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Task Force on Health and Well-Being final report

Summary of major recommendations

November 2004


• Develop communications strategies to increase awareness of programs, services and benefits related to health and well-being.

• Focus special attention on improving communication about fitness and recreational activities offered by the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation.

• Develop strategies to encourage participation in health education and disease detection and prevention programs, and in programs that encourage fitness, wellness and better nutrition.

• Create a health and well-being newsletter.

Student Health Plan

• Increase plan coverage for outpatient mental health expenses from 50 percent to 80 percent of the cost of visits and increase the number of visits per year from 24 to 30.

• Reduce fees for dependents so the ratio of the student fee, the fee for one dependent and the fee for more than one dependent is 1:2:3.

• Charge post-enrolled graduate students (DCCs) the same health fee as other graduate students, with no additional fee for access to University Health Services (UHS).

• Increase the Student Health Plan fee by an additional $250 to $350 above the amount ($50) needed to fund the proposed plan improvements to help fund positions at UHS that provide critical services and programs to students.

University Health Services staffing

• Add approximately 11 FTE staff positions, at an estimated annual cost of just over $935,000. These positions would include:

• One additional physician and one additional urgent care nurse to reduce waiting times, expand hours and for other purposes.

• Two additional support positions in medical/clinical services to replace student workers and increase coverage at night and on weekends.

• One additional health educator and one program assistant to increase needs assessment, risk assessment and reduction, health education and counseling, outreach programs, detection and prevention programs, and other services, and to take over the training and supervision of peer educators, thereby freeing up time of the mental health professional staff for increased clinical service.

• One clinical nutritionist.

• Permanent status for the existing term-funded position of operations administrator and either one full-time or two part-time positions in information technology.

• An expansion of academic year appointments to full-year appointments to increase medical/clinical, mental health and support services over the summer.

• When possible add additional positions to achieve a level of service closer to ''best practices,'' including expanded physical therapy services for non-varsity athletes.

Faculty and staff

• Designate a work/life coordinator to oversee the relationship with Carebridge, serve as the University's child care coordinator, help identify elder care initiatives and improve communication about programs and benefits.

• Create an advisory group to help identify work/life needs and priorities.

• Encourage greater awareness, use and support of flextime; explore possible pilot programs.

• Consider permitting carryover of up to eight sick days and create a mechanism to address special needs not met by current policy.

• Consider improving dental coverage under the University's medical insurance plan.

• Consider providing on-campus physical therapy for non-work-related injuries.

• Create an integrated ''Healthier Princeton'' program of health promotion/education, disease detection/prevention and fitness/wellness for faculty and staff; in addition to the UHS staff positions proposed earlier, this would require one additional nurse practitioner and a portion of an additional physician.

• Facilitate discounts and special programming for members of the campus community at area health clubs.


• Focus senior-level attention on issues of concern to post-docs, including housing, child care, health care and opportunities to teach.

• Provide better information and assistance to post-docs and help them to integrate more fully into the campus community.


• Significantly renovate and expand Dillon Gym.

• In the interim, expand hours, increase cleanliness and repairs, improve maintenance, regularly replace equipment, etc.; this would require one to two FTEs.

• Increase visibility and support for Dillon's programs of physical education, fitness, wellness and recreation, including expanded participation in intramural sports by graduate students, post-docs, faculty and staff; this would require one or more FTEs.

• Consider a facilities permit fee scale based on ability to pay or other means to encourage greater use of Dillon by lower paid staff.

• Consider creating shower and dressing areas at strategic locations around campus; a fitness facility/yoga room east of Washington Road; and one or more fitness facilities at graduate student housing sites.


• Sustain and expand the Healthy Eating Lab.

• Appoint the full-time clinical nutritionist proposed earlier.

• Increase quality and health consciousness in food preparation and presentation.

• Provide better and more usable information about nutritional issues.

• Expand the quality and availability of food over breaks, in the summer and during hours not covered by the colleges or Frist.

Facilities needs -- McCosh, Dillon -- and integration

• Develop a plan to address the inability of McCosh Health Center and Dillon Gym to adequately meet current needs; these needs will increase when Princeton begins admitting larger freshman classes in 2007.

• At McCosh, examine options that include renovation, expansion and possibly construction of a new facility.

• At Dillon, examine options for renovation and expansion.

• In assessing these options, examine opportunities to encourage programmatic integration and other synergies between UHS and Dillon.

Child care

• Provide more and better information about child care to graduate students, post-docs, faculty and staff.

• Designate a child care coordinator to oversee the child care aspects of the Carebridge program; disseminate information about on-campus and off-campus child care programs and resources; encourage awareness and improvement of University policies and practices; serve as principal liaison to the U-League and U-Now nursery schools; improve access to child care resources and services in surrounding communities; and examine possibilities for additional summer day care.

• Provide greater workplace flexibility for staff and more supportive policies regarding tenure review and dissertation completion for faculty and graduate students to permit appropriate attention to child care needs.

• Clarify and enhance relationships between the University and the U-League and U-Now nursery schools, which should continue to play central roles in the University's comprehensive long-term child care strategy.

• Create a new University-affiliated child care center, with particular emphasis on infant and toddler care and with capacity for school's out and back-up care.

• Construct a new facility for the proposed new University-affiliated center and a new facility for the U-League and U-Now nursery schools.

Continuing the work of the task force

• Establish a clear understanding of responsibility to ensure ongoing attention to issues related to health and well-being, to monitor the impact of steps taken in response to these recommendations, to identify additional steps that would be helpful and to collect further suggestions, questions and concerns.

Top photos by (from left): Jon Roemer, Denise Applewhite, Rhonda Johnson, Denise Applewhite