Health Center

Dealing with seasonal stress

Students in Fondren Science BuildingThe holiday season traditionally brings warm memories, shared friendship and a significant amount of stress for members of a university community. The pressures of exams, travel plans and preparations for family gatherings can overwhelm faculty, staff and students alike – especially new undergraduates facing their first college finals.

The Office of the Provost asks that all SMU community members be aware of signs of stress in themselves and those around them. “In particular, I ask that you be aware of signs of stress among students, especially first-year students as they enter into their first set of final examinations,” wrote Provost Paul Ludden in an e-mail to SMU faculty and staff dated Nov. 16, 2009.

Any faculty or staff member who has concerns about a student and is not sure what to do is urged to refer to the University publication A Guide For Faculty and Staff for Recognizing and Responding to Students in Distress (PDF format) or to contact Dean of Student Life Lisa Webb, 214-768-4564. Students who feel overwhelmed by the stress of the season and finals can get help at the Memorial Health Center.

Faculty and staff members can share information securely and confidentially through the Dean of Students’ Caring Community Connections website (SMU ID and password required for access).

Ludden also encouraged all SMU community members to “reach out to an individual who is separated from family and friends at this time and invite them to share some of your traditions and goodwill.”

In addition, regular physical exercise at the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports can help individuals stay fit for the season while relieving the stress it can bring.

Check in with these campus resources for referral information:

In addition, SMU Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) offers a variety of online resources for faculty, staff, students and parents in dealing with stresses ranging from anxiety and trauma to insomnia and homesickness.

By | 2009-12-04T11:40:12+00:00 December 4, 2009|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Tune In: A FAQ for the flu

As the 2009 flu season intensifies, SMU has established several plans and programs designed to prevent its spread.

In this video, Peter Davis, M.D. – co-medical director and staff physician of the SMU Health Center – answers common questions about flu, including whether or not to get a flu shot and what to do first when you suspect you’re getting sick.

Click the YouTube screen to watch the video. video

Learn more at smu.edu/flu

By | 2009-10-01T11:31:00+00:00 October 1, 2009|Categories: Tune In|Tags: , , , , |

Seasonal flu shots for fall 2009 now available on campus

(Originally published Sept. 18, 2009 – updated Sept. 22, 2009.)

Stock shot of single-use syringeThe fall 2009 vaccine for protection against seasonal flu is now available on campus, and the first flu shot clinic for faculty and staff members is scheduled for 2-7 p.m. Sept. 24 in Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

Flu shot clinics for students begin Sept. 21.

Cases of novel H1N1 flu continue to be seen on the SMU campus and throughout the country. A vaccine for novel H1N1 is currently in production, and the SMU Memorial Health Center plans to have it available later this fall.

The timing and duration of seasonal flu outbreaks can vary. Spread of seasonal flu can begin as early as October and occur as late as March. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is by getting a seasonal flu vaccination each flu season. The seasonal flu vaccine administered in January 2009 will not provide protection for the upcoming flu season.

The University pays the cost of flu shots for benefit-eligible employees, retirees and retiree spouses. Employee spouses may purchase shots for $25. The cost for students insured with Aetna student insurance program is $5.

In addition, faculty and staff members can get free flu shots from a primary-care doctor with no deductible and no office visit co-pay. Vaccines are covered under the $500 Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO preventive care benefit when submitted as a claim for “routine immunization.” Vaccines are also covered under the Aetna HMO preventive care benefit.

To shorten your wait at the University flu clinics, take these steps in advance:

Find more information and a complete flu shot clinic schedule at smu.edu/flu
Learn more about flu at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website

By | 2009-09-22T11:30:49+00:00 September 22, 2009|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Calendar Highlights: Sept. 22, 2009

'Tainted Souls and Painted Faces' book coverGilbert Lecture Series: Johns Hopkins University Professor Amanda Anderson (Tainted Souls and Painted Faces: The Rhetoric of Fallenness in Victorian Culture) will discuss the role of political ideology in the works of authors such as Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell and Anthony Trollope in “Politics and the 19th-Century British Novel” Sept. 22 in DeGolyer Library. Reception in the Texana Room at 6 p.m., lecture in the Stanley Marcus Reading Room at 6:30 p.m. Cosponsored by the Department of English and DeGolyer Library. Free and open to the public. For more information, visit the Gilbert Lecture Series homepage.

Turn down the noise: Feeling the burn of too much stress? Learn positive ways to cope at noon Sept. 23 in Room 205, Memorial Health Center. Faculty and staff earn 1 Wellpower credit for attending. Sponsored by Counseling and Psychiatric Services. For more information, contact Marianne Stout.

Celebrating Darwin: Friends of the SMU Libraries/Colophon and The Friends of KERA host a celebration of the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species and the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin Sept. 24 in DeGolyer Library. Guest speakers include Paula Apsell (’08 honoris causa), “NOVA” senior executive producer; and Melanie Wallace, “NOVA” senior series producer. Reception at 10 a.m., lecture at 10:30 a.m. RSVP to 214-768-3225 or Cynthia Ruppi.

