Tips on Managing Your Student Health Center

Budget time is just around the corner. As you begin your planning process, follow this simple and effective checklist to be sure that your health center’s budget does not come up short:

Make your health center part of the solution to a student affairs problem. When planning your budget, consider how your requests will also help the student affairs department to meet its objectives, and then be sure to articulate that. For instance, when requesting additional staff, think about making a case for how having more qualified professionals on hand in your health center will better enable you to keep students healthy and enrolled at your university.

Think like an MBA. Not all of us in health care have a business background, but the people who we report to probably do. Learn what makes these analytical types tick. Use and understand their language when making budget requests. Terms to know and use include “return on investment” (ROI), “profit margin”, “quality assurance”, and “operating costs”.

Engage in “Show and Tell.” Even though we are health care practitioners, health and counseling center staff also need to think of ourselves as marketing professionals. Hopefully, over the past year you have done a little public relations work for your department. Newsletter articles highlighting your health center, health promotion literature or survey results all serve as reminders of the value that you offer to your campus. Prepare a packet that showcases your efforts. Make sure that you measure results from each initiative and include those in the packet.

Chart your success. Remember, you are not just asking for a budget. You are justifying that you deserve it. Recall all of the things that you have done over the past year to provide for a healthier student population. Then, be prepared to tell your story. Produce charts and graphs that illustrate how you’ve moved the needle in various areas, including decrease in incidence of disease, percentage increase in number of students who show proof of immunization, increase over last year in numbers of student visits to your health center, etc.

Natural Health Center – Living Well and Learning

Find Natural Health Center(s) in the United States and Canada. At a natural health center, individuals can receive natural healing treatments and can also acquire knowledge about the various natural medicines available today. Whether you’re making your initial trip to a natural health center, or you’ve come back to learn more about innovative healthcare remedies, you are sure to be awed by some of the ancient and latest complementary medicines offered.

For instance, a natural health center is one that promotes preventive medicine and wellness through natural healthcare. Some of the many healing arts services and products that are provided at a natural health center include naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, herbal medicine, essential oils and supplements, Bach Flower remedies, chiropractic, and massage therapy, among other related modalities.

A natural health center that offers chiropractic medicine will commonly help patients to learn about and understand the various aspects of the treatment. A normal visit to a chiropractic natural health center entails a brief summary about what chiropractic is; its philosophy, and case-taking of the patient’s health history. Most chiropractic doctors (D.C.) in a natural health center will educate the patient on assorted terms including “dis-ease,” and “subluxation.” In addition to taking an X-ray to assist DCs in locating subluxations of the spine, patients are frequently welcomed back to the natural health center for public education classes to learn more about chiropractic medicine. Sometimes, chiropractic natural health centers offer other services like massage therapy, and natural nutrition consultations.

A natural health center that strictly provides wellness services like massage therapy, aromatherapy and esthetics is appealing to day spa goers who want to look and feel younger and healthier. Massage therapy services at a natural health center and day spa are often combined with essential oils and aromatherapy, herbal wraps and facials. Individuals who frequent natural health centers like this will often find several natural healthcare and skincare products like herbal medicine, vitamins, supplements, lotions and oils.

In an Oriental medicine natural health center, patients will learn about the various techniques and philosophies of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), how acupuncture works, and may be counseled in Chinese herbal medicine nutrition. In some cases, a Doctor of Oriental Medicine may treat patients with moxibustion, cupping, Tai Chi, Tuina (Chinese medical massage), and Qi gong; among other associated methods.

Iridologists and herbalists often work closely together in a natural health center where they provide a health analysis through the study of the eye, Ph balance, and kinesiology. Clients quickly learn how certain indicators and markers on the iris may sometimes indicate health disorders and conditions. Herbal and supplemental prescriptions are often advised for therapeutic relief.

While there is a wide assortment of holistic healing and wellness clinics throughout the United States and in Canada, one can be certain that a trip to the natural health center will be both noninvasive and educational. In most cases, patients and clients who have visited a natural health center find a sense of overall wellbeing and better understanding to these sometimes misunderstood fields of integrative medicine.

If you (or someone you know) are interested in finding natural health center(s) and natural healing schools, let professional training within fast-growing industries like massage therapy, cosmetology, acupuncture, oriental medicine, Reiki, and others get you started! Explore career school programs near you.

Community Health Centers and the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare or the ACA) of 2010 garnered international attention when it famously mandated that small business owners with 50 or more full-time employees would be required to provide health insurance coverage for their full-time staff. Though the long-term effects of the law remain to be seen, the Affordable Care Act did establish the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), which allows small business owners to directly compare different public health insurance coverage plans. These are large-scale effects, however. How does the Affordable Care Act change how community health centers operate, if at all? What will the ACA mean for municipalities where CHC(community health center) provide the bulk of healthcare services rendered?

Since much of the Affordable Care Act is concerned with expanding access to healthcare services, community health centers have seen a large increase in the number of patients enrolled since the law was enacted. Total patients served annually have increased from 17 million in 2009 to over 20 million in 2012, and community health centers have added over 35,000 new staff positions in the same period (including over 7,500 physicians).

The ACA has also provided significant funding for centers (CHC) (as of 2013) over the next five years, designating more than $11 billion for the maintenance and renovation of existing health centers. A portion of this amount will be used to create new in medically underserved areas (MUAs). As one might expect, medically underserved areas are localities in which the physician-to-population ration is far below the national average. Residents may not have access to even very basic healthcare services, hospital procedures, or professional medical consultation, so community health centers represent their best chance at receiving the care they need.

Physicians and public health advocates alike continue to promote the development of CHC across the country, as they represent an affordable solution to the lack of hospital care for millions of residents. CHC’s are also particularly adept at addressing several different health conditions, given that they often house professional medical staff with diverse medical backgrounds. The Affordable Care Act will allow these vital community programs to expand and further evaluate local demographics and their medical needs. Should more specialized services be required, the community health center provides a gateway for policymakers to assess how future federal funding should best be spent in the area.