diverse backgrounds. SHS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in its services or in its employment practices.

First Generation/Low Income Students: Being a sick can sometimes be expensive. We understand this, and we recognize the challenges that can come with balancing healthcare costs with other financial responsibilities. If you have trouble with your medical bills or need assistance understanding your health insurance, please reach out to Student Health Service administration, and we will do our best to assist. If you have the Penn Student Health Insurance Plan (Aetna Student Health, also known as PSIP), you can also turn to the Aetna representative who is available in-person at SHS for any questions you might have about your insurance coverage. SHS also works closely with the Greenfield Intercultural Center to support the needs of FGLI students.

International Students: The American healthcare system is different from other countries and can be confusing and frustrating even to people who have lived here their entire lives. Our insurance compliance office is here to help you comply with the University’s insurance requirement and also to help you understand the medical system here in America. English is not everyone’s first language, and communicating about medical issues can be challenging. If you need foreign language interpretation, we can arrange for phone interpretation during your visits to Student Health. Please ask for it (let us know before the visit if possible). We understand that your doctor at home might have trouble with our immunization compliance forms; that is why we translated these forms into the most common languages needed by our international students (click HERE to see the forms). SHS works closely with Penn’s International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) and Penn’s English Language Program to support our many international students.

Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Queer Health: We at SHS recognize that sexual minorities often face discrimination in healthcare. SHS is one of only three college health centers nationally to receive National Leader recognition by the LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Index. To learn more about our LGB/Q-specific health services that we offer, click HERE. While we have specific providers who have additional expertise on these topic areas, our entire staff are trained to provide inclusive and respectful general care to our LGB/Q patients.

Racial and Ethnic Diversity: Penn’s campus community is becoming more and more diverse. At SHS, we recognize that racial and ethnic minorities have seen disparities in health as well as discrimination in society for many years. Student Health Service has a diverse staff, and all of our providers are prepared to offer services that are equitable and welcoming, regardless of your background. SHS collaborates with La Casa Latina, Makuu Black Cultural Center, and the Pan-Asian American Community House to address healthcare needs of minority students at Penn.

Religious Diversity: Our students come from many different spiritual and religious backgrounds. If your healthcare decisions are guided by requirements of your faith, please let us know, so we can help you obtain the best care while respecting your spiritual background. We collaborate often with the Chaplain’s Office to support our diverse student body.

Transgender Health and Gender Diversity: SHS provides equitable and affirming care for patients of all genders. We will respect your gender, your name, and your pronouns, no matter what brings you through our doors” just let us know how you would like to be addressed. For more information about our trans health services, click HERE. Everyone, from our front desk staff to our nurses and providers are prepared to offer welcoming and respectful care to people of all genders. And you can find single-use unisex bathrooms throughout our office suite.

Women’s Health: While no longer a statistical minority in all segments of academic life, we recognize that women still may face challenges in accessing equitable and respectful healthcare. At SHS, we provide gynecologic services like Pap tests, birth control pills, and breast exams, but we know that women’s healthcare incorporates much more than your gynecologic needs. Whether you are coming to SHS for a cold or for contraceptive counseling, rest assured that you will receive care that respects you as an entire person. Click HERE to learn about the gynecologic services available at SHS. SHS collaborates with the Penn Women’s Center to ensure supportive and welcoming resources for women students at Penn.