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Articles: Health

Fans at a University of New Haven football game might notice an odd sideline sight: medical personnel with their heads hunched over smartphones. But these athletic trainers are not checking text messages or updating their Facebook status. Rather, they are monitoring real-time data about the force of their players’ on-field collisions.

Source: “Self-Reported Concussion among NCAA Student-Athletes,” NCAA, February 2014 (Click to enlarge)

Wrestling, ice hockey and football have the highest concussion rates among men's sports. Ice hockey, field hockey and lacrosse top the list for women.

Carol Patton is a Las Vegas-based writer who specializes in human resources issues.

Heather DeBlanc says there’s been a lot of buzz lately at conferences among attorneys and insurance consultants about the Affordable Care Act.

Specifically, DeBlanc, an attorney at Liebert Cassidy Whitmore in Los Angeles, says there have been rumors the IRS is increasing the audits it performs at higher education institutions to ensure schools aren’t misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid giving them health care insurance.

More diverse student populations demand more of the health and wellness services offered on campus today. Colleges and universities must meet the unique needs of veterans, and students who are international, older, recovering from addictions, or who have physical or mental disabilities. Many schools are meeting this challenge by combining physical and mental health services under one roof, and even integrating recreation into the mix.

Kent Runyon is executive director of the Novus Medical Detox Center in Florida.

The U.S. makes up 5 percent of the world’s population, yet it consumes 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. Additionally, 52 million people in the U.S. over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime. With these statistics working against us, it’s no surprise that prescription drugs are being used illegally on college campuses.

Aradhana Bela Sood is a senior professor for child mental health policy and professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.

Aradhana Bela Sood's new book on the Virginia Tech massacre highlights what can be done to better treat people who are struggling emotionally. Sood, a senior professor for child mental health policy at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, says threat assessment and treating students quickly are keys.

When it comes to industry disruption, traditional healthcare organizations have many battle scars. Visits to the hospital emergency room are being replaced by visits to an urgent care center at the local strip mall. Traditional doctor referrals are being replaced by smartphone apps that direct consumers to low-cost, highly rated doctors. And traditional doctor visits are being replaced by visits to clinics at the local pharmacy or video chats on a kiosk in a shopping center.

Dartmouth College has launched a new campaign to combat harmful student behavior, including sexual assault and high-risk drinking.

Under the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” plan, the Ivy League school will no longer serve hard alcohol (30 proof or higher) on campus and will increase penalties for underage students found in possession of hard alcohol. Also in the works:

A December 2014 measles outbreak, which began in California’s Disneyland and has now spread to 14 states, brought national attention to the University of California system’s policy that requires vaccination only against hepatitis B

Recent campus outbreaks of easily spread but preventable diseases have forced administrators across the nation to review their institutions’ immunization policies.

Immunization policy on potentially deadly illnesses—including measles, meningitis, rubella and mumps—has a rather dense structure that varies by state (and often, by university or system). And these policies are becoming ever more important to clarify, define and enforce on campus.

Preventing flu at Mizzou: University of Missouri got more students to get a flu vaccination by  folding the cost into the per-semester student health fee and by offering the shot at locations throughout campus.

Advance planning the key to preventing and managing infectious diseases on campus. College and university officials acknowledge that the most common communicable disease they must address is the flu, but they're also creating emergency preparedness plans to help prevent outbreaks of rarer illnesses like meningitis.

Communicable diseases that can impact college and university campuses run the gamut from mumps to measles.

Although flu is the most common infectious disease on college campuses, trailing not far behind it is chlamydia, one of the sexually transmitted diseases most prevalent among young adults.

To help diagnose and treat students for the disease, which can cause infertility in women, the University of Missouri in Columbia has offered free testing events for both chlamydia and gonorrhea at several locations on campus and in the community. Triggered by the CDC’s “GYT” (Get Yourself Tested) initiative, the university last fall increased the testing to twice a month.

Student success and controlling costs are the top priorities for higher ed leaders in2 015. (Click to enlarge graphic)

Experts in higher education administration and management predict that 2015 will bring intense and sometimes surprising governance, financial and legal challenges to the sea of potential worries for university leaders. A few critical issues that will bubble to the surface involve financial health, academic performance, student wellness and continuity in leadership.

According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every 10 American children over the age of three has been diagnosed with ADHD. Before turning 18, nearly 14 percent of children will have been diagnosed. Most will receive ADHD drugs. Fearing that the popular response to this report will be “shock,” Psychiatrist John T. Walkup and two junior colleagues published a “reassuring” commentary that accompanied the CDC report (Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, November 2013).

Generating lab inspection reports for a campus used to take more than a week, but that time has been reduced to 1.5 business days.

The Texas A&M Health Science Center’s Environmental, Health and Safety Office is responsible for inspecting facilities and laboratories across eight campuses in the Texas A&M University System.

Meg Mott is a professor of political theory at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vt.

Recently, the White House Council on Women and Girls issued a report pledging to “make our campuses safer” from sexual assault.

According to their research, “1 in 5 women has been sexually assaulted while she’s in college,” a troubling statistic which the authors explain by “the dynamics of college life.” Female undergraduates, we are told, are abused while intoxicated by men whom they know in passing.