[MUSIC PLAYING] CATHERINE THRASHER-CARROLL: Well, hello, and welcome to Cornell Health, Cornell University's Student Health Center. My name is Catherine Thrasher-Carroll, and I'm the Mental Health Promotion Program Director at the Skorton Center for Health Initiatives, which is a department within Cornell Health. Next slide, please.
Cornell Health provides medical care, counseling, and support for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in Ithaca. Student spouses and partners may also use many of our services. Next slide, please.
Our goal at Cornell Health is to help students live well to learn well. And we recognize students as whole persons with various dimensions of well-being and multiple intersecting identities. Our integrated services are designed to help students make the most out of their time at Cornell. Next slide, please.
We are located at 110 Ho Plaza on central campus, right next to Willard Straight Hall, and not far from the Cornell store. During the academic year, we're open Monday through Friday, with some services available on Saturdays. And you can always visit our website for our most current hours. And whenever we're not open, we are always available for phone consultation and support 24/7, 365 days out of the year.
Our more than 200-plus staff members come from diverse clinical and cultural backgrounds and represent different identities and abilities. Our medical clinicians, mental health providers, physical therapists, nutritionists, pharmacists, and other specialists work together to support students and campus health. Next slide, please.
We value the breadth of diversity represented among our patients and clients. And we're committed to continually working toward inclusivity, cultural competence and humility, and anti-racism. We are also committed to protecting the confidentiality of students' personal health information and will not share their information with others, including other university offices, or even family members, without permission from the student, other than in an emergency situation.
When a student begins at Cornell, they will be assigned a primary care provider, a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant who will coordinate your student's health care throughout their time at Cornell. So whenever your student needs an appointment with a medical clinician, we recommend scheduling with their primary care provider or a member of that provider's team whenever possible to facilitate continuity of care. The primary care provider can provide the student with medical care when they're sick or injured or need a preventative checkup or prescription medication, or if they have other health concerns.
Our medical services available at Cornell Health include sexual health care, nutrition and counseling, physical therapy, lab testing and x-rays, immunizations, and allergy shots, along with gender services, behavioral health consultation, and psychiatric medication management. So your student's primary care provider works closely with staff from each of these other areas to provide comprehensive and integrated support for your student.
Our Counseling and Psychological Services department, known as CAPS, offers a number of services to support the mental health and well-being of our students. With over 40 counseling and psychological services providers, they include psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, and all can provide confidential counseling and care to help your student thrive, and not just survive, at Cornell.
Cornell Health also offers support and advocacy services to promote health and well-being. And these include our Student Disability Services staff, who can help students with accommodations that facilitate equitable access to learning, living, and other experiences at Cornell.
Cornell Health also provides support for students who are struggling with, or who just may want to cut down on, their alcohol, nicotine, or other drug use. Victim advocates provide assistance to members of the Cornell community who have been victims of assault, harassment, or other harmful incidents. Our patient advocates work with patients and clients who have concerns that were not addressed by staff members directly involved in their care.
And then we also offer a telephone-based language translation service, with more than 200 languages for students who may feel more comfortable communicating with their health care provider in their native language. We also have a pharmacy located right in the Cornell Health building. And it is available to all Cornell community members. Our pharmacy offers prescription and non-prescription medications, self-care supplies, sexual health supplies, nicotine cessation supplies, healthy snacks, and more.
Most of the Cornell Health services require scheduling an appointment in advance. And this can be done during regular business hours. And many appointments may also be scheduled online through our secure patient portal, My Cornell Health, which is accessible from any page of our Cornell Health website.
For the spring semester, most of our medical services are offered in person-- medical services, medical services. And most of our counseling services are provided by secure Zoom platform accessed through your student's secure patient portal. Offering telehealth appointments helps us limit the number of people visiting the building each day and reduces the risks associated with COVID-19. So be sure to check the website for service updates that may occur during the semester.
Students are required to have health insurance that meets Cornell's requirements or enroll in a Cornell student health plan. But no matter what insurance your student may have, they are welcome to come to Cornell Health for care. We do bill students' insurance plans as the primary payer for medical and psychiatric services received at Cornell Health. And any remaining out-of-pocket costs that your student may incur, including copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles, are capped at $10 for most services.
