Cornell Health is proud to be recognized as a “flagship organization in college health” by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.
As a unit within the Division of Student and Campus Life, our goal is to support campus health, and foster student readiness to learn and participate fully in the Cornell experience (see “Our mission and vision,” below). We strive to provide high-quality care that recognizes the experiences, values, and needs of the individuals who make up Cornell’s diverse community.
At a glance
Cornell Health …
- Provides integrated medical and mental health services on Cornell’s Ithaca campus [see Services]
- Serves more than 80% of Cornell students each year, with about 20% of students accessing our mental health services (equaling 110,000+ in-person and virtual health care visits annually) [see Who We Serve]
- Welcomes an average of 800 students each day during the academic year for medical and mental health visits, visits to the pharmacy, consultations with our Student Health Benefits and Student Disability Services offices, and community meetings
- Employs more than 200 staff members, including physicians, counselors, psychiatrists, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, and educators [see Our Staff]
- Manages public health campaigns, and leads campus initiatives related to mental health, alcohol and other drugs, hazing, and sexual violence [see Initiatives]
- Utilizes a funding model for core medical, mental health, and public health services that promotes access to care [see Cost for Service]
Our mission & vision
To foster lifelong learning and well-being through innovative services and strategies that promote the physical, emotional, and social health of individuals and our diverse campus community.
To support the readiness of our community to learn, to participate fully in the Cornell experience, and to achieve academic, work, and life success.
How we advance our vision:
- Provide an experience of care that keeps those we serve at the center of everything we do; is respectful, compassionate, accessible, equitable, affordable, and safe; and is well-coordinated and focused on the whole person.
- Improve population health through individual and population interventions (that reach all who need them), environmental strategies, institutional leadership, policy development, and public engagement.
- Control per capita cost by focusing on best-practice standards and empowering all team members to contribute fully.
- Facilitate local integration of care and services within the organizations and departments that most contribute to the health of our community.
The above framework is modified from the Military Health System's Quadruple Aim - based on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's TripleAim (a guide for optimizing health system performance and outcomes).
Our commitment to diversity & inclusion
Cornell Health is committed to providing respectful, responsive care to all individuals who rely on our services. We recognize and celebrate the diversity of our patients and clients, and strive to be inclusive of the many cultures, experiences, practices, and values represented among our students and community members.
Ways in which we prioritize inclusion and diversity include:
- Staff trainings that promote multi-cultural competency
- Collaboration with campus partners who serve international students, students of color, members of Cornell’s LGBTQ community, and students with disabilities
- Targeted programs and outreach efforts to connect with underrepresented student populations
- A language-translation service for students who feel more comfortable communicating about health care concerns in their native language
- A Patient Advocacy program for patients, clients, and other community members to get assistance regarding questions, needs, concerns, or problems
- Support services for victims of harassment or bias-related incidents
- Financial assistance for students for whom financial challenges may pose an obstacle to receiving needed health care (link to Insurance
- Surveys and focus groups to collect patient / client feedback that helps us be more responsive to diverse student needs
- Hiring processes aimed at attracting a diverse pool of qualified candidates for every open position at Cornell Health
Every day, through every interaction with a patient or client, our goal is to meet each person with interest, respect, sensitivity, and compassion. We welcome you to contact us regarding questions, suggestions, or concerns regarding our commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Our commitment to confidentiality
We want all of our patients and clients to feel comfortable seeking the care and support they need – and sharing questions and concerns with us – without worrying about privacy issues.
All medical care and counseling at Cornell Health is confidential. Your health records are separate from all other university records, and the privacy of this information is protected by law. We will never release any of your information without your written permission, except in specific instances to protect you or others from harm.
Please refer to our Confidentiality and Patient Rights page for more details.
Our history & transition to “Cornell Health”
The original Gannett Clinic opened on Ho Plaza in 1956, named by the Gannett Foundation to honor media mogul Frank Gannett, CU 1898. In 1979, the facility was expanded to meet the needs of a growing student body. The clinic was renamed “Gannett Health Services” in 2000 to reflect the expansion of health services beyond the Ho Plaza facility, when several Gannett departments moved to other campus buildings due to space constraints.
Gannett was renamed “Cornell Health” in March 2017, in anticipation of our new health services facility opening in summer 2017. An update and expansion of the original Gannett building, the new Cornell Health facility increases access to care for a student body that has doubled in size since Gannett first opened, and increased utilization of health services by 250%. The project has been a strategic priority of the University since the early 2000s, and was funded through a combination of university funding and the gifts of generous donors.
Learn more about our history, our philosophy of care, and our transition from Gannett to Cornell Health in our Foundations of Cornell Health document, published in November 2015.
Accreditation & certification
Cornell Health has been fully accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) since 2000. Our current accreditation is valid through 2018.
During our most recent re-accreditation process, Cornell Health earned the AAAHC's highest marks for the sixth time, and was recognized as a "flagship organization in college health" for our public health leadership, and our success in providing integrated medical, counseling, and health promotion services.
AAAHC is an independent organization that provides peer-based accreditation in order to examine and evaluate health care organizations. AAAHC accreditation is recognized as a symbol of quality by health care providers, medical organizations, insurance companies, and state and federal agencies. The re-accreditation process requires focused and sustained effort in 22 areas, demonstrating exceptional patient care through measurable criteria.
Cornell Health is also one of the first university health services in the country to achieve additional certification as a “Patient-Centered Medical Home” (PCMH) in recognition of our high-quality, integrated approach to student-focused health care. The PCMH distinction is awarded as a result rigorous testing against the highest standards of health care.
We invite you to contact us with any questions or feedback you might have. Please visit our Contact Us page for information.