What We Offer & Services
Through May 28th, PCHS is open for in-person and telehealth visits for all services.
Starting Tuesday, June 1st PCHS will be providing only urgent care, immunizations and quarantine testing.
No routine annual physicals or gynecological visits will be scheduled again until the beginning of the 2021 Fall semester.
To schedule an appointment for urgent care, immunization or quarantine testing, please first call PCHS at 212-854-2091 to speak with a provider.
Our business hours are Monday - Thursday 9AM - 5PM & Friday 9AM - 4PM.
During the academic year, our comprehensive clinical services include assessment and treatment of acute and chronic illness, routine gynecological check-ups, health education, contraception and pregnancy counseling, nutrition counseling, allergy treatments, vaccinations, a dispensary for medications, a 24/7 emergency clinician-on-call during the academic year and, when indicated, referral to off-campus specialists.
For more information, please see our Appointment Types page.
All of your personal health information is kept strictly confidential and is not released to anyone without your request or consent.
While there is no fee for visiting the Primary Care Health Service, regardless of insurance, you may be charged for some medications, vaccines and tests. For more information, please see our Fees page.
COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Many people have no side effects at all.
Common Side Effects
At the Site of the Injection
Throughout the Rest of Your Body:
• Muscle pain
If you have pain or discomfort after getting your vaccine, it is generally safe to use an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
To reduce pain and discomfort where you got the shot:
• Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area.
• Use or exercise your arm.
To reduce discomfort from fever:
• Drink plenty of fluids.
• Dress lightly.
In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal.
Contact PCHS or a Healthcare Provider:
• If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours
• If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days
Please see these CDC links for more detailed information:
- Video on What to Expect After Receiving a COVID 19 vaccine
- Information Sheet on what to expect a receiving a COVID vaccine
Updates on Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine
The "pause" on the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine has been lifted by the FDA and CDC following a thorough safety review. The pause was recommended after reports of six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals who received the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.
After an extensive review of all available data and consultation with medical experts the two agencies have determined that the J&J vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID 19, that the available data show the vaccine's known and potential benefits outweigh it's known and potential risks in individuals 18 and older and that use of the J&J vaccine should be resumed in the United states.
This pause was an indication of just how cautious the CDC is being about oversight of the safety of these vaccines, that they paused the distribution of a vaccine because of a side effect that occurred literally in one in a million cases. The Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines have not demonstrated any increased risk of blood clots.
For more information please see this CDC Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers, which includes information about receiving the J&J vaccine.
And please see this CDC link for more detailed information about the lifting of the pause:
FDA and CDC Lift Recommended Pause on Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine Use Following Thorough Safety Review
- All enrolled students who are accessing campus for the spring 2021 semester are expected to have received an influenza/ flu vaccine before coming to campus.
- Please have this form completed if you received your influenza/flu vaccine from a provider other than PCHS. Please scan this form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are requesting a medical or religious exemption from the vaccine, please submit these forms to email@example.com
For any questions or concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If students and or family members are considering end of life advanced directive forms, the Health Services division follows the New York State Guidelines.
If you are looking to establish a heath proxy, please click here for the Health Care Proxy Form.
Once you have reviewed this information, if you have any additional questions or concerns please contact MJ Murphy, Executive Director of Student Health and Wellness at email@example.com.
Our care encompasses a wide range of general services, with a particular emphasis on the developmental needs of college-aged women.
Please see our Appointment Types page for information about the types of appointments offered at the PCHS.
To schedule an appointment, please call Primary Care at 1-212-854-2091.
Individual virtual nutrition counseling is available to all Barnard students with our Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist.
An appointment with the nutritionist is an opportunity to learn more about healthy eating, to discuss food allergies and sensitivities, to create plans for navigating the cafeteria or your own kitchen, and to address any eating concerns.
Please call Primary Care at 1-212-854-2091 to schedule an appointment with the nutritionist.
The PCHS maintains a list of specialists in NYC. For a referral, stop by during walk-in hours or call Primary Care at 1-212-854-2091 to make a referral appointment.
All referrals must be obtained before the visit to the specialist!
Primary Care's services are available to all students of all gender identities and expressions.
Students who are considering any kind of gender transition that may involve medical care are encouraged to make an appointment at Primary Care to discuss potential next steps and resources.
PCHS maintains a comprehensive list of referral resources for trans* health care in regard to transitioning in NYC, and will work with students to find appropriate resources.
Barnard College's student health insurance, through Aetna Student Health, covers both hormonal and surgical healthcare.
Any student who has already begun receiving hormone therapy outside of New York may also be given referrals to the resources available in NYC.
Student who are self administering injections may receive assistance from Primary Care's clinical staff, with the appropriate medical documentation.
