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. 

As a testimony to the outstanding service that Columbia Health provides to the University community, we received our ninth consecutive full (three-year) reaccreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) in December 2018. This recognition places Columbia Health among the elite 10% of college health services that have voluntarily pursued accreditation, meeting rigorous standards of a nationally-recognized third party. Pursuing accreditation demonstrates our commitment to providing the highest levels of quality care to all Columbia University students. 

During the last academic year 2018-2019, we have responded to student and community needs, including a careful analysis of our operating plan in response to the question of 24/7 service expansion; consolidation of the student insurance plan to a single offering at the platinum level with optional vision and dental insurance; and a campus response to Meningitis B cases this past winter including an immunization clinic in collaboration with the New York City Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).

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 was awarded a $15,000 planing grant to pilot Opioid Education and Naloxone Training on college campuses, furthering work as a registered Opioid Overdose Prevention Program.
  • Medical Services added case managers to staff to ensure continuity of care for students, including return from leave, discharge from the hospital, or referral to specialists.
  • SVR became a remote temporary order of protection site to facilitate online orders of protection for students on campus.
  • CPS identified and vetted free apps and online self-help resources as additional help to students during off-hours including stress management, sleep hygiene, substance use, and other related problems.
  • Columbia Health was reaccredited for another three years by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).
  • Columbia Health IT upgraded immunization submission process, enabling incoming students to upload MMR records directly to online medical records system, eliminating the need to mail or fax records and facilitating faster processing.
  • Alice! Health Promotion hosted five pet therapy events in the Spring 2019 semester, while distributing information about the online mental health screening tool ULifeline.
  • Columbia Health launched a pre-arrival health history pilot to connect incoming students with Columbia Health resources to ensure continuity of care.
  • Disability Services worked with university partners to design the Chandler testing space, creating 26 dedicated seats in 2 classrooms in the building.
  • Columbia Health launched a communications campaign to promote seeking help. Of the students who saw a message about health/well-being, 93% agreed the message provided information about where to seek help on campus.
  • Medical Services facilitated 57,420 visits, with 75% of all Morningside students visiting the practice.
  • ACHA-NCHA 2019 survey fielded with 5,874 Columbia student respondents. Findings to be shared Fall 2019.
  • Administered 10,162 influenza vaccinations, an increase of 15% over previous year.
  • SVR reached 15,787 students through 229 prevention education programs.Exams administered by Disability Services reached its highest level yet, with over 10,000 last year.
  • Since becoming a confidential resource, Alice! Health Promotion has experienced a 91% increase in one-on-one health education visits between 2017 and 2019.
  • A diverse team of psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers at CPS completed 35,650 visits with students.
  • CUEMS responds to more calls each year, with 1,145 calls in 2018-19 – a 14.2% increase over the previous year.
  • During the course of care with CPS, 90% of students reported decreased levels in distress.
  • "Thank you so much for helping me find the tools to organize myself. You’ve taught me how to tackle problems methodically and calmly - I don’t know how I did things before, but I know I’ll be using your techniques in the future!" —Graduate student, after meeting with a DS learning specialist
  • Undergraduate students demonstrated a 50% increase in knowledge about sexual violence after participating in the Enough is Enough program facilitated by SVR (based on pre- and post-program test results).
  • More than 3 out of 4 of students are satisfied with the Medical Services appointment scheduling process. (Point of Care Survey, 2019)
  • 91% of Alice! Health Promotion participants agreed that workshop content was useful and relevant.