Student Health and Wellness

Student Health and Wellness

Last updated: July 27th, 2022 at 11:28 am

Student Well-being

WAUSM is committed to creating an environment where students have the resources and skills to stay well physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, professionally, and spiritually. This environment is created by developing relationships with students, listening to their needs, and working collaboratively with them in achieving their identified goals. Additionally, we recognize that a “one size fits all” approach to wellness may hinder a student from participating in those practices that keep them healthy. WAUSM provides various opportunities for students to stay well such as:

Dedicated, protected time built into the curriculum for students to take care of their specific needs.

Faculty mentorship.

Academic support via faculty and the Center for Academic Success.

Campus Life sponsored events promoting social-emotional connections.

Connections to spiritual or religious organizations in Freeport.

Resource guide to inform WAUSM community of local events and services.

Connections to local health care facilities.

Community-wide Suicide Prevention Training.

Individual and group mental health counseling.

Psychoeducational programming on topics relevant to medical students.

Student Counseling and Wellness Services


Crisis Lines and Suicide Prevention Resources:

Bahamas Crisis Center Hotline: (242) 328-0922

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: call 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK

Crisis Text Line: text HELLO or LISTEN to 741741

Spanish Speaking: 1-888-628-9454 or 1-800-273-TALK (Press 2)

National Suicide Hotlines: Suicide Hotlines by state.

Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990

The Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1) or send a text message to 838255

LGBT Youth Suicide Hotline: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR

Free Brochure and Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions about Suicide: This brochure provides information about suicide including risk factors, symptoms and warning signs, treatment options and therapies, how to find help for yourself or others, and research about suicide and suicide prevention.

Warning Signs of Suicide: This NIMH infographic presents behaviors and feelings that may be warnings signs that someone is thinking about suicide.

5 Action Steps for Helping Someone in Emotional Pain: This NIMH Infographic presents five steps for helping someone in emotional pain in order to prevent suicide.

Resources on Suicide Prevention: Help support suicide prevention awareness and education in your community. Use these digital resources from NIMH, including graphics and messages, to spread the word about suicide prevention.

Student Health Insurance

WAUSM requires all students to carry active, continuous health insurance and strongly encourages its students to ensure their health insurance provides sufficient coverage to ensure the student will be able to obtain all necessary diagnostic and treatment goods and services. The student has exclusive responsibility for their own medical expenses.

WAUSM strongly encourages its students to ensure that their health insurance provides sufficient coverage to ensure the student will be able to obtain all necessary diagnostic and treatment.

Recommended Minimum Level of Coverage

WAUSM utilizes the “10 Essential Health Benefits” list as the encouraged level of coverage. The 10 essential benefits are:

Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)

Emergency services Hospitalization (like surgery and overnight stays)

Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth)

Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (including counseling and psychotherapy)

Prescription drugs

Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)

Laboratory services

Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management

Pediatric services, including oral and vision care (but adult dental and vision coverage aren’t essential health benefits)

Students who have their own healthcare coverage may opt out of the WAUSM insurance plan by completing the waiver form. Waivers must be submitted to Student Financial Services at by the deadline, which is 30 days from the start of the program.

The Western Atlantic University School of Medicine (WAUSM) strongly encourages its students to obtain and maintain disability insurance throughout their years in the M.D. program. Students may talk to Student Financial Services for more information.

Immunization Requirements

The immunizations required for WAUSM students are based on the current Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for Health Care Personnel and immigration requirements of the Bahamas.

Every WAUSM student is required to have immunization for or show evidence of immunity to the following diseases:


For the health and safety of the WAUSM community, all members of the WAUSM medical school community, including faculty, staff, students, visitors, etc., will be required to be fully immunized against COVID-19 prior to their arrival on the Freeport Campus or any of WAUSM’s healthcare partners in the US (except in the case of documented health conditions that preclude vaccination). Students will be required to provide proof of the required doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (depending on which vaccine was administered). Acceptable vaccines include Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Oxford/AstraZeneca.

Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Titer (IgG):

Students must provide evidence of immunity. Titers must reflect positive immunity within six (6) months of enrollment. Inadequate immunity will require a booster followed by a titer re-drawn at least four (4) weeks after the booster. Students with chronic active hepatitis B or those found to be non-responders to the hepatitis B vaccine series are not required to repeat the series but must provide a letter of explanation from a duly licensed and qualified health care provider attesting to the diagnosis and provide copies of results from prior testing.

Annual Influenza Vaccine:

Beginning the first year of medical school and yearly thereafter students are required to obtain an influenza immunization. Immunization must occur prior to October 15th yearly. Students who have had an anaphylactic reaction after receiving any influenza vaccine or vaccine component, or history of Guillain Barré Syndrome (GBS) within six weeks of a previous influenza vaccination will be exempt from this requirement upon providing an attestation from a qualified licensed health care provider.

• Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR):

Students must have two (2) doses of MMR vaccine after 1978. Doses must be spaced at least four (4) weeks apart, with the first dose given after the first birthday. Quantitative titers (IgG) showing immunity for each disease (measles, mumps and rubella) must be obtained within six (6) months of enrollment. Inadequate immunity will require two doses of the MMR vaccination administered at least 28 days apart and a repeat titer at a minimum of six (6) weeks after the last vaccine.

Tuberculosis Screening Test:

Tuberculosis screening must be completed within the sixty days prior to the first day of enrollment and annually thereafter. Students may obtain either a skin test (TST) or blood test (IGRA) and provide a copy of the result to the University. Students testing positive for either test must provide an attestation from a qualified licensed health care provider that they have received appropriate follow-up testing/treatment and may participate in unrestricted clinical activities. Failure to provide this attestation in a timely manner, as determined by the Office of Student Affairs, may result in suspension from the degree program until this requirement is satisfied.

• Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis):

One (1) dose of adult Tdap vaccine is required within the ten years prior to enrollment. If the Tdap vaccine expires before the start of the student’s third year, the student will be required to update the vaccination prior to starting their third year.

Varicella (Chickenpox):

Quantitative Varicella Titer (IgG) within six (6) months of matriculation. Inadequate immunity will require two doses of the Varicella vaccination administered at least 28 days apart and repeat of the Quantitative Varicella Titer (IgG) 30 days after the second varicella dose. Submission of the laboratory report is required.

Tetanus Toxoid

Diphtheria Toxoid

Clerkship sites may require other vaccinations that are not listed above. WAUSM students are required to abide by the vaccination policy of each clerkship site.

WAUSM students must complete a mandatory immunization form, which must be signed by a licensed health care provider. The form is available in the Welcome Packet. WAUSM students may be required to upload proof of immunizations to multiple online portals to satisfy the requirements of the affiliated hospital where they rotate.

It is the responsibility of the student to have the appropriate WAUSM forms completed by a healthcare professional and to provide records to the Office of Student Affairs for matriculation and enrollment compliance. The University may, at its sole discretion, remove any student from active participation in the degree program for failure to abide by this policy. This may result in a student’s inability to satisfy the graduation requirements of their program or may delay graduation.

For vaccination contraindication, visit the CDC website.

Communicable Diseases

As means to protect the health safety of all WAUSM students, patients and staff members, students with communicable disease(s) will not be permitted to engage in patient contact until and unless the conditions have been resolved. All students with communicable diseases must receive medical clearance from a WAUSM approved medical provider prior to returning to clinical care activities. The student must notify the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) as recommended by their medical provider to disclose their health status. All notifications to OSA will be kept confidential.

All WAUSM students will receive appropriate training and education pertaining to the prevention and transmission of diseases due to occupational exposure. Additionally, WAUSM requires all students to obtain and maintain disability and health insurance throughout their medical training at the university.

