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Articles: Health

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.

Princeton has distributed a meningitis vaccine to students that is not yet approved in the U.S.

The majority of students, when they enter college, have been vaccinated against meningitis, a potentially deadly bacterial infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. In fact, 37 states mandate meningitis vaccination or education before entering college, according to the Immunization Action Coalition, which is financially supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What tops the list of HR challenges at your college or university? Managing soaring health care costs? Maybe it’s faculty recruitment, succession planning, or shrinking budgets.

Below, HR professionals from four different schools share their chief concerns, revealing why it’s getting more difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

What do Bravo TV’s Real Housewives, reality star Kim Kardashian, pro tennis player Maria Sharapova, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis have in common? All have chosen acupuncture as an alternative health treatment, for reasons ranging from women’s health issues to cosmetic anti-aging to pain management to sports rehabilitation and beyond.

With momentum from Obamacare and an increasingly health-conscious population, more attention has been paid to preventive health measures—as distinguished from treating chronic illness and degenerative disease.

Campus HR directors have begun taking action on health benefits changes spurred by the Affordable Care Act, but major uncertainties remain as they cope with the legislation. Hence, when CUPA-HR put together its 2013 “Employee Health Benefits in Higher Education Survey,” the Act got its own section.

Supporting the emotional health of students should be a priority on all campuses, and the nonprofit Jed Foundation is helping to make that happen. Colleges and universities can evaluate the care they provide with JedCampus, a program launched in May.

“Efforts should be made to promote connectedness and reduced isolation,” says John MacPhee, executive director of the program. “Mental health improves the more a student feels like a member of a community.”

Campus administrators say students are using online pharmacies to get drugs without prescriptions.

Officials at many colleges are reexamining their student conduct rules to specifically mention that drugs without a prescription are not allowed on campus

When Boston College leaders sent a letter to a student group in March saying its members could expect disciplinary sanctions if they distributed condoms from dorm rooms on campus, a game of sides followed. Some students, members of the media, and the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union stood by the unofficial student group, Boston College Students for Sexual Health.

mental health

Before entering college, Nicole, a junior at a small liberal arts college in New England, had been getting treatment for anorexia for two years. Finding a college with adequate mental health services was one of her biggest concerns, so she was relieved when the director of counseling services at the college she selected promised her a full treatment, complete with a weekly dietician meeting and regular sessions with a psychiatrist and a therapist.

Rising high school juniors and seniors are beginning to set their sights on the college admissions process—a long and winding road that typically includes web-based research, counselors, essays, and overnight visits to experience campus cultures.

Sounds good.

Yet, for too many students, these overnights include a different kind of education: underage drinking and intimate sexual behavior, in some cases for the first time.

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