'Beyond Nations' by John Chavez, bookcover“Tragic” love: The Meadows Symphony Orchestra performs Gustav Mahler’s epic Symphony No. 6 (“Tragic”) at 8 p.m. Sept. 25 and 3 p.m. Sept. 27 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $7 for faculty, staff and students. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Clements Center Brown Bag: SMU History Professor John Chávez will discuss his new book tracing the evolution of “peripheral” ethnic homelands around the North Atlantic in “Beyond Nations: Evolving Homelands in the North Atlantic World, 1400-2000.” The event begins at noon Sept. 30 in the Texana Room, DeGolyer Library. Bring your lunch.

Sounds of India: The Meadows School of the Arts presents a concert of classical South Indian music with percussionist and Grammy Award nominee Poovalur Srinivasan and his group, Karnatic Kutcherri, at noon Sept. 30 in the Taubman Atrium, Owen Arts Center. The show is part of the Expanding Your Horizons Brown Bag Concert Series. Admission is free; bring your lunch. For more information, call 214-768-1951.

SMU urges preventive measures against flu

Hand washing helps prevent flu from spreadingCases of the flu have been recently reported in North Texas, including several at SMU.

The University has increased the frequency of sanitation procedures in University buildings and encourages vigilance regarding personal hygiene and health habits. There are things you can do to help prevent the spread of germs, including:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching common surfaces (door handles, railings, etc.).
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with either a disposable tissue or your sleeve.
  • If you have a fever or flu-like symptoms, do not go to work or class until 24 hours after you no longer have fever. Students who miss class should contact their professors about making up any missed assignments. Human Resources is developing guidelines for employees who miss work. The Provost is developing academic guidelines for faculty and staff.
  • Regularly clean work surfaces and touch points (door handles, drawer pulls, chair arms, etc.) in your work area and home.

SMU will distribute flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available to the University.

The University remains in close contact with the Dallas County Health Department, the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization. The University also is monitoring the flu situation in other countries for those studying or teaching abroad. Learn more from SMU’s Flu Homepage.

What SMU is doing about the flu
Academic plans for a possible flu pandemic
Faculty and staff guidelines regarding a flu outbreak from SMU Human Resources
Flu information for parents
Cleaning and disinfecting guidelines

By | 2009-09-01T13:45:41+00:00 September 1, 2009|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Monitoring the H1N1 flu

Cases of influenza continue to be reported in North Texas this summer, and the Dallas County Health Department has confirmed one case of H1N1 flu in a middle school student who recently attended a summer camp at SMU. There are no known H1N1 cases among other SMU summer campers or among SMU students, faculty or staff.

As it did this spring when flu-like symptoms were reported on campus, SMU has increased the frequency of sanitation procedures and encourages vigilance regarding personal hygiene and health habits. Faculty, staff and students should:

• Wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching common surfaces (door handles, railings, etc.).
• Cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing with either a disposable tissue or a sleeve.
• Avoid contact with people who are sick.

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By | 2009-07-21T10:15:30+00:00 July 21, 2009|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

H1N1 flu update from SMU Health Center: May 1, 2009

Megan Knapp, health educator in SMU’s Memorial Health Center, sent the following e-mail update to all University faculty, staff and students on Friday, May 1:

SMU is continuing to monitor the swine flu situation. As of Friday, May 1st, we have no known cases at SMU.

If you have a confirmed, probable or suspected case as determined by a health care professional, please notify SMU by calling 214-768-3333. We appreciate your cooperation on this matter.

For regularly updated information about swine flu, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. For SMU-specific information, visit SMU’s flu homepage or call SMU-Info (214-768-4636).

If cases of swine flu are detected, SMU is ready to implement preparedness plans. Visit the smu.edu/flu website or check your e-mail for updates.

By | 2009-05-01T16:14:00+00:00 May 1, 2009|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , |

Calendar Highlights: April 28, 2009

happy-face-istock-456.jpgDon’t worry, be happy: The SMU Health Center hosts a brown bag presentation on the Science of Happiness noon-12:50 p.m. April 30 in Room 205, Memorial Health Center. Learn about positive psychology, a new movement in psychology that focuses on what makes people happy. Faculty and staff earn 1 Wellpower Mind credit for attending. For more information, contact Jennifer Hughes.

Mane_Event_POSTER_PINK.jpg End-of-the-year fun: Join the SMU Student Foundation for the annual Mane Event from 3-6 p.m. May 1 on the lawn in front of Dallas Hall. The carnival-like event is a great way to have some fun before finals and includes music, games, inflatables and tons of free food. The event is free and open to the entire SMU community.

alonzo-kings-lines-ballet.jpgIn McFarlin Auditorium:

May 1-2: TITAS presents Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet at 8 p.m. For tickets, call 214-528-5576.

Compiled by Theresa Nelson (’09).