Students, including all visiting students with communicable diseases or conditions, will not be permitted to engage in patient contact until such conditions have been resolved as documented by a WAUSM approved medical provider. This restriction is necessary to protect the health and safety of WAUSM’s students, as well as patients and staff members.

Persons with the following medical conditions will not be allowed patient contact without prior medical clearance by a WAUSM approved medical provider: 1) active chickenpox, measles, German measles, herpes zoster (shingles), acute hepatitis, or tuberculosis; 2) oral herpes with draining lesions; 3) group A streptococcal disease (i.e., strep throat) until 24 hours after treatment has been received; 4) draining or infected skin lesions (e.g. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); 5) HIV/AIDS (refer to the HIV/AIDS Information below) or 6) COVID positive until individual tests negative and is asymptomatic.

A student who has a communicable disease and is unsure whether they should participate in patient care should seek medical care from a WAUSM approved medical provider. All students with a communicable disease must receive written medical clearance by a WAUSM approved medical provider prior to returning to clinical care activities. A case-by-case evaluation of each infected student will be done by the approved provider to determine eligibility to perform the duties required on the clinical rotation. Based on the recommendations of his or her physician, it is the responsibility of each infected medical student to notify the WAUSM Office of Student Affairs if they are unable to perform clinical work. Appropriate documentation is required. All such notifications will be kept strictly confidential.

Prior to the start of clinical experiences, a student who has chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV), chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV), or HIV/AIDS is required to notify the Office of Student Affairs of their status. All such notifications will be kept strictly confidential.

Prior to the start of any clinical experiences, infected students may be required to seek medical consultation with an approved WAUSM approved medical provider to determine their ability to perform the duties required of the clinical rotation.

Medical students are not obligated to answer patient questions related to their own HBV/HCV/HIV/AIDS status, nor shall they answer such questions related to other students, other health care personnel, or patients.

Serologic testing of medical students for HBV/HCV/HIV antibody will not be performed routinely. Testing is recommended when there has been a documented needle or sharp instrument puncture or mucous membrane exposure to the blood or body fluids of patients, or when there has been a medical student-to-patient exposure.

Students who are at high risk of infection from patients or other personnel because of their immune status or any other reason are encouraged to discuss their work responsibilities and educational activities with their personal health care provider. If the health care provider believes that there are certain assignments the individual should not accept for personal health reasons, this should be discussed with the SADSA or designee. Accommodations may be available under Technical Standards. Students should contact WAUSM’s SADSA to see whether such accommodation is available.

Medical students with HBV/HCV/HIV seropositivity may have periodic physical examinations by a WAUSM approved medical provider. Written health clearance will be provided to the SADSA or designee, who will notify the student’s clerkship director of his or her ability to return to practice direct patient care. All correspondence will be kept confidential and will not be used as a basis for discrimination.

The greatest theoretical risk of medical student-to-patient transmission of HBV, HCV or HIV/AIDS involves invasive or exposure-prone procedures with manipulation of needles or other sharp objects not under direct visualization. Medical students who have HBV/HCV/HIV seropositivity may not perform invasive or exposure- prone procedures unless such activity is approved in writing by:

• an expert panel duly constituted to guide and review performance of such procedures (see CDC guidelines for definition of exposure-prone procedures and recommendations for expert panel oversight),

• the student’s personal physician,

• the clinical clerkship director,

• and the SADSA or designee.

Education and Training

All students will receive general information pertaining to the prevention and transmission of occupational exposures. More formal clinical information about the prevention and pathophysiology of all infectious diseases that might potentially be transmitted in a clinical care setting is provided prior to the start of clinical clerkships. This would include education regarding hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, varicella, influenza, meningitis, tuberculosis, and HIV.

Students will be provided with education on universal blood and body fluid precautions. Students will also receive information on infection control and prevention of the spread of communicable disease. When students are assigned to work at a clinical rotation site, the faculty at the affiliate site will provide information regarding the policies and procedures at their respective site that students must follow in the event of exposure, to include needlestick injury and other potential blood-borne pathogen exposure. All students are required to complete training in OSHA and HIPAA.

