History, Impact & Outlook


A Student Health Service at UNM was started in 1929. The service was founded because “adequate medical attention and plans for safeguarding the health of students are important factors in any educational program. The conservation of student health by these means (a student health service) has proved to be a wise and an economic policy in other state universities.” (University of New Mexico Biennial Report, 1928-1929)

The Board of Regents approved a health fee to fund the service. From 1937 to 1939, the Student Health Service was administered through the Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. In 1952, the Student Health Center was assigned to the Division of Student Affairs. In 1960, the Center moved into a renovated building; the Center still resides in Building #73.

SHAC Vintage Photos Circa 1969

A young woman holding books poses in front of parking lot next to SHAC. 

A male and female student are walking under the SHAC portal. Each carries books.

Expansion of Student Health Services and Accreditation

Health services have expanded greatly to meet the needs of the students. Over the ensuing years, we have used student input and utilization of services, balanced with available financial support, to add desired services for students. Acting on advice from the Student Health Leadership Council (SHLC), the Center’s name was changed in May 2008 from “Student Health Center” to “Student Health and Counseling (SHAC).” Care is taken to ensure that new and existing programs have been well utilized and directly benefited students.

On December 1, 2021, SHAC received another full 3-year accreditation from the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). (SHAC received its first full 3-year accreditation in 2015, and then again in 2018.)

AAAHC accreditation means that SHAC has met nationally recognized standards for provision of quality health care set by AAAHC. This includes participation in on-going self evaluation, peer review, and education to continuously improve its care and services. Accreditation shows SHAC's commitment to providing the highest levels of quality care to its patients. The organization also commits to a thorough, on-site survey by AAAHC surveyors, who are themselves healthcare professionals, at least every three years.

For information about current SHAC Services, see Scope of Services.


The following report summarizes SHAC's Impact and Outlook for the UNM Division of Student Affairs for the past fiscal year (July 1 through June 30):

SHAC Impact & Outlook Report 2018-2019

For previous issues of SHAC Annual Reports, contact the SHAC Executive Director at Student Health & Counseling at (505) 277-3136.

See also 2018-2019 Collective Impact & Outlook Infographic for an overview of data collected for all of the departments within UNM Student Affairs.