I'm thinking that my slide needs to advance. But before I do that, I want to tell you that when we think about mental health at Cornell, we take a public health, community-based, comprehensive approach. And that's what you're seeing here on this slide. So this approach reflects best practices known across the country in college mental health. It involves every member of our Cornell community. And it really guides our planning on providing a multi-pronged approach to support student mental health and well-being.
So within the educational environment, we're always looking for ways to partner with faculty and academic staff to foster a healthy educational environment. We work with student organizations and many other offices and departments within student and campus life to promote social connectedness and resilience. We work with student organizations and students, the Student Assembly, students across campus, to promote and increase help-seeking behavior and to help destigmatize help seeking, and also to make sure that every member of our campus community understands how it is that they can identify someone who may be in need of care and how to have an initial conversation with someone and how to encourage them to utilize the resources that are available.
What I'm describing mostly here are our integrated medical and mental health services. We have excellent coordinated crisis management. And another member of our team today, Kim Garrison, I think, will be describing that. And we also, of course, work across campus to restrict access to means of suicide. Next slide, please.
I'm not sure where the next slide-- oh. [LAUGHS] It's important that we share with you, as you're new to our campus community, that we are engaged in a comprehensive review of mental health on our campus. And in the fall of 2019 and the spring of 2020, we actually took stock of what was really happening here on our campus in terms of mental health. And there was an internal committee and an external group of reviewers who looked at our clinical services, but also our campus climate, and all of the various support services that come together here on our campus to promote mental health and well-being.
There were over 130 recommendations that were made and delivered by this external team of experts. And implementation is now underway, with a focus on culture change. You can actually view more information about this at MentalHealthReview.Cornell.edu. Next slide, please.
It is important to remind your student that when you come to a new place, it's natural to feel out of place for a while. It takes time to meet friends and to find your niche. Many students might have been a big fish in a little pond before they came to Cornell. And once they are here, they may begin to feel like they're a small fish in a big pond.
They will be challenged in many new ways, with new academic rigor, new topics, new social environment, new people, who hold different identities, different values. And it's important to help set the expectation that your student is capable and that adapting takes time. Next slide, please.
We would be remiss if we didn't also mention the impact that COVID continues to have on all of us, and particularly on our mental health. Many students have shared with us an increased sense of isolation and a real hunger for connection. It is possible to find that connection here at Cornell. We know that many of us, our students and their families, along with faculty and staff, have experienced economic challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We also know that there has been an increase in racial violence and also highlighting systemic racism. And these are topics that we are attempting to address and continue to grow in here on our campus. And there's also-- everyone is experiencing ongoing grief and loss. And so everyone's experiencing that.
We do have a section of our website that specifically focus on strategies, tools, and techniques for coping during COVID. And you can view that at Health.Cornell.edu/connect. Next slide, please.
So services for mental health and well-being, as I said already, include medical services, primary care, and behavioral health, counseling and psychological services, in addition to individual counseling. There's group counseling. We have Let's Talk drop-in consultations, drop-in workshops, a lot of things around coping, especially during this time of the ongoing pandemic, and then also psychiatry and medication management. I'm part of the mental health promotion team, and we offer many skills-based workshops and trainings and assistance in helping others. Next slide, please.
I went through some of these medical services already. And if you have any questions, I'm happy to take them after we're at the end of this presentation. Next slide, please.
Student Disability Services works to ensure that all aspects of student and academic life are accessible, equitable, and inclusive of students with disabilities. This service recognizes a variety of approaches to documentation and does not medicalize disability and supports students with a wide range of disabilities all across Cornell. And for more information, or for your student to register with this office, SDS.Cornell.edu is where you can find that information. Next slide, please.
So we are continuing to take precautions on campus to keep COVID-19 at as low a level as possible. There is a robust plan for vaccination, boosting, and testing as your students return to the Ithaca campus. Masks are widely available. And, of course, they need to-- people need to wear masks. I'm just going to say that.
And then at Cornell Health, both telehealth and in-person services are available. So if your student has questions, or you have questions, you can visit our web page or call us during business hours. Next slide, please.
