TravelWell - Travel Medicine
Whether traveling for fun or for business, for a short or long stay, travelers can take advantage of the unique expertise and comprehensive services provided by SMHC TravelWell. Directed by Thomas Courtney, MD, infectious disease specialist, TravelWell offers consultation and vaccines for anyone planning to travel abroad.
The education and vaccinations needed for travel vary greatly by country and even within a country. Travel to a well-known tourist destination can be very different than traveling to a remote area only hours away. Dr. Courtney’s work in infectious diseases makes him the ideal physician to direct this department.
Preparing for Your Trip
Ideally, travelers should schedule their appointment 4-6 weeks before travelling; however, anyone seeking services for last-minute travel are encouraged to call as well. The TravelWell nurse contacts the traveler prior to his or her appointment to review their itinerary, and ensure that the appropriate vaccinations, malaria prevention, food and water precautions, and educational material are recommended. The appointment, usually an hour, includes counseling and education, prescriptions, and vaccines.
Insurance reimbursement for travel medicine services varies widely, with many insurance plans not covering this service. Travelers pay at the time of service, and they can typically expect to pay between $200 and $500 for the consult and the vaccines, depending on the specific vaccines needed.
Some illnesses can emerge weeks after returning home, so travelers are encouraged to contact TravelWell, especially in cases of intestinal illnesses, fevers, and rashes that persist or develop weeks or months after returning.
Addressing Special Concerns
TravelWell provides consultations for travelers with special needs such as those who are pregnant, immunocompromised, traveling with children, missionaries, healthcare providers traveling to provide disaster relief, foreign-born travelers returning to visit friends or relatives, or travelers involved in international adoptions.