Standard Precautions

Infection control policies are established for the surveillance, prevention, and control of infection caused by a variety of microorganisms. Blood, semen, and vaginal fluids are the three most potentially infectious body fluids, but other body fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, and unfixed body tissues should be considered potentially infectious, especially if contaminated with blood. Universal precautions should always be followed, even when handling fluids and tissues that are not normally infectious such as saliva, feces, urine, sweat, sputum, vomitus, and tears. It should be noted that these body fluids carry a greater risk of infection if contaminated with visible blood, which can result from an accidental occurrence or complication of patient contact and procedures.

Students are required to follow appropriate infection control procedures, including the use of personal protective equipment, whenever there is a risk of parenteral, cutaneous, or mucous membrane exposure to blood, body fluids, or aerosolized secretions from any patient, irrespective of the perceived risk of a blood borne or airborne pathogen. Regardless of the real or perceived communicable disease status of the patient, all students and staff should follow standard universal precautions when providing patient care.

The basic precautions include:

a. Always wash hands before and after patient contact, according to the policy of the clinical site, even if gloves are used.

b. Always wear gloves when exposure to blood, body fluids, and other body excretions is likely.

c. Use gloves appropriately according to aseptic and/or sterile techniques, and always change gloves between patients.

d. Wear gowns/aprons when soiling of clothing with blood or body fluids is likely.

e. Wear masks, face shields, and eye protection when aerosolization of blood or body fluids may occur.

f. Dispose of sharps in designated rigid sharp containers. Never recap needles by hand.

g. Dispose of waste saturated with blood or body fluids in designated red biohazardous waste containers.

Student Occupational Exposure

Despite the best efforts of health care practitioners and facilities, as well as educational institutions and faculty, the risk of student exposure to blood-borne pathogens cannot be eliminated. Although all prudent precautions are taken, students still have a real risk of acquiring infectious diseases that may cause illness, disability and potentially even death. Moreover, even if not debilitating to the student, some infectious diseases may preclude a student from practicing in certain specialties, due to the patient’s risk of infection from the provider performing exposure-prone activities.

It is the policy of WAUSM that all students who are exposed (percutaneously, through mucous membranes or skin) to blood / bodily fluids while engaged in a University-sponsored educational program receive prompt medical attention, including counseling, prophylactic drug treatment, and baseline and follow-up laboratory values, as necessary. In accordance with this policy, the following procedures must be followed by students who have been exposed to blood/bodily fluids.

Procedure for student exposure to blood / bodily fluids. If you are exposed to blood / bodily fluids, immediately:

a. Remove soiled clothing and wash the exposed area with soap and water.

b. Notify attending faculty physician, resident and/or site coordinator.

c. Students shall present to the local emergency department, or employee health office, for assessment and initial prophylactic treatment if applicable.

d. Following the assessment, the emergency department shall immediately make available to the affected student a copy of all the student’s records relating to the treatment and follow up, and when available results regarding the HIV, HBV, and HCV status of the source, to the extent permitted by law.

e. All WAUSM students are required to obtain and maintain health insurance. The student has exclusive responsibility for his or her own medical bills.

f. Within 24 hours of the exposure, the student must follow up with the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs (SADSA).

Blood-Borne and Airborne Infections

Acquisition of infection from patients and staff members, particularly due to respiratory and/or blood borne pathogens, is an all too frequent and avoidable event. To help protect students from this risk of nosocomial acquired infection, WAUSM has implemented an educational program on respiratory pathogens. Students are taught about blood- borne and respiratory pathogens and protection guidelines during their first week of orientation. A second presentation on blood-borne and respiratory pathogens and guidelines for prevention is given preceding the beginning of clinical rotations in semester 6.

