Columbia Health Annual Report

Columbia Health advances the well-being of the Columbia University community and the personal and academic development of students. Our organization includes: Alice! Health Promotion, Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS), Disability Services, Medical Services, and Sexual Violence Response (SVR).


Columbia Health serves as the central hub for management of students’ acute and chronic needs. In the last Academic Year 2017-18, priorities included same day and urgent access, as well community partnerships to guarantee comprehensive services. To continue to address increased need, services have become more diversified the approach to care and programming.

The highlights here illustrate a broad range of programs and impacts that the work of the Columbia Health team has on the University student community.

  • Columbia Health launched a behavioral health initiative which placed CPS psychologists in Medical Services, allowing providers to consult with a psychologist on cases or directly refer students for evaluation.
  • Alice! Health Promotion was certified as a confidential resource to serve as a low-barrier access point for students utilizing Columbia Health services and programs.
  • Sexual Violence Response launched their first trauma modalities series to provide with survivors healing and recovery approaches for their everyday lives.
  • Columbia Health completed organization-wide Safezone training to better support our LGBTQ+ community, including two staff members certified as program facilitators.
  • Columbia Health facilitated medical support for the rollout of the University Public Access Defibrillation Program.
  • Columbia Health partnered with The JED Foundation and other University offices to implement the Columbia-wide plan to support the health and well-being of undergraduate students.
  • 90% of the Medical Services Team were trained in opioid prevention and recognition, including Naloxone administration.
  • Disability Services streamlined its registration process for student veterans with disabilities to facilitate their access to these resources.
  • Columbia Health Information Technology was designated as a Columbia University-certified IT group, allowing us to advance technologies that support program and service delivery across all Columbia Health units.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services identified 30 new clinical specialty programs in the community for student support, including substance use treatment, LGBTQ concerns, and assistance for low-income students.
  • Using an open-access scheduling model, over 90% of students are either seen on the same day for a Medical Services appointment or are accessing services via telephone.
  • Columbia Health led a collaborative approach to insurance renewal with input from key campus stakeholders, resulting in a substantially lower premium rate change compared to the marketplace: 5.7% vs. 12-20%.
  • During the most severe flu season in decades, Columbia Health administered 9,203 vaccinations.
  • Sexual Violence Response marked 25 years of proud service to the Columbia University community.
  • Disability Services facilitated 21,177 accommodations for students, such as exam accommodations, graduate proctor requests, e-text, note-taking, learning specialist sessions, CART, captioning, and housing.
  • Alice! Health Promotion professionals welcomed almost 4,000 participants to 175 workshop and training sessions.
  • CPS operated 10 drop-in locations across campus outside of its main Lerner Hall office, offering an additional 2,000 hours a year of counseling.
  • CUEMS provided pre-hospital emergency medical care, free of charge, to the Morningside campus and the surrounding area, 24/7.
  • In Medical Services, patients continue to rank interaction with their provider and support staff very highly, 4.5 on a 0-6 scale.
  • “I learned a lot about healthy habits I can use to improve my lifestyle as a college student.” – Participant in well-being course for first-year students co-facilitated by Alice! Health Promotion and Columbia Physical Education and Athletics department.
  • 98% of students participating in a Sexual Violence Response-facilitated session as part of the Sexual Respect Initiative said it provided them with an opportunity to think critically about complex issues related to sexual respect.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services serve all students: 28.5% of the students treated at CPS last year were international students. Of the students born in the US, 51% identified as students of color.