Primary Care offers a number of vaccines to Barnard students, available by appointment.
All Barnard students are required to provide documentation of immunity to measles, mumps and rubella before coming to campus. The meningococcal meningitis vaccine is not required, but is strongly recommended and can be received at PCHS.
Other available vaccines, including many recommended for travel abroad, include:
- Flu Vaccine
- Hepatitis A Vaccine
- Hepatitis B Vaccine
- HPV Vaccine
- Japanese Encephalitis
- Meningitis ACYW and B Vaccine
- MMR Vaccine
- Pneumovax Vaccine
- Polio Vaccine
- Td Vaccine
- Tdap Vaccine
- Typhoid Vaccine
- Yellow Fever Vaccine
All vaccines are free for students with Aetna Student Health Insurance.
For students with outside insurance, there will be a charge at the time of the appointment, but reimbursement may be available depending on your outside insurance. Please call the office at 1-212-854-2091 and ask to speak to our Director of Operations, Elliot Wasserman, with any questions.
Primary Care provides a variety of services related to sexual health, including regular gynecological (GYN) care, sexually transmitted infection testing, contraceptive options, pregnancy testing, abortion referrals, and health education.
Whether you are currently sexually active, thinking about becoming sexually active, or just want to learn more about your body and health, we can help.
Learn more about our services below, and please call Primary Care at 1-212-854-2091 with any questions.
If you are considering abortion, Primary Care can provide information about your options, a list of abortion providers, information about insurance coverage, and support. Abortion options counseling is free and confidential for all Barnard students.
There are two kinds of abortions available: surgical and medical. Your healthcare provider can offer the most personalized information regarding the benefits, side effects, risks, and alternatives of both procedures. The safest and easiest time to have an abortion is generally within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, preferably between 6 and 9 weeks.
The decision to have or not to have an abortion is yours. Whatever you chose, it is natural to have some conflicting feelings. Talking with a counselor can be very helpful. If you would like to talk with someone either about your decision or your feelings about your decision, appointments are available in the Furman Counseling Center.
If you have any questions regarding abortion procedures or referrals, please call Primary Care at 1-212-854-2091.
Primary Care offers a variety of contraceptive options on-site, and can refer students out for options we do not provide.
Contraceptives provided by Primary Care:
- Oral contraceptive pills: both combined estrogen and progestin and progestin only (the "mini pill")
- The ring, aka the NuvaRing
- The shot, aka DepoProvera
- Intrauterine Devices (IUD): Mirena, Kyleena and Skyla
- Implant: Nexplanon
Interested in learning more about the IUD or implant? Visit view the Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC) section below, to learn more about these options, and accessing them at Primary Care.
Contraceptives available by referral:
- Copper / Hormone Free IUD: Paragard
Insurance & Cost: The cost of different contraceptives will vary depending on your health insurance coverage. All contraceptives offered at PCHS are completely free of charge for students with the Aetna Student Health Insurance, even after the recent July 2020 Supreme Court decision.
If you have outside insurance and are interested in a method like the IUD or implant, we recommend calling your insurance company to learn more about coverage. Most contraceptives are now covered under the Affordable Care Act, but there are exceptions. You can also speak to your insurance provider about making sure that any information related to contraceptives is sent directly to you, rather to your family. Please call the office at 1-212-854-2091 and ask to speak to our Director of Operations, Elliot Wasserman, with any questions.
Questions about what option may be best for you?
Make an appointment with our health educator to discuss different contraceptive options. Give us a call at 1-212-854-2091 and ask for a health education appointment. You can also learn more about different contraceptives during Well-Woman's open hours.
The Reproductive Health Access Project and Bedsider are also great resources to learn more about contraceptive options.
Need to get Emergency Contraception?
Emergency Contraception (EC) is available in the Primary Care Health Service. There are several ways to obtain EC at Primary Care:
- Call Primary Care at 1-212-854-2091 to schedule an appointment
- Come to Walk-In Hours: Monday - Wednesday & Friday: 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM and Thursday: 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM.
- You can also buy EC in the vending machine located outside of the PCHS. The vending machine is available at all times.
What is Emergency Contraception?
Emergency Contraception, sometimes known as the morning after pill, can prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. Emergency Contraception contains progestin, a hormone,that thickens cervical mucus (acting as a barrier) and decreases the likelihood of implantation of a fertilized ovum.
You may have a need for emergency contraception if...
- You were forced to have sex (and had no protection)
- A condom broke or slipped off
- You didn't use any birth control method
- You had sex when you didn't expect to (and had no protection)
- You missed more than two birth control pills in a row this cycle and didn't make them up
Consistent use of a contraceptive method before and during sex are the best way to protect yourself from an unwanted pregnancy. If, however, you have had unprotected intercourse and you are certain that you do not desire to be pregnant, you may want to consider using Emergency Contraception.