Participation in Clinical Care Activities

Blood-borne Infections: Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms such as viruses or bacteria that are carried in blood and can cause disease in people.

There are many different bloodborne pathogens, including malaria, syphilis, and brucellosis, and most notably Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Bloodborne pathogens such as HBV and HIV can be transmitted through contact with infected human blood and other potentially infectious body fluids such as:


vaginal secretions

cerebrospinal fluid

synovial fluid

pleural fluid

peritoneal fluid

amniotic fluid

saliva (in dental procedures), and

any bodily fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood

Students infected with blood-borne or other pathogens shall not, solely because of such infection, be excluded from participation in any phase of medical school life, including educational opportunities, employment, and extra-curricular activities, except as otherwise required by applicable federal, state, or local law or unless their health care condition presents a direct threat to the health and safety of themselves or others.

Students infected with airborne pathogens may be excluded from participation in such activities during the infectious stage of their disease.

Students who are at high risk of infection from patients or other personnel because of their immune status or any other reason are encouraged to discuss their work responsibilities and educational activities with their personal health care provider. If the health care provider believes that there are certain assignments the individual should not accept due to personal health reasons, this should be discussed with the Office of Student Affairs.

In some cases, students may be unable to participate fully in medical school life or meet the technical standards of WAUSM. In these cases, the individual should contact the Office of Student Affairs to discuss the existence and nature of the disability and whether reasonable accommodations are available. For more information, see the policy on “Students with Disabilities” contained in this Handbook.

If a student’s exposure results in the contraction of a disease or disability, the student may be allowed to continue in the education program with as little disruption and as safely as possible depending on the circumstances. The student’s specific medical circumstances will be confidentially evaluated on a case-by-case basis and appropriate recommendations regarding the student’s progress through medical school may be submitted to SPC for appropriate action, if necessary.

Equal Opportunity/Non Discrimination Policy

Western Atlantic University School of Medicine (WAUSM) is an equal opportunity employer (EEO).

Western Atlantic University School of Medicine (WAUSM) will take affirmative action to employ qualified members of minority groups and ensures that no discriminatory hiring or employment practices shall exist.

In line with this policy, all employees will be provided an equal opportunity to be considered for promotion or transfer regardless of race, color, religion, creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, political affiliation or belief, national origin, veteran status or marital status – if they satisfy the education (or equivalent) and experience requirements for the position.

In furtherance of the Affirmative Action Policy and the School’s philosophy, the University will maintain an Affirmative Action Committee and appoint an Affirmative Action Officer who will oversee the Affirmative Action Committee. The Officer or committee members will serve on search committees and may be called upon in grievance resolution and/or hearings on matters involving elements of discrimination.

Student Mistreatment

WAUSM is committed to providing and maintaining a positive environment for study and training, in which individuals are judged solely on relevant factors such as ability and performance and can pursue their educational and professional activities in an atmosphere that is humane, respectful, and safe.

Our students are exceptionally talented individuals, dedicated to becoming outstanding physicians, who have selected WAUSM for their training. Effective learning is possible only in an environment where students can trust their teachers to treat them fairly and with respect. The teacher may be a faculty member, resident, student, staff, or other members of the health care team. The teacher or learner relationship is unique because medical education includes mastering not just the science of medicine, but also the essentials of professional behavior. Students learn professional behavior primarily by observing the actions of their teacher role models. Unprofessional, disrespectful, or abusive behavior by teachers is antithetical to standards of professional conduct that medical students are expected to master.

