By Pete Grogg
Welcome to the brand new Indiana University Health Center blog! We’re very excited about the opportunity to offer this blog to the IU community! Why, you ask? Well, we plan to provide you with helpful advice, news, videos, and information around health-related issues and the Bloomington campus community, whether you’re a student or an employee.
As the executive director of the Health Center, some might say I’m the least qualified person to deliver health advice or information. Not that I necessarily agree, but I think I’ll focus on what you can expect from us this year rather than getting out my stethoscope. . .
Our blog will cover a wide variety of topics including campus events, awareness weeks, election candidate views on healthcare, national news, staff profiles, tobacco cessation tips, giveaways, and regular columns like #CookWithKatie, which will feature biweekly recipes from a staff nutritionist. You’ll also have the chance to see students ride a golf cart with beer goggles on at the upcoming Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll event, which encourages students to make positive health choices during college.
Throughout the past two years, in addition to providing excellent care and services to the 45,000+ students on campus, we have gradually evolved our mission to be all-inclusive to members of the university community, meaning students and employees.
Our evolving mission is focused on addressing three tightly integrated objectives: a healthy mind, a healthy body, and a healthy life. With rapidly advancing technology, everything is a work in progress in the healthcare field. Our constantly-changing services provide integrative health on all levels.
Here are just a few examples of new ways we are delivering value back to the Bloomington campus community this year.
- “Let’s Talk” is a multicultural prevention and outreach program intended to develop and enable a structure that promotes and facilitates both prevention and early identification of life stressors and mental health issues affecting underserved students on campus. Resources will be available within key student organizations to provide developmental, psychosocial support, treatment, and programs/workshops promoting self-efficacy while serving as a bridge to more formal campus mental health resources. A small selection of these organizations include the Asian Culture Center, Office of International Services, and Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.
- The Counselor in Academic Residence Program is similar to the Multicultural Outreach Program in that it is also designed focus on early identification and early intervention of mental health issues, but from an academic setting. Building upon our successful collaboration with the Jacobs School of Music—where we saw utilization of CAPS resources more than double—this year, we will offer this same service within the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA). As a SPEA alum, I am personally thrilled they are a new part of this program.
- Employee and Student Well Coaching are inter-professional, physician-led, integrative clinical programs designed to provide patient-centered care. These services will include conventional medical care, lifestyle interventions, and evidence-based interventions. Services will include well coaching visits and classes, nutritional counseling, stress-reducing mind-body approaches, and health coaching with an emphasis placed on motivating and supporting lifestyle behavior change.
- Additionally, beyond the well coaching, we are expanding to offer more services to IU employees covered under IU’s Anthem BlueCross BlueShield plans. IU employees can already use the Health Center’s retail pharmacy and wellness/prevention services, such as massage, tobacco cessation, and stress management. This year, we will expand this list to include physical therapy, x-ray services, and acute eye care. While we do hope nobody pokes your eye out at work, we’re here for you if they do! We see this expansion as convenient, high value options for employees.
- Improving the Patient Experience is an ever-evolving, but important component of patient-centric services. For sick people visiting the Health Center, the last thing they want to do is spend excessive time with our staff (no matter how wonderful we are!). They want to get in, get what they need, and get back to bed. We understand your needs and are investing significantly in technology that will make it easier to make appointments, eliminate your wait time, navigate the Health Center, and eliminate standing in lines to pay. You can expect these technologies to roll out over the course of the coming year.
- Finally, our Wellness Partnership with the School of Public Health focuses on identifying common areas of interest focused on wellness with the intent of developing a relationship structure that bridges teaching, practice and research, as well as delivering value back to each organization and the Bloomington campus. This partnership is off to a great start with projects and shared positions focused on sexual health, exercise as medicine, recreation health, and data analytics. The payoff for students and employees is better, data-driven, research based interventions designed to help you live a healthier lifestyle.
The above are just a taste of the more than 170,000 individual encounters and programs that take place through the IU Health Center each year. Feel free to offer suggestions on what content you’d like to see—either via our blog or our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Our sole purpose is to serve the IU Bloomington campus; we hope you find value (and entertainment) in these posts and take advantage of our growing array of services designed with you in mind. Have a happy and healthy year!