Universal Health Care for Students and Part-Time Staff

A young woman speaks with a doctor
  PDF this page

Lee College Prioritizes Health and Well-Being Through TimelyMD

Lee College student Nadine Duran has been dealing with anxiety and stress for years and admittedly never had the courage to ask someone for help. But that all changed when she signed up for TimelyCare, an app-based platform that offers users like Duran round-the-clock access to medical, mental health and basic needs support.

"I was able to express some thoughts and feelings that I've had bottled up for some time," shared Duran, who is studying biology. "The counselor I spoke with gave me tips on how to relieve stress and anxiety in the classroom. She was a great listener and made me feel like I was talking to a friend."

This fall, Lee College became the first higher education institution in the Houston area to partner with TimelyMD, the leading virtual health and well-being solution in higher education. TimelyMD says its TimelyCare platform serves as a 24/7 virtual extension of campus health and counseling center resources, with the goal of improving student well-being, engagement and retention. The service is funded by a $12.50 student fee each semester. Part-time employee access is paid by the college.

Through TimelyCare on a mobile phone or tablet, students and part-time employees can select from a wide-ranging menu of virtual care options from licensed physicians and counselors in all 50 states — without the hassle of traditional insurance premiums or co-pays — including:

  • On-demand or appointment-based medical care
  • On-demand mental health and emotional support (TalkNow)
  • Appointment-based mental health counseling
  • Psychiatric support
  • Health coaching
  • Digital self-care content

"There is no greater priority than the health and safety of our college community," said Dr. Lynda Villanueva, Lee College president. "TimelyCare's ease of use, convenience and immediacy make it easy for our students and part-time employees to get the help they need, at a time that is convenient for them."

Additionally, faculty and staff have access to support that empowers them to guide students to TimelyCare resources to help students achieve a sense of well-being, live healthier lifestyles and improve their mental health. Linda Torrez-Mann, Lee College's mental health counselor says that since the pandemic began, her caseloads have doubled.

"Students are seeking help for grief, anxiety and depression due to the loss of loved ones to COVID-19 as well as fear of transitioning back to in-person classes," she explained. "Other stressors such as fear of failing courses and financial concerns are keeping them from being able to focus in class."

The partnership with TimelyMD allows Lee College to deliver a hybrid model of care in collaboration with on-campus resources. Benefits to users include:

  • Convenient 24/7 care — Physical and mental health issues often present themselves outside regular business hours, and TimelyCare makes seeking support or treatment as easy and convenient as making a video or phone call. Nationally, about 40 percent of mental health care visits through TimelyCare occur after hours.
  • Reduced wait times — Typical consultations for on-demand services through TimelyCare begin within 5-10 minutes – less than the amount of time it takes to walk across campus.
  • Diverse provider network — In addition to being from diverse backgrounds, TimelyMD providers are trained to be culturally competent. For example, more than 60 percent of mental health providers identify as BIPOC. The platform also offers professionals who identify as LGBTQIA+, speak multiple languages and/or have various religious and spiritual beliefs. Students can choose to meet with a specific provider or select the first available.
  • Peace of mind — TimelyCare is a safe, secure, and HIPAA-compliant platform that follows campus-specific protocols to facilitate care coordination and follow-up to ensure continuity of care. Integrations with leading learning management systems ensure students have even more on-ramps to in-the-moment support whenever they need it.

The need for 24/7 access to high-quality care has never been more important. According to the American Council on Education, student mental health is the top concern of college and university presidents. It's also the number one reason students leave college. A recent report by Gallup and the Lumina Foundation found that three out of four students in bachelor's degrees programs who considered stopping out cited emotional stress as their reason.

Sixty percent of all students who have sought mental health support through TimelyCare said they would have done nothing if the service were not available. Founded in 2017, TimelyMD is trusted to serve over a million students at more than 200 campuses nationwide.

"Meeting the need for equitable, on-demand access to care is a critical challenge that extends beyond campus boundaries. TimelyCare allows colleges and universities like Lee College to solve problems rather than just treat symptoms," said Luke Hejl, TimelyMD CEO and co-founder. "Our mission at TimelyMD is to improve the health and well-being of college students by making virtual care accessible anytime, anywhere. Through TimelyCare, we are proud to deliver best-in-class health and well-being solutions to help students thrive."

Natalie Duran says she is already feeling better after using the service. She not only appreciates TimelyCare's anonymity and ease, she also plans to have weekly sessions with a counselor.

"What I like the most about this experience is that I don't feel judged," she shared.

"I know I'm not the only one who is dealing with these feelings."