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Articles: Health

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.

Fraternities and sororities are at the core of numerous institutions’ social traditions. But as several universities and their Greek organizations have come under fire for excessive drinking and violent behavior, Ivy League schools have stepped up to make changes to the system. With the implementation of new policies and penalties, a few are hoping to curb behaviors often associated with Greek life pledging—and the negative image these behaviors create in the public eye.

Every year, the sustainability staff at UC Davis hosts a celebration to sum up its Meatless Monday campaign. Students learn about their impact, and, best of all, get to indulge in some free vegan ice cream.

Making dietary changes isn’t just a good idea for staying healthy—it’s a way of going green, too. Colleges and universities are quickly taking notice. By buying local and promoting eating less meat, they’re helping students change the way they think about food in their dining halls and across campus, for the health of not only the campus community, but the planet.

For the first time in years, California employers have witnessed significant changes to employment laws, most of which took effect on January 1, 2012. Colleges and universities with operations in California must ensure compliance with these laws. Those that are not already prepared have a short amount of time to understand the new laws, train managers, and update policies and procedures.

Employee Credit Reports Prohibited, Except in Limited Circumstances

Both employers and employees struggle with health insurance costs. While most people think of doctors' visits when they think of health insurance, mental health and substance abuse treatment fall under the same umbrella. A recent study by a group of Harvard researchers from the Cambridge Health Alliance, found treatment coverage for medical school students is on the low end of the scale. Of the 115 med schools analyzed, fewer than 22 percent provide students with complete coverage, without co-pays or coinsurance, for mental health and substance abuse treatment.

smoke-free campus sign

Imagine it's the end of the semester. Students are pulling all-nighters to complete term papers and study for final exams. The stress level is off the charts, and some students reach for the pack of cigarettes for a "quick smoke" to help calm their nerves. For the growing number of colleges and universities that have adopted tobacco-free policies, this is their final exam.

Remember the first day you came to work? For some people, first days are overwhelming—with new rules, processes, and software programs to learn, new coworkers to meet, and myriad choices to make, from which health plan to choose to the amount of taxes you want deducted.

Universities are often in a unique position when it comes to managing their pharmacy benefits. Those associated with medical schools, hospital, and clinics often have affiliated pharmacies and access to staff with clinical pharmacy expertise. If an institution can fully leverage these in-house capabilities, it can have a dramatic effect on its overall pharmacy benefit budget. How to best leverage these capabilities should be considered when HR administrators selects a pharmacy benefit management (PBM) partner.