As millions of students return to college during the pandemic, the ability of campus health services to safeguard and care for students will be tested as never before. Below are comments provided to The Washington Post from colleges about the care at their student health centers.

Duke University: No one can guarantee that students, or anyone else for that matter, can stay healthy during a global pandemic. What we can do is put in place policies, processes and resources to provide the highest degree of health and safety possible, which we have done in consultation with experts in infectious diseases, epidemiology, testing and environmental safety, among other disciplines. All Duke undergraduate students will have to be tested for COVID-19 before they are permitted to begin fall semester classes. For students who test positive, the university has more than 300 beds in three buildings designated for isolation and quarantine space, as well as a robust contact tracking and tracing system. Medical care, academic support, and meal delivery will be provided by our Student Health specialists in partnership with physicians and facilities from the Duke University Health System, one of the leading academic medical centers in the world.

Additionally: We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Durham and North Carolina as we continue to implement Duke’s plan to safely return students, faculty and staff to campus. Duke has a very detailed system for symptom monitoring and contact tracing that was developed by some of the nation’s leading infectious disease specialists and has been in use by thousands of Duke employees for several months. The Student Health Center is part of Duke Hospital, which has been running uninterrupted since the start of this pandemic. Both are part of the leading health care system in the state.

Duke has facilities for quarantine and isolation, including 300 beds in two dedicated residence halls and a hotel, as well as protocols for health care, meal delivery and housekeeping. Since all classes will be available online, quarantined students will be able to keep up with their courses remotely. A testing center will be set up on campus. The university will pay for the test.

Our focus will be on promoting healthy behavior: wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing, personal hygiene and symptom monitoring. We will conduct robust testing when students and employees report symptoms, as we have done with 20,000 employees in our hospitals and clinics who have been working on campus over the past several months. The focus will be on symptom monitoring; testing will be conducted as needed.

Duke has 20,000 employees coming to work every day who report their symptoms using the app and we have developed a detailed and robust system for identifying, tracking, and tracing cases in our community. Symptom monitoring is one of four expectations for faculty, staff, students, and visitors on campus, the others are: wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distance, and following hand washing and sanitizing protocols.

Students are not required to come back to campus this Fall — they will be able to continue their education at a distance if they do not want [to] follow the campus guidelines.

George Washington University: As the mental health and medical industry is constantly evolving, our Student Health Center also must be able to adapt to an ever-changing environment. Since 2018, the university has conducted a peer assessment and review of best practices among colleges and universities that offer an integrated model of student medical and mental health services. This has led to several enhancements as the university continues to transform the student health center into a center with a wellness model approach. In Spring 2018, the university announced several measures including expanding the number of free mental health sessions, mandating that all undergraduate students provide proof that they are covered by health insurance, and completing a transition to an electronic record keeping system.

In Summer 2018, the university hired a new Dean of the Student Experience, who this past fall was promoted to Vice President for Student Affairs, to oversee the Student Health Center. Counseling, medical services and health education has been part of her portfolio in her more than 25-plus year career in student affairs and she started her career as a counselor.

During Fall 2018, Dean Petty met and interacted with students during stays in the residence halls, in informal meetings and in meetings with the university’s student association and other student leaders. Student feedback demonstrated that students are looking for guidance and assistance on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Students are focused on their health and their well-being as they realize that taking care of oneself leads to a positive experience and, ultimately, academic success. Students still want to be able to visit the Student Health Center to be treated when they are sick, however they are seeking out new ways to develop relationships and create community with each other and with the health, wellness, and medical personnel who provide them with resources throughout their academic career.

With the start of Academic Year 2019-20, GW’s Counseling and Medical Services units began offering extended hours and weekend urgent care at both the university’s Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon Campuses to meet the medical, health and mental well-being needs of our students. The addition of these hours allowed students access to care seven days a week.

During this spring’s virtual learning period, the Center provided online well-being support, offering mental health, emotional wellness and telemedicine services, sexual health discussions, and a series of self-help tools. Counseling provided 24/7 counseling consultations and a self-help COVID-19 toolkit [healthcenter.gwu.edu].

