A History of the Infirmary Building

Now an outpatient facility known as the Student Health Care Center, physicians (MD), physician assistants (PA), advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), registered nurses and health support technicians (HST) care for about 28,464 patients per year, offering primary and urgent care, immunizations, allergy immunotherapy, nutrition services and sexual health services, as well as stand-alone teams specializing in sports medicine, physical therapy and women’s health. Additionally, five pharmacists staff the full-service pharmacy, and lab, X-ray and EKG services are also available on-site.

The SHCC is fully accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), and is one of a small percentage of college health services facilities to receive this accreditation.

The Beginning

The SHCC has been meeting the health care needs of UF students since 1906.

  • First UF president Andrew Sledd hired Dr. Edward Rawson Flint, for whom Flint-Keene Hall is partially named, as professor of chemistry with the stipulation he also serve as university physician for a stipend of $200 a year. Flint saw his first student on the Gainesville campus on October 16, 1906.
  • Until 1911, Flint saw patients in his office or at their bedsides in Buckman Hall. In 1911, the Infirmary was established as a six-bed unit on the fourth floor of Thomas Hall.
  • In 1919, the Infirmary was moved from Thomas Hall to one of the barracks built for the SATC. The number of beds was increased to 25 and later to 45, and a separate contagious ward was created. In the ensuing decade, the wooden infirmary became the poster child for the University of Florida Alumni Association, with photographs of the poorly constructed building printed in the alumni magazine so funds could be solicited to build a suitable medical facility.
  • The first section of today’s Infirmary Building opened on June 24, 1931, as a part of the new Student Health Services division, initially offering inpatient services including surgery to a population of 3,000 students.

A Growing Need

Over the years, the SHCC has gradually evolved into an outpatient clinic, and a number of structural changes have taken place to help create much-needed space for serving the growing student population:

  • North and south wings were added in 1947 to accommodate the influx of students following World War II, with the south wing housing a dormitory for the nurses who staffed the center.
  • The third floor attic in the south wing was finished and converted into a mental health unit during the 1970s.
  • The west wing, housing the pharmacy and clinical offices, was added in 1975.
  • In February 1994, a complete renovation of the Infirmary Building was completed at cost of $4.6 million.
  • Yon Hall space was added in 1997.
  • In 2010, Student Mental Health Services moved to a consolidated facility providing counseling, mental health and psychiatry services under one roof, the Counseling and Wellness Center. GatorWell Health Promotion Services also moved to this facility the same year. (While psychiatry continues to report directly to the SHCC, general counseling and health promotion services are now part of UF Student Affairs.)