Appointments, as I said, can be scheduled during regular business hours or through the student portal, which is on any of our web pages on our Cornell website. However, if your student has an urgent concern, they should always call us, 24/7, and there will be someone who can address their need. Next slide, please.
I see the question about masks. And students are being given locations where they can pick up masks on campus. So I've seen it in the Cornell subreddit thread. And your student should have gotten that information. I've mentioned that confidentiality is a top priority at Cornell Health. And your student can actually give us written permission to share specific information with you if they choose. Otherwise, everything is private and confidential. Next slide, please.
As I said, most visits for services at Cornell Health are only $10. Ithaca students pay a student health fee per semester. And this helps support our ability to provide affordable, equitable care to all of our students, regardless of the health insurance that they have. Next slide, please.
So please, remind your student often of the importance of self-care, of time management, healthy ways to de-stress, really important to stay connected to others, and that asking for help is a sign of strength and intelligence, not a sign of weakness. OK, and I'm going to turn it over now to one of my colleagues. Thank you. Next slide, please.
Oh, this is just to show you that this is our new mental health at Cornell.edu website. And this was one of the outgrowths of that big mental health review. This is kind of a one-stop shop for information related to everything mental health and well-being. Now I'll say thank you and turn it over.
LEIBA MEIER SWAIN: Hi. Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Leiba Meier Swain. I'm the Director of the Office of Student Health Benefits. Next slide.
Our department is charged with essentially ensuring that all students have insurance. And your insurance could be your private insurance that your family has or insurance from the university itself. The Office of Student Health Benefits resides within our Compliance and Risk Services division-- so again, because our function is to make sure that everyone has adequate health insurance.
We also have a role of supporting and chairing a student health benefit advisory group on campus. And this is an organization that anybody can get involved with and learn more about what student health care needs are and what's most pertinent and relevant to students in terms of seeking medical and mental health care. So referencing back one of the diagrams that Catherine had shared earlier in her presentation, and in terms of operating in a healthy function within the system, we provide access to medical and mental health services-- you can see by the star there-- and as well as to aid students in increasing their help-seeking behaviors. Next slide.
When students come to Cornell, like I said, for individuals who are maintaining their family's private insurance, there are five requirements that that insurance that you're bringing to Cornell must have. And we, again, are the entity that assists in upholding those requirements. We use a vendor called Gallagher Special Health-- Student Health & Special Risk. And students seeking to maintain their private insurance log onto the Gallagher website, complete a waiver form, and then are able to proceed if your insurance meets these five requirements. Next slide.
The Student Health Plan is a self-funded insurance plan owned by Cornell University, and it exists solely for the benefit of students. We partner with three different vendors to provide services on the health plan. We use a national medical network through Aetna. We then have all prescriptions through OptumRx. And then one of the telehealth services we directly contract with is Teladoc.
We believe at Cornell that any student can and should study anywhere. And through this national lens of providers, we are able to assist our students in making sure that they have access to adequate care-- medical and mental health care wherever they go nationally. Next slide.
One of the benefits about SHP is that we are what's called in the industry-- excuse me-- a platinum plan. So essentially, that means for every dollar of premium that's paid, $0.90 out of that dollar goes directly to medical care. And we ensure that access for students, again, that nationwide access. If a student has international claims, we reimburse those international claims, again, at that 90% threshold.
Plans that one might find on the Health Exchange or open market range from a bronze level to a platinum level. And what it really impacts is the amount of premium dollar that you pay up front, and then when you go to get care, how much you have to pay when you go to the doctor's office directly. So we have a low cost required, a low payment required, by students when they go and receive care. And that's one of the features of a platinum plan. Next slide.
One of the other things that our self-funding status lets us do is that we have a partnership with New York State Department of Health. And Medicaid is a state-based program. Each state has our own Medicaid process. And we've partnered with New York state so that individuals who are Medicaid-eligible and registered in New York can still receive the benefits of a national plan like SHP while under a Medicaid status.
And so we work with the health department, New York State Department of Health, to make that happen. In those instances where a member-- a Medicaid member would qualify, the state pays a premium for those enrollees. Next question-- or next slide.
And then finally, one of the other things that we assist in administering is for individuals who are seeking optional dental and vision insurance. So you can come to Cornell with your own health plan and then choose-- say, hey, I need vision insurance, or I need dental insurance. And you can opt into this program, into these programs. These are not required.