By | 2009-04-28T09:37:40+00:00 April 28, 2009|Categories: Calendar Highlights|Tags: , , , |

H1N1 flu update from SMU Health Center: May 1, 2009

As the 2008-09 flu season begins to wind down, confirmed cases of H1N1 flu, also known as swine flu, have sprung up in Texas. Megan Knapp, health educator in SMU’s Memorial Health Center, sent the following e-mail update to all University faculty, staff and students on Monday, April 27:

As many of you have heard, there are now confirmed cases of swine flu in Texas as well as in Mexico, California, Kansas and New York. Officials at SMU, along with those at Dallas County Health and Human Services, are monitoring the situation to detect any cases locally.

Due to population density and foreign travel, university communities are susceptible to the spread of communicable diseases. Please be vigilant regarding your personal hygiene and health habits.

To help prevent the flu:

Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching common surfaces (door handles, railings, etc.).

Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with either a disposable tissue or your sleeve.

Avoid contact with people who are sick.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms (sudden fever/chills, cough, body aches, fatigue), it is important to see a medical provider as soon as possible. To be effective, antiviral medications should be started within 48 hours after symptoms begin. Persons who may have the flu should stay at home as much as possible to avoid spreading the illness.

Flu vaccines administered in fall 2008 and winter 2009 do not protect against H1N1 flu, and currently, there is not a human vaccine for this illness.

For 24-hour medical advice, students can call SMU’s Health Center at 214-768-2141. Faculty and staff should contact their personal healthcare providers.

SMU will continue working with Dallas County Health and Human Services on this matter. For more information about swine flu, please visit the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s H1N1 flu site.

By | 2009-04-27T15:37:42+00:00 April 27, 2009|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

Calendar Highlights: Feb. 24, 2009

womensbook.jpgThe 44th Annual Women’s Symposium: Don’t forget to register for this year’s Symposium, “Women and the Monetary Truth,” which takes place Feb. 25. The event will include three interest sessions that will examine women’s roles in money management on a personal and global scale, and will feature financial expert and author Glinda Bridgforth. Registration is free for SMU faculty, staff and students. For more information, visit the Women’s Symposium website.

Ash Wednesday service: SMU’s Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life and Perkins School of Theology will sponsor an ecumenical Ash Wednesday service at 12:05 p.m. Feb. 25 in Perkins Chapel. The entire SMU community is invited to attend.

Life-and-death medicine: The Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility and the Student Health Law Association present Shelly Carlin and “Access to Investigational Drugs” 12:15-1:15 p.m. Feb. 25 in 207 Florence Hall. Carlin, a health care attorney who specializes in biomedical research, law and regulation, will discuss the issue of whether a dying patient for whom conventional treatments were ineffective should have the right to obtain drugs that are still being tested for safety. The event is free and open to all. No RSVP needed; lunch will be provided.

'As Big As the West' bookcoverStop stressing: The SMU Health Center hosts a Brown Bag Presentation on Mindfulness noon-1 p.m. Feb. 26, 205 Memorial Health Center. Students, faculty and staff can learn about the psychological and physiological effects of stress and learn how to mitigate stress through straightforward mindfulness techniques. Faculty and staff earn one Wellpower Mind credit for attending. For more information, contact David Young.

Frontier stories: Clyde A. Milner II and Carol O’Connor, both of Arkansas State University, will discuss their 12-year journey in researching and writing their new book, As Big As the West: The Pioneer Life of Granville Stuart, at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 26 in McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall. A reception precedes the event at 6 p.m. Presented by the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Dedman College. Register online.

Gilbert Lecture Series: The Department of English in Dedman College welcomes Greg Williamson of Johns Hopkins University for “Poetry Reading: A Most Marvelous Piece of Luck” at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 26 in the DeGolyer Library. A reception precedes the event at 6 p.m. in the Texana Room. For more information, contact Leslie Reid, 214-768-2946.

meadowsdancer2.jpgBallet at lunchtime: Join the students in the Meadows Division of Dance for their Spring 2009 Brown Bag Dance Series. Students will present lunchtime performances of 10-15 original short ballet, modern and jazz works. The series runs March 2-6 with performances at noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday and at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. All performances will be held in the Bob Hope Lobby, Owen Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 214-768-2718.

Interdisciplinary Dialogue Event: The Center for the Study of Latino/a Christianity and Religions at Perkins School of Theology presents “The Role of Latinas in Religion and Religious Life” March 3 in the Faculty Dining Room, Umphrey Lee Center. The dialogue, moderated by Jeannie Treviño-Teddlie and Awilda Gonzalez-Tejera, will explore the roles Latinas have played as clergy and laity in various religious traditions. The event is free; those attending are welcome to arrive at 6:30 p.m. for a light dinner before the discussion at 7-8:30 p.m. For more information, contact Jeannie Trevino at 214-768-2768; to register, contact Rachel Lamb.

Vindaloo Vandals-200.jpgIn McFarlin Auditorium:

Feb. 27: Quick and The Dallas Morning News present the documentary “America, The Beautiful” at 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 28: VCXel Entertainment presents Indian comics Sugar Sammy, Jazz Mann and Dan Nainan in “Vindaloo Vandals: Don’t Mess With the Curry” at 8 p.m. For tickets, call 469-867-4589.

Compiled by Theresa Nelson (’09).

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