Last school year, Albion College partnered with TimelyCare, a virtual health and counseling service, to provide students with a health-related resource. TimelyCare immediately connects its users with licensed physicians and counselors. Those using TimelyCare meet with providers via video calls. TimelyCare is free and accessible to all Albion College students.
The service first rolled out last year but did not receive much attention from the student body.
“Last year was almost like the ‘soft-roll-out’ of TimelyCare, but this year we are really working to show students what it really is,” said Melissa Sommers, assistant director of Campus Wellness for Albion College.
The college is now working to spread more awareness about TimelyCare. More specifically, Albion College wants to market the convenience of using TimelyCare and its telehealth services.
Reece Morey, Grand Rapids junior, used the TimelyCare app this fall semester. While doing so, he experienced some minor confusion. Overall, however, he saw the app as being helpful in getting him connected with a doctor.
“Using the app was very easy. The only thing is TimelyCare has two apps, one old and one new, so that was confusing. You have to use the new one,” said Morey, via electronic communication. “Overall it’s pretty simple and the response times are quick and the doctors will help.”
TimelyCare can be accessed through a computer or smart device, as the platform is available online and through the TimelyCare app. To obtain TimelyCare’s services, a person must create a TimelyCare account and then choose which aspect of the service they wish to utilize.
TimelyCare provides two main services to its users: access to licensed physicians and access to licensed counselors.
Through TimelyCare’s physician portal, students can speak with a physician about any medical issue that they may be experiencing. This is done in a virtual setting. The physicians are also able to prescribe medications. Medicine prescribed by TimelyCare physicians can be picked up at the Family Fare pharmacy in Albion.
TimelyCare’s counseling services can be accessed through a portal similar to the physician portal. In the counseling service portal, students are paired with a TimelyCare counselor. They then meet and talk with the counselor through a video call. If a student wishes to speak with a counselor on an as needed basis, they can opt to do so through TimelyCare’s counseling services.
“Sometimes students don’t need a regular counselor,” said Sommers. “If someone is having a bad day and just needs someone to talk to for a minute, they can use TimelyCare’s counseling services and get paired with a counselor right away,”
When signing up to meet with a physician or counselor, students also have the option to choose the race and gender of whomever they may be seeing.
“When you login to TimelyCare, it will show you the physicians and counselors available at the time,” said Sommers. “It will also show you their background, as well as their gender and their race, so you really get to pick who you are seeing and what you are more comfortable with at that time.”
The TimelyCare physicians and counselors are not affiliated with the college’s counseling department or Albion’s Oaklawn Health Center. Rather, they are provided through a third party organization.
TimelyCare is free to Albion students. The service is also available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
This is one of the aspects that Morey especially liked about the app.
“I would recommend using TimelyCare to others, especially to those who don’t have access to quick medical care or do not have health insurance,” said Morey, via electronic communication.