And if you have SHP, the Student Health Plan, you can also choose to opt into dental or vision insurances. So those are listed on our website, which next slide will show we have an extremely robust website, StudentHealthBenefits.Cornell.edu. All of the requirements for waiving are listed in there, the health plan information, how to connect with our office should you have questions.
And with that-- so that's one portion of how we help to support students' health and well-being. And I'll turn it over to Kim to finalize the last portion of how Dean of Students supports student health and well-being.
KIM GARRISON: Hi, everyone. Thank you so much. I am excited to be here with you all. My name is Kim Garrison. I am an Associate Dean of Students, and I work with the care team, the Care and Crisis Services, to be able to support students on campus. Next slide, please.
The office of the Dean of Students is a unit within Student and Campus Life. And it's housed in five different buildings across campus, Willard Straight Hall, which is there in the picture, Annabelle Taylor Hall, 626 Thurston, Day Hall, and then we also have some team members within the Appel Commons.
And we use a team approach. And we have a number of different areas of expertise. In this picture, as I mentioned, is really in the central of our campus and is a place where student gatherings happen. It's also where our Dean of Students has her office. Next slide, please.
Who we are-- as listed here on the screen, we have a Care and Crisis Services team, a Community Response team. We have a number of very important resource centers and identity resource centers on campus. And also within our office, too, is the Office of Spirituality and Meaning-Making.
And then a few additional offices within our Dean of Students-- our Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, Underrepresented and DACA Student Support, and then, as I mentioned, some resource centers-- the Women's Resource Center, the LGBT Resource Center, First Gen Low Income Student Support, Asian and Asian-American Resource Center, and then our Multicultural Student Leadership and Empowerment team. Next slide.
We recognize that there may be many occasions in which you may need additional support in meeting unforeseen challenges while you're here at Cornell. Cornell has many offices that offer health and wellness assistance, support intervention, reporting and advocacy. The Care Team within the Dean of Students is a partnership of Housing and Residential Life, Academic Advising, Cornell Health, which includes Student Disability Services, as Catherine talked about. And they're available to help guide students to appropriate resources when needed. And once again, that resource is the Care Team. Next slide, please.
Here are some good places to get accurate information about health and well-being initiatives on campus. And be aware that some of the social media those use Cornell-- quote/unquote "Cornell"-- in their title do not share accurate information with services or practices of the University. So here are two options that are listed for students to be able to, and families to be able to, seek support. Next slide, please.
Here are some good places to-- oh, sorry. Here, as mentioned earlier in the presentation, the seven pieces of this wheel really reflect key strategies to help students thrive. It takes everyone's help-- yours, your family's, if they're present here, and that of faculty, staff, and alumni-- to make Cornell a caring community. We're all in this work together. Thank you for taking time to explore the big picture with us today. And we hope you are coming away from this session with a real sense of the services and strategies that are available to help you, and potentially your student for families who are here, throughout your time at Cornell.
CATHERINE THRASHER-CARROLL: So we've received a few of your questions and have been answering them Any final questions before we close out our session this afternoon? Please feel free to type them into the chat or the Q&A down below.
OK, well, as we have all said, please feel free to return to our website-- our websites, because there's a lot of information that's actually there. And it's hard to take it all in during this very condensed time.
And someone's asking if SHP covers vision. And as Leiba said, that is a separate opt-in plan if you want to have vision coverage. Is that accurate, Leiba?
LEIBA MEIER SWAIN: That's correct. So StudentHealthBenefits.Cornell.edu-- there's a button right there that says dental, vision. You can click on that, find out more information, pay for that health plan or that vision plan directly there. And again, you don't have to be on SHP, and you don't need to be-- yeah, you don't have to be on SHP. You can have your own private insurance.
CATHERINE THRASHER-CARROLL: Great. Anything else before we close out our time with you today?
OK, well, welcome to Cornell. We hope you have a really good semester. And thank you for spending this time with us this afternoon. Be well. Stay warm.
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Catherine Thrasher-Carroll, Liebe Meier Swain and Kim Garrison speak about health and well-being in the this live recording.