As the university transitioned into this current summer, the Center continues to offer resources to students who are not on campus. The available resources range from telehealth video visits for physical and mental health to virtual workshops. Students are also eligible for free COVID-19 diagnostic testing through the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) with any in-network Aetna provider. Also, the Center hired a new director to lead the counseling group. The new director has focused her career on the ever changing service delivery models that best meet students’ evolving needs.

The mental health and well-being of our students is paramount as we face new emotional and mental health challenges due to COVID-19, but self-isolation and stay-at-home orders do not mean students are alone in facing this crisis. The GW team supports our students whenever and wherever they need help.

Iowa State University: Thielen Student Health Center (TSHC) provides Iowa State University students access to quality and affordable health care services ranging from illness and injury care to mental health and wellness. From 2016-2020, student visits increased by more than 24%, with over 52,000 patient visits in fiscal year 2019.

TSHC is voluntarily accredited with the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care and completes an on-site survey every three years. Surveys in 2016 and 2019 found no deficiencies on more than 700 standards. TSHC also started a continuous patient satisfaction survey in 2016. More than 15,000 responses have been received to date with a 95% positive response rate.

As outlined in the agreement with Makenzi Marek and her family, TSHC and Iowa State University did not admit to any wrongdoing. Medical care provided at TSHC is based on evidence-based guidance.

TSHC has implemented all the recommendations outlined in the 2015 Keeling & Associates report. This report was requested by the university to provide recommendations to enhance student health and wellness services. This includes hiring new medical staff, expanding mental health and women’s health services and upgrading medical records and technology.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TSHC is following guidance from the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health. In regards to athletics, the university is following recommendations from the NCAA and Big 12, which includes testing for student-athletes. Per current IDPH guidance, testing is available for all symptomatic students and students who had close contact with someone who tested positive. The university also plans to test students living in the residence halls when they return to campus in August. The testing is provided at no cost to students.

Georgetown University: The Georgetown University Student Health Center is managed by MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and therefore complies with all quality and safety standards and policies as well as operating procedures. Senior university leaders, faculty, and health experts are working through decisions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and examining various options for how we can best serve our students this fall.

Our number one priority is the safety of our community. We are continuing to evaluate guidance from local and federal governmental agencies, health and epidemiological projections, social distancing requirements and recommendations, and the availability of testing protocols for a university setting.

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital: The Student Health Center no longer falls under the Joint Commission accreditation so the statement has been removed.

Ohio University: First, the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is Ohio University’s highest priority. Like other institutions of higher learning across the nation, we have been carefully planning for a transition to an on-campus experience in the fall and our planning will continue throughout the summer months. We have worked closely with state and local public health experts to develop a detailed plan for the best possible student experience while mitigating risk to our campuses and the communities we serve in the midst of the worldwide pandemic. Those plans can be accessed online at https://www.ohio.edu/coronavirus/fall-planning [ohio.edu]. It is important to note that, should we see a shift in the progression of the pandemic or receive new public health guidance, we will adjust accordingly.

You have requested comment about care students received; however, privacy requirements preclude us from doing so. I can share that over the years, we have invested in expansion of health care services for our students and proudly partner with OhioHealth to deliver Campus Care services. Our student affairs team is in constant communication with our Campus Care partners to ensure coordinate efforts and share data and feedback. I can share that we take every complaint very seriously, and if someone is dissatisfied, we want them to contact us.

You will be interested to note that our Campus Care services receive high patient satisfaction scores annually. For example, in FY20, Campus Care experienced more than 15,000 patient visits and received a Press Ganey patient satisfaction score of 91 out of a scale of 99.9.

Our preparations for fall semester are highly dependent on OhioHealth and, as such, we have been working very closely with them on preparations for the fall, as well. We are grateful for the excellent service they continue to provide to our University community. COVID-19 testing is available through OhioHealth, and Campus Care will have testing available in the fall. Similar to any other service they provide, cost will not be a barrier to care, and insurance will be billed for billable services.