This policy and related procedures aim to protect MAPP and medical students from mistreatment by any faculty (pre-clerkship and clerkship) or staff member associated with the university, including clerkship directors, attending physicians, residents, consultants, affiliates, and other medical students by:

a.  educating all members of the University about student mistreatment

b. prohibiting medical student mistreatment by anyone associated with WAUSM

c. encouraging the early identification of medical student mistreatment as a preventive measure

d. identifying individuals to whom medical students can report mistreatment

e. requiring those who receive complaints regarding student mistreatment to report the complaint to the appropriate administrator

f. providing a confidential system for reporting mistreatment

g. prohibiting retaliation against those who report mistreatment

h. assuring confidentiality to the fullest extent possible

i. assuring that all reports of mistreatment will be thoroughly and promptly addressed

j. providing an avenue for corrective action

Responsibilities of Teachers and Learners

The University has adopted the AAMC Compact between Teachers and Learners of Medicine. This compact serves as a pledge and as a reminder to teachers and learners that their conduct in fulfilling their mutual obligations is the medium through which the profession inculcates its ethical values.

Unprofessional and Abusive Behaviors

a. The responsibilities of teachers and students listed in the compact constitute examples of respectful and professional behaviors. These are our standards. Mistreatment of students can occur in a variety of forms and may seriously impair learning. Types of abuse include verbal, power, physical, mental, and emotional abuse, discrimination, and sexual harassment. Examples of mistreatment of students include, but are not limited to, repeated instances or single egregious instances of:

ii. yelling or shouting at a student in public or private

iii. criticism or other actions that reasonably can be interpreted as demeaning, insulting, or humiliating

iv. assigning duties as punishment rather than education

v. unwarranted exclusion from reasonable learning opportunities or intentional neglect or lack of communication (e.g., neglect in a clerkship of students with interests in a different field of medicine) or other instances that cause unwarranted exclusion from reasonable learning or professional opportunities.

vi. threats to fail, give lower grades, or give a poor evaluation for inappropriate reasons

vii. disregard for student safety

viii. denigrating comments about a student’s preferred choice of specialty

ix. asking students to carry out personal chores

x. unwelcome repeated sexual comments, jokes, innuendos, or taunting remarks about one’s body, attire, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status

xi. comments about stereotypical behavior or ethnic jokes xii. intentional physical contact such as pushing, shoving, slapping, hitting, tripping, throwing objects, or aggressive violation of personal space

b. Certain mistreatment behaviors such as sexual harassment; discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and veteran status are also covered under WAUSM policies.

c. Such complaints will be handled in accordance with WAUSM’s policy and procedures. If WAUSM personnel receive a complaint that appears to be covered under these WAUSM policies, they will forward the student’s complaint to the appropriate WAUSM office for further institutional action.

d. When a medical student is alleged to have engaged in medical student mistreatment, the SADSA will determine whether such cases shall be handled under this policy (including referral to responsible WAUSM offices) or by the Student Progress Committee (SPC).

Please refer to the grade appeal policy for information regarding disputes over grades.

Report of Abuse or Mistreatment

a. The student should, first, carefully examine the circumstances of the incident or incidents which occurred.

b. The student may discuss the event with someone else who witnessed it, or with another student or individual whose judgment the student trusts. Did the event come under the behaviors listed in this section? If so, there are three processes available for addressing the incident—informal resolution, consultation, and formal complaint. Often, concerns can be resolved informally or through consultation.

c. If the matter is not satisfactorily resolved through the informal resolution or consultation process, then the person who made the allegation of mistreatment (whether a medical student or otherwise) or the person against whom the allegation was made may initiate a formal complaint. The goal of these processes is to foster the student’s educational experience by minimizing behaviors which detract from it.

i. Informal Resolution—Students may do this by directly approaching the person whom they feel mistreated them and expressing their concern.

ii. Consultation—Meet with the student’s course/unit/clerkship director and describe what happened. If the course/unit/clerkship director takes action to settle the complaint, he or she will submit a written report of these actions to the SADSA. If the student is not satisfied with his or her interaction with the course/unit/clerkship director, or does not feel comfortable approaching him or her, or the abuser is the course/unit/clerkship director, the student may meet with the SADSA administrator to discuss possible avenues for resolution.

iii. Formal Complaint—Students can make a formal complaint in writing to the SADSA. They can also make a formal complaint in writing to a mentor/advisor or any other staff or faculty member at WAUSM. However, it is important that the SADSA be made aware so that the complaint can be properly addressed and remediated according to the procedures below.

iv. Students may make an anonymous report by visiting the WAUSM Student Hub Canvas Page and completing the Report of Student Mistreatment form. Anonymous reports may limit the ability of the university to investigate the complaint.

