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SBU News > Stony Brook Matters > Alumni Spotlight Story > NYS Assembly ‘Seawolf Team’ Secures $200K for Student Health and Counseling Center

NYS Assembly ‘Seawolf Team’ Secures $200K for Student Health and Counseling Center

Counseling reno 2021
Counseling reno 2021
From left to right: Vice President of Student Affairs Rick Gatteau; NYS Assemblywoman Sarah Clark; NYS Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre; NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie; Assistant Vice President of Student Health, Wellness and Prevention Services Marisa Bisiani; Director of Counseling and Psychological Services Julian Pessier; Director of Student Health Services Rachel Bergeson, MD; NYS Assemblyman Steve Englebright; Manion Pessier.

Five Stony Brook University alumni in the New York State Assembly teamed up to secure a $200,000 grant in this year’s state budget to help renovate the Student Health and Counseling Center.

The grant was secured by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie ’90 and Assembly members Steve Englebright ’75, Kimberly Jean-Pierre ’07, Latoya Joyner ’08 and Sarah Clark ’99. The assembly alumni were given a tour of the facility on Saturday, October 23, during the Presidential Inauguration Day festivities.  

“The Assembly Seawolf Team members have long been our champions,” said Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis. “This funding will help us to deliver support and resources to our students, who have undergone a period of serious challenges and change over the last year and a half.”

The total investment for the Student Health and Counseling Center renovation project was about $1.1 million dollars. The $200,000 grant will be used to furnish the spaces to create a more inviting and welcoming experience for students visiting the building, including exam rooms, lobby, counseling spaces and the reception areas.

“We’re very grateful for the support from our alumni in the NY State Assembly and for their dedication to our Stony Brook students,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Rick Gatteau. “The renovated Student Health and Counseling Center is now a state-of-the-art space that will allow us to offer our services in an atmosphere that is welcoming and comfortable for all students.”

“For the past 20 months, the Student Health, Wellness and Prevention Services staff has been working nonstop ensuring our students remain healthy and safe,” said Assistant Vice President of Student Health, Wellness and Prevention Services Marisa Bisiani.”With this renovation, the building will match the high quality of care that we provide to our students.”

The renovations not only included cosmetic upgrades, but also reconfiguration of spaces to provide a better service to students and more efficiency for staff.

Assemblyman Englebright said it was his and his colleagues’ privilege to support a project designed to enhance counseling and healing services for Stony Brook students. “This visionary project will renovate and enable continued use of one of Stony Brook’s original historic buildings while also creating a welcoming environment that will be especially warm and nurturing to students who are adjusting to the complex pressures of their academic and personal growth,” he said.

Phase I of the project covered the first floor of Student Health Services and began in August. Phase II, which includes Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), will be completed by the start of the Spring 2022 semester. 

Phase I renovations included a warm and inviting lobby area featuring a fireplace, new front desk area, all-gender restrooms, a new pharmacy and lab facilities, renovated restrooms, a new nurse triage area and a nurses station, which includes a computer system that tracks progress of patients at the facility in real time.

During this renovation, both Student Health Services and CAPS were available to serve students for their medical or mental health needs. Staff provided services from other campus locations and virtually.

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