EC is free with Aetna Student Health Insurance, and costs between $8-$25 (depending on the brand) for students with private insurance.
Outside of Primary Care, EC is available without a prescription and is carried in in most pharmacies (call ahead to make sure it is available), but you may still want to purchase it from Primary Care because we charge considerably less than most pharmacies for EC. The choice is yours!
We encourage you to get emergency contraception from Primary Care BEFORE you need it. Just make an appointment to get a small advance supply.
What is my risk of becoming pregnant with unprotected intercourse?
When you have sexual intercourse without any contraception, your risk of becoming pregnant depends on where you are in your menstrual cycle. During your most fertile days, about two weeks before your next period should begin (or midway between two menstrual periods if you have a monthly cycle), the risk could be as high as 30%. If you use Emergency Contraception, your chance of becoming pregnant is reduced by about 75%-89%. For example, a 30% risk would be reduced to no more than 7%.
How effective is emergency contraception?
The average risk of becoming pregnant even if you take Emergency Contraception is about 2% (range 0-7%). EC can reduce the risk of pregnancy when taken within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected intercourse. It is more effective the sooner it is taken.
What would I do if emergency contraception fails?
Emergency Contraception is highly effective and the failure rate is low. However, if it does fail, you should consult a health care provider.
Are there side effects?
Side effects are rare, but occasionally one may experience mild nausea or more rarely, vomiting. It may also disrupt your regular menstrual cycle, making it either shorter or longer.
Are there any serious risks?
For most women, Emergency Contraception is a simple, safe option that can greatly reduce the chance of pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. The only serious risk of taking this medication is a possible allergic reaction, which can happen with any medication you may take.
Primary Care provides two long acting reversible contraceptives: the intrauterine device (IUD) and the implant, also known as Nexplanon.
LARCs are considered some of the most effective forms of reversible contraception available, and are safe for use for almost all reproductive-age people.
Primary Care inserts the Mirena, Kyleena and Skyla IUD and the Nexplanon implant, and can provide a referral for the Paragard IUD.
Steps for Getting a LARC at Primary Care:
- Students must first have a clinical appointment for a medical clearance and any necessary lab work.
- Please call Primary Care at 1-212-854-2091 and ask to schedule a Contraceptive Management appointment for either an IUD or implant clearance.
- After your medical clearance, you will need to have a Health Education appointment to answer any additional questions and to fill out the paperwork to order the IUD or Nexplanon.
- Please call Primary Care at 1-212-854-2091 and ask to schedule an IUD/Implant Counseling appointment. Make sure to mention that you already had your medical clearance.
- Once your LARC is delivered to Primary Care, we will contact you to set up an appointment for either an IUD Insertion or Nexplanon Insertion appointment.
LARC methods are free of charge for students with the Aetna Student Health Insurance.
Students with outside health insurance are encouraged to contact their insurance provider to learn about potential coverage and cost of the IUD or Nexplanon implant.
Insertion of the IUD or Nexplanon implant at Primary Care is free of charge for all students, regardless of insurance.
If you would like more information about the IUD, implant, or other contraceptive methods, please call Primary Care at 1-212-854-2091 to make a health education appointment or visit Well-Woman's drop-in hours.
Primary Care offers free and confidential pregnancy testing. We do a rapid urine test that gives results within minutes. We do not charge for this test.
For pregnancy testing, you can:
- Call Primary Care at 1-212-854-2091 to schedule an appointment
- Come to Walk-In Hours: Monday - Wednesday & Friday: 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM and Thursday: 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM.
If you are found to not be pregnant, we are happy to help you with contraceptive options.
If you are pregnant, we will provide support for you through the decision-making process and then help you access services for either an abortion or prenatal care, whichever you choose.
Furman Counseling Services (1-212-854-2092) also offers individual counseling to help guide you through your decision or assist you in dealing with any feelings or issues that may arise as a result of your decision. Remember, whatever choice you make should be yours and no one else's.
Primary Care offers confidential sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing. STI Testing is available:
- By appointment, please call Primary Care at 1-212-854-2091.
- During Walk-In Hours (when appropriate): Monday - Wednesday & Friday: 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM and Thursday: 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM.
We are frequently asked by students if it is possible to be tested for "everything." Unfortunately, there is no one comprehensive test for all possible STIs; rather there are several individual tests. Our clinicians will work with you to create a testing plan based on your potential risk factors and any possible symptoms, and can also discuss best practices for prevention.
Appointments are recommended for HIV testing. If you would like to receive HIV testing outside of Barnard for any reason, you have several options nearby:
NYC Department of Health and Mental Health—Riverside
160 West 100th Street (between Amsterdam and Columbus)