Procedure for Handling Complaints of Student Abuse

a. The SADSA will be responsible for hearing complaints of student abuse or mistreatment which are not settled through the informal resolution or consultation process.

b. The Office of the SADSA will be responsible for reviewing the complaint and obtaining additional information.

c. If the initial review discloses that the complaint warrants further review, the SASDA will convene an ad hoc committee to hold a hearing. d. The person against whom the complaint is made will be notified in writing of the complaint and the policy for handling such complaints, and both parties will be invited to attend and participate in the process.

e. If, however, the initial review discloses that the complaint has no merit, SADSA will dismiss it. The student will be notified and may appeal to WAUSM’s Executive Dean and Chief Academic Officer within ten (10) days of the decision. The Executive Dean may uphold the decision of the SADSA, or may determine that the complaint warrants further review and convene an ad hoc committee as described above.

f. The ad hoc committee will meet to review the facts of the complaint and may receive written or oral testimony from both the complainant and the respondent. All materials will be held confidential by the committee.

g. The chair of the ad hoc committee will submit a written report of the committee’s findings to the SADSA.

h. The SADSA will notify the respondent and the complainant in writing of the findings. Record of the proceedings will be kept by the SADSA.

i. I f an allegation of abuse or mistreatment is made against an individual at an affiliated clinical site, the SADSA will meet directly with the student and applicable officials at such site to address and remediate the situation.

j. In the interim, provisions will be made to reassign or remove the student from interaction with the person against whom the complaint is made.

Appeals Process

a. If either the student or the person against whom the complaint is made wants to appeal the decision, a written appeal must be submitted to the University President within ten (10) days of notification of the decision.

b. The President or his designee will conduct an appeal review by examining the facts gathered during the process as well as any new facts offered by either party for consideration.

c. The President or designee will notify the parties in writing of his or her decision.

d. The decision of the President is final.


a. Unless legally required (e.g., there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm, a criminal investigation, mandatory Title IX reporting, mandatory disability discrimination reporting, court order, or as otherwise required by law), all officials involved in the investigation of mistreatment will hold all communications with those seeking assistance in confidence, and not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so.

b. Substance of matters discussed in the office will remain confidential, but the SADSA will report general, de-identified trends of issues to provide feedback to the Executive Dean and designees and to advocate systems change when appropriate.

c. The SADSA and other investigators and decision-makers will strive to maintain confidentiality to the full extent appropriate, consistent with the need to resolve the matter effectively and fairly.

d. The parties, persons interviewed in the investigation, persons notified of the investigation, and persons involved in the proceedings will be advised of the need for discretion and confidentiality. Inappropriate breaches of confidentiality may result in disciplinary action.


a. WAUSM strictly prohibits retaliation against anyone reporting or providing information in an investigation or proceeding.

b. Examples of retaliation include, but are not limited to, assigning a lower grade, describing the reporting individual as a “snitch,” or making comments that the reporting individual is not to be trusted.

c. Alleged retaliation will be subject to investigation and may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination, expulsion, or dismissal.

False Claims

A person who knowingly makes false allegations of mistreatment, or who knowingly provides false information in an investigation or proceeding will be subject to disciplinary action and, in the case of students, may result in a referral to the SPC or administrative withdrawal from the program.



The academic catalog describes the educational program and activities available at WAUSM. WAUSM’s curriculum is designed to build a solid foundation and positions students for success.



The information contained in the student handbook serves as a guide for students throughout their academic, clinical,  and extracurricular life as members of the WAUSM community.