OhioHealth: HIPAA regulations prohibits us, by law, from discussing any aspect of a patient’s care publicly. But what we can say is the physicians and staff at OhioHealth Campus Care at Ohio University have more than 15,000 patient visits a year and it is their top priority to provide excellent care to each and every one of the patients we serve. If we ever fall short of that, we want to know about it and there are processes in place to identify and correct any complaints a patient might have. We encourage them to share their experience with us, so we can work to make it right. OhioHealth is currently working with the university on a plan to help them safely bring students back to campus in the fall.

Kansas State University: University leadership is actively discussing testing all students for COVID-19 as they return, but a final decision has not been made. At this time, Lafene Health Center is testing patients based on Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Kansas Department of Health and Environment protocols.

The university is in the process of finalizing thorough plans for the return to K-State. You can review changes already implemented on our COVID-19 website [k-state.edu]. Students, faculty and staff are expected to comply with CDC guidelines for potential exposure or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

Kansas State University was the first Kansas Board of Regents university to cease in-person classes this part March. The university is making thorough plans for in-person classes to resume in August and Lafene Health Center is an integral part of these plans. Lafene Health Center was ranked second in the nation by the 2020 Princeton Review, a student ratings publication.

Indiana University: No student is ever turned away for service, regardless of ability to pay. For those students unable to cover the cost of services, IU has emergency funds to provide financial assistance. We are actively pursuing how to accept Medicaid and other insurance. To do this, we have hired a consultant to examine the feasibility of contracting with additional health insurance carriers as well. As you know, medical healthcare financing is a complex and nationwide issue.

We participate in the State of Indiana’s Medicaid Ordering, Prescribing, or Referring (OPR) program. As a participating provider we do see Medicaid students. However, under Indiana’s Medicaid program there is a cost associated with this service and state law requires us to send students on Medicaid to other healthcare providers who can fulfill needs beyond OPR’s coverage. We do explain this to students who are enrolled in Medicaid through various communications so that students understand there is a minimal cost

We have among the lowest health care mandatory student fees in the Big Ten Conference. In spring 2019 the Bloomington campus provost commissioned a task force to comprehensively evaluate the IU Student Health Center in light of IU’s involvement of the establishment of a new Regional Academic Health Center within a mile of the location of the current health center. The task force members included student leaders, including the IU Student Government Association President; a faculty member who is a nationally-recognized expert on healthcare systems and costs; and a number of others with responsibility for student services and finances. Included in that review were the scope of provided services; insurance and Medicaid acceptance; and communications to students. The task force met over 15 times, and submitted its report in late October 2019 with a planned implementation in fall 2020. This implementation has been sidelined by the pandemic when we have to evacuate students from the campus, but we have returned to the matter and expect a plan from the health center by mid-July.

Hardin-Simmons University: We have three medical clinics that work with our various teams and athletes. Each team has a designated athletic trainer who is stationed at one of those locations, and the team generally goes to their assigned trainer for treatment. However, any athlete can use any of the facilities which is beneficial when a trainer is traveling or off campus.

All of our D3 teams and athletes are being tested as they return to campus. We have contracted with a local medical provider to complete this testing at no cost to the athletes.

As we continue to grow and build for long term financial sustainability at Hardin-Simmons University, we have made a variety of adjustments to our campus organizational structure. HSU has added two full-time mental health professionals in addition to the athletic trainers mentioned. Students also continue to have access to health services across the street from our campus with a health center, hospital, and local doctors available.

University of Arkansas: The university communicated fully with Ms. Engelkes and her family about her care in Spring 2016. We are restricted under privacy laws from discussing the details of the health or medical care of individual students.

The university had nine [mumps] cases in late November, identified at that point by the [Arkansas Department of Health] as connected, and, in standard practice, followed directives from the ADH on communicating to and vaccinating our campus community. The university identified all students, faculty and staff who had not received two MMR vaccinations, sent multiple direct emails to them and hosted a series of successful on-campus ADH vaccination clinics.

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