Louise LaFlora, MD, has been named director of University Health Services (UHS), the on-campus health care provider for the students, faculty, and staff at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
Dr. LaFlora completed her residency at UTHSC in the St. Francis Family Medicine program in 2019. Since finishing her residency, she has worked as a physician at UHS. She served as the interim director of UHS since March.
Dr. LaFlora believes her experiences at the university give her a unique perspective on the health care needs of its students and workforce.
She said her vision for UHS is to promote a convenient, efficient, confidential, patient-centered environment that uses innovative technology to streamline the appointment process, provides evidence-based medicine, and is available and accessible for the primary care needs of the campus, and to extend these services to other academic institutions and the community.
UHS also offers occupational health care, health education, preventive care, and urgent care, as well as behavioral health care to students, faculty, staff, and their immediate family members over 18 years old. Services are covered by most insurance.
The goal is to support a healthy campus community, which is imperative in an academic health care setting. “Often, people who actually provide services and health care can neglect their own health,” Dr. LaFlora said “I am often told by students and residents that they cannot remember the last time they had a physical or annual exam. It is important that UTHSC not only produce highly qualified professionals, but that they are also mentally and physically well.”
Dr. LaFlora hopes improving the appointment process and speeding up check-in will make it easier for busy health care providers, faculty, students, and staff to address their health care needs.
UHS has established a portal for students to schedule their own appointments, and is working on similar technology to support employees. Same-day appointments are available. Walk-in appointments are currently restricted due to COVID-19 policies.
“I wanted to take this position because I understand what it’s like to be in the academic setting on the other side of the degree,” she said. “I want my recent experience to serve as a catalyst to seek ways to improve the overall culture of UHS by integrating medicine and well-being. UHS has an amazing team of qualified and certified health professionals and we want UTHSC to know we are here and we care.”
Dr. LaFlora received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Memphis and a medical degree from Meharry Medical College. She is a a board certified family medicine physician and a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians.
University Health Services is located on the 9th floor of he 910 Madison Building on the Memphis campus. Appointments may be made Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., and 2-5 p.m.; and Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., by calling 901.448.5630, or go to uthsc.edu/health-services/