History of SHCS Medical Services

Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) celebrated its centennial year along with many other campus departments in 2009. SHCS Medical Services was established in 1909 shortly after the opening of the Davis campus with the mission of assisting students with their health problems by providing minor health care. With both major and minor changes to the programming and the facilities through the years, SHCS Medical Services continues to achieve its mission - to provide campus health and wellness resources that enable students to successfully achieve their academic goals and promote lifelong wellness.

The initial concept was to assist students with their health problems by providing minor health care, which allowed them to achieve overall academic goals. In 1912, the department occupied a small wing of East Hall, which is the current location of Dutton Hall. Furthermore, this health service would improve Davis’ entire academic program by committing resources to the public health responsibility of maintaining a healthy community and student body.

With funds from the S.H. Cowell Foundation, UC Davis was able to construct the Cowell Hospital & Student Health Center. At its dedication in 1967, the facility had an inpatient and outpatient service, in addition to an emergency clinic area and a pharmacy, which accommodated the campus population of 12,000 students. More recently, the facility was converted to handle only outpatient care and was renamed the Cowell Student Health Center.

Having grown to a student population over 30,000, SHCS Medical Services outgrew the Cowell Student Health Center. Student support expressed in the 2002 Campus Expansion Initiative, funded the construction of the UC Davis Student Health & Wellness Center to meet the growing student body. Beginning Spring Quarter 2010, SHCS Medical Services relocated all of its services to the Student Health & Wellness Center, which is state-of-the-art facility located on the west side of campus across the street from the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC).

The UC Davis Student Health & Wellness Center opened on March 29, 2010. This state-of-the-art facility offers 75,000 gross square feet and 43,000 assignable square feet that houses the functions of SHCS Medical Services. The Student Health & Wellness Center utilizes the newest technology and the latest trends in student healthcare to enhance student visits and delivery of care. It replaces the Cowell Student Health Center and allows SHCS to meet enrollment demands, improve accessibility, and support students’ academic successes.