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Articles: Health

The Red Folder, created by the University of California, is being adapted statewide as a resource for guidance on distressed student interaction.

Recent studies suggest that up to one-third of college students suffer mental health problems. California’s colleges and universities have made strides in providing mental health care to students—when higher ed as a whole has struggled to keep up with a growing demand for services.

A risk of fire may be less dangerous than the chemicals used to prevent it, and Harvard is adapting accordingly.

The Healthy Green Campus project—an initiative to improve student health through sustainable practices—grew out of a collaboration between Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, researchers from the university’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, and the Silent Spring Institute.

Students can color, practice golf shots on a putting green, build with Legos and play video games at the Niagara University library’s “stress-busting station.”

It gets heavy use during finals week, but is set up year round to encourage students to gather with classmates for activities other than cramming for exams, says Debra Colley, the New York university’s executive vice president.

Student success is the top priority for 84 percent of the campus leaders who responded to a UB survey.

Across higher education, institutions are blending instruction and extracurricular lives. Living/learning communities, data-driven advising and academic pathways, among other progressive initiatives, should continue to produce results at enterprising two- and four-year institutions—and will therefore see more widespread adoption.

Former university president Richard A. Skinner is a senior consultant with Harris Search Associates.

Much of what we read today about higher education tends to dwell on constraints and reductions, but at least one sector of academe is actually growing.

New medical schools are in various states of planning, development and accreditation, while existing schools are expanding class sizes, portending perhaps the greatest increase in this sector since World War II.

Colleges and universities now expect employees to take action, change behaviors and make decisions that positively impact their health, finances and lifestyles.

Wellness benefits have transformed into all kinds of unique offerings, ranging from on-site vegetable gardens to fitness centers. Meanwhile, traditional “do-everything-for-me” benefits have disappeared.

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.

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