American Republic Health Center

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American Republic Health Center

Submitted by Syed Safwan Syed Safi Oct. 14, 2011

Drake Health Center (Sept. 1972)


Build on April 29, 1971, the American Student Health Center was completed as a new building at the same time Fine Arts Complex was completed on the Drake University campus in Des Moines, Iowa [1]. The Health Center is located west of the Drake campus at 32nd and Carpenter Avenue which is also near the housing area, Drake West Village.

[[image:Health center2.png width="339" height="223" align="right" caption="Drake Times-Delphic (Sept. 1972)"]


Health Center3.png

The Health Center was a part of the Drake Centennial Development Program which was a 12-year effort to raise $36.5 million for campus expansion by 1981 [1]. Specifically, the student Health Center was built during Phase 1 of this program and this building costs around $228,300. Majority of this amount of money was donated by the American Republic Insurance Company. In addition, the staff working in the Health Center especially the doctors and nurses are workers from the company. Hence, this means that Drake University Health Center is managed by American Republic Insurance Company. There were many people from the higher authorities of Drake University and American Republic Health Insurance who attended the opening ceremony of the Health Center. This includes the Drake President, Dr. Paul F. Sharp, and President of the American Public Insurance Company, Watson Powell, Jr. The main purpose of establishing this building is to provide health information, resources, and treatment for injuries and illnesses [2]. It is available for all full time students and the operational hours of the Health Center is from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday), 8.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. (Wednesday) and 8.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. (Friday). Besides that, the Health Center also provides immunization for the student especially the meningitis vaccine for the new students living in a dorm setting. The immunization requirement on students started on Sept. 30, 1986 because there were 133 cases of red measles (rubella) reported in the state of Iowa [3]. Hence, Eileen Hickey R.N. of the Health Center, strongly advised students to get themselves immunized if their shot was before the age of one or before 1969.


Drake’s Health Center provides excellent services to the students until it was compared with other schools’ health center. Bradley University in Peoria, Creighton University in Omaha, and Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville are among the schools that had been compared with Drake [4]. The main specialty of Drake’s Health Center is that it doesn’t offer limited use of its health center staff and faculty as compared to other schools. Nevertheless, the health center has also been criticized following an event happened on May 1, 1979. There was a student who suffered a broken blood vessel went to the health center and the doctors said that they couldn’t find anything wrong and asked him to go to a specialist; they also didn’t give him any recommendations of any specialist and the boy was left dumb-founded. Hence, the boy with his own initiative searched for a specialist in the phone book and he managed to find one. He was treated the next day most of the students disapproved the credibility of the health center at that time [5]. From that incident onward, the health center has been providing exceptional services to the students and regained back the students’ trust.


Health center4.png

This company was founded in the spring of 1929 by the late Watson Powell, a pioneer in the accident and health insurance industry [6]. The company was an early leader in hospital, medical, surgical, and nursing insurance for individuals and families. According to the Angus Chart of Health Insurance, American Republic is first among the 40 leading companies in the individual health insurance field in the percentage of premium dollars paid to policyholders in claims benefits. In the 10-year period, 1956-1965, American Republic’s life insurance in force grew six-and-a-half times. The company assets have had dramatic growth from nearly $11,000,000 in 1956 to more than $78,000,000 in 1970. The current president of the company is Mr. Michael E. Abbott who also serves the Director of America’s Health Insurance Plans.

Health Center Waiting Hall (1972)
Health Center Waiting Hall ( Oct. 2011 )

Treatment Room (1972)
Treatment Room ( Oct. 2011 )

Works Cited

  • [1] (1971). Centennial Development Program Report. Des Moines: Drake University.
  • [2] LaBare, J. (1972, September). Health Center open: complete staff ready. Des Moines, Iowa, USA: Drake Times Delphic.
  • [3] Olsen, H. (1986, Sept. 30). Health center advises immunization. Des Moines, Iowa, USA: Drake Times Delphic.
  • [4] Sargent, J. (n.d.). Drake health center comparable to other schools'. Des Moines, Iowa, USA: Drake Times Delphic.
  • [5] Norman, J. (1979, May 1). Health care criticized. Des Moines , Iowa , USA : Drake Times Delphic.
  • [6] University, D. (1971, April 29). Profile of The Donor. Des Moines, Iowa, USA: Drake University.