For the first time, UH Wellness has asked for an increase in funding for several years, director Patrick Lukingbeal said. UH Wellness asked for an increase in base funding of $19,000 to provide a sexual violence prevention and education program as well as a project manager.
The position would be the first of its kind at UH and could be a critical help to students, especially considering the recent conversation and national attention brought to the topic of sexual violence.
“This is a significant topic in higher ed right now,” Lukingbeal said. “So what we are able to do with this new person is put that positive message out there that yes, you can prevent these things from happening, you don’t have to be a bystander, and if something does happen — whether it happened 15 years ago to you or whether it happened this past weekend —there are people and resources here to help you.”
Lukingbeal said the position for a sexual violence prevention and education project manager was recommended to the university by a task force set up by the chancellor to look at sexual assaults across the system. UH will be a model for other universities on how to handle sexual assault cases Lukingbeal said.
Aside from sexual assault prevention and education, the increase in base funding would also help UH Wellness conduct the National College Health Assessment in spring 2017.
The NHCA is a national bench-marking survey “that measures perceptions, beliefs and habits around a variety of health and wellness issues,” Lukingbeal said. This survey would help the center understand student needs and improve their programs and services.
The survey would be conducted every two years, costing around $5,000. In between those years, the center would conduct campus-wide surveys that would help administration see trend date compared to baseline data.
Following UH Wellness was the Health Center, asking for a budget request of $1,758,896 and a base augmentation request of $35,360. The increase in base funding would be used for a new point-and-click camera for the Point and Click Solutions program which allows physicians to take photos and keep track of a student’s medical records.
“It streamlines that process and allows for that continuum of care,” Lindsay Barber, associate director of the health center said.
The center announced plans to endorse third-party billing so that more students under other insurance networks aside from AIG, the student insurance network, can be covered and receive services.
“We think offering third-party billing is going to dramatically increase the services that we can offer,” Barber said. “This means that we would be able to open ourselves up to taking larger commercial insurances like Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, etc.”
SFAC will continue to hold meetings throughout the week to hear presentations from organizations requesting funds for fiscal year 2017.