Meeting Institutional Challenges
Expansion of services has led to a more comprehensive primary healthcare program through which a broader range of health concerns are addressed on campus. Such access to convenient healthcare translates into less time away from the classroom/office and fewer out of pocket costs for students, faculty, and staff. Students, faculty, and staff were seen for a wide variety of health concerns.
- Over 6,700 clinic visits
To address challenges regarding the provision of services for students struggling with depression and/or anxiety, a part-time Psychiatric APN was hired and a partnership with the Office of Counseling and Career Planning was developed. This was enhanced by the expansion of Medicat to include the counseling staff leading to virtual access to shared client electronic medical records.
- 300+ clients were treated during this reporting period.
Smoking cessation services, including individualized counseling and access to anti-smoking medications, continue to support the smoke-free campus environment.
- Over 100 smoking cessation interventions.
State mandated regulations regarding tuberculosis screening of foreign-born students were met by the tuberculosis screening program.
- 270 students from 49 countries were screened for tuberculosis. No active cases were identified.
Enhancing the Quality of Campus Life
The staff of Health Promotion, Programs, and Education (HPPE) continued to offer wellness initiatives, health-related events, and educational opportunities fostering a healthy campus environment which supports student learning, academic performance, and retention.
In conjunction with the NOPE (Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education) Task Force, a candlelight vigil was held in October to remember those lost to drug and alcohol related incidents and to raise campus awareness about this important issue.
Fourteen peer educators attended the annual BACCHUS Network conference in New Orleans where they gained valuable insights and participated in up-to-date training sessions. This is the 17th year UALR has participated training peer educators.
Over 150 people participated in national “Wear Red Day” to raise campus awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of women.
The Weight and Wellness program, along with individual nutritional and fitness counseling, continued to assist the campus community with weight loss and healthy lifestyle choices.
- 118 Weight and Wellness participants
- 71 individual nutrition/exercise sessions
Through the “Trojan Trailblazers” walking program, members of the campus community participated in weekly opportunities to support one another in making exercise a routine part of their work week.
- Over 200 participants
Trojan Fest 2012 provided a fun atmosphere including live music and health-related interactive activities emphasizing that students can have fun without the use of alcohol or drugs.
- 104 evaluations were completed
Noteworthy Unit Activities
Routine screening for depression and anxiety of all new clients was initiated as a result of a webinar-based conference arranged by the Office of Counseling and Career Planning. New clients who answered “yes” to a two-question screening process (PHQ 2) were directed to complete a nine-question survey regarding their level of depression/anxiety (PHQ 9). Based on the score, clients were directed to appropriate interventions.
Over 3,600 labs were submitted for evaluation through the new outsource lab arrangement allowing a broader range of health concerns to be evaluated and treated on-site.
Student Health 101, the web-based magazine that delivers a wide variety of health and wellness information, pertinent to college students, was sent monthly to all UALR students, faculty, and staff. The Parent Perspective issues of Student Health 101 also were sent to parents.
- Over 71,000 pages were read representing a 6% increase over last year.
Any person injured on the UALR campus was evaluated and treated and/or referred according to need. Accident reports were completed and routed to appropriate personnel to assist with ongoing safety improvement processes. The director continues to serve on the Environmental, Health, and Safety committee providing input into other campus-wide safety concerns.
- Over 120 individuals were seen for accidents.
A project to shred all medical records greater than 10 years old was completed during the summer of 2011. Ongoing scanning of records under 10 years old continues until all are in electronic format.
The 2011 influenza campaign was held in the DSC fitness center which allowed for a more expedient vaccination process for larger numbers of people. A “flu information” table was stocked with free literature, hand sanitizer, and tissues. Hours were extended until 6 p.m. each day and coordination with the UALR Nursing School yielded many student nurse volunteers. Vaccines were also administered at the Bowen School of Law.
- Approximately 1,800 students, faculty, and staff received flu vaccinations
Challenges and Opportunities
Health Services had the opportunity to participate in the Growing Healthy Communities Wellness Fair in September. Free health information and blood pressure checks were provided to both the campus community and University District residents. Free “Cold Care Kits” were given to the first 200 participants.
- 109 students, 14 faculty, and 26 staff participated
Technological advances (iPhone) have made it possible to communicate with the off-site consulting physician regarding complex dermatological conditions and injuries. Photographs are taken of such cases by the APN’s and texted to Dr. Keith Cooper for immediate conferencing.
Increased numbers of clients accessing the expanded array of health services has led to the need for another full-time APN. This position has been approved and will be filled in the next fiscal year.
- 1,440 students expected to live on campus by fall 2012
A proposal was made and approved to explore revenue potential through billing QualChoice for health services provided to employees. The contract with QualChoice has been completed and both full-time APNs have been credentialed as providers within the QualChoice network. This exciting new initiative will be implemented in the coming year.
Trends and Implications
The Center for Disease Control released new recommendations for tuberculosis screening among foreign-born students. The “Interferon-Gamma Release Assays (IGRAs)” are whole-blood tests that aid in diagnosing tuberculosis infection and are particularly accurate in screening those who have had the tuberculosis vaccine (BCG). Health Services staff is now following these guidelines and, therefore, have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of “false positives” cases.
To address the rising costs of employee healthcare, the University of Arkansas Systems Office has been engaged in a wellness planning process. The director of Health Services serves on this committee and has represented the interests of UALR in the process. A wellness vendor has been selected, and there will be a wellness plan launched within the next year.
With the passage of Healthcare Reform, students up to the age of 26 will likely have to demonstrate proof of health insurance. As a result, the American College of Health Association annual meeting held many sessions on how student health centers could become involved in insurance billing as a source of revenue. The Health Services’ staff will continue to explore this in the coming year.
An intensive, three day Medicat training will be held this summer to assist staff of both Health Services and the Office of Counseling and Career Planning in expanding their use of this electronic medical record system.
The director serves on the UALR Diversity Council and is assisting with the development of an assessment tool to evaluate the campus environment regarding these important issues.