Health and well-being task force releases interim report

The University's Task Force on Health and Well-Being has issued an interim report summarizing its progress during the first four months of its work.

The 24-page report , which has been posted on the group's Web site identifies areas in which it believes the University is doing well and others where it believes significant improvement is needed. The task force, which will continue its work this spring, encourages the University community to provide feedback through the Web site by clicking on "Ideas and Suggestions" or by contacting its members .

President Shirley M. Tilghman appointed the task force in the fall to examine University policies and programs that address the health care needs and promote the health and well-being of students, faculty and staff. The group, which met for the first time on Sept. 22, is composed of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff, and is chaired by Janet Dickerson, vice president for campus life, and Robert Durkee, vice president and secretary of the University.

In her charge, Tilghman asked the group to answer three questions:

  • How should Princeton meet the needs of its students for medical and mental health care, and to what extent should it also meet health care needs of members of its faculty and staff?
  • What programs, services and facilities should the University provide to promote the health and well-being of its students, faculty and staff, including programs of preventive health, health maintenance, nutrition, recreation, stress management, etc.?
  • How can the University improve the balance between family and work, for example, by offering additional day care and other family support services to members of the University community?
  • "One message that has come through loud and clear in the early work of the task force is the degree to which members of the community are unaware of many of the programs and services already available to them in the areas of health, fitness and well-being," the interim report states. "At the same time, significant deficiencies and ample room for improvement have also been identified."

    The report presents the task force's initial findings and recommendations and proposes a set of "guiding principles" to guide the University's consideration of issues related to health and well-being. The intent was "to share information with the University community as background for what we hope will be an extended dialogue over the course of the spring" and "to identify a broad range of needs and challenges that we believe deserve further consideration -- and in some cases, action -- either by the task force itself or by the responsible University offices."

    In addition to collecting feedback from the University community, the task force plans to continue its work by conducting focus groups and user surveys, visiting other organizations and facilities and meeting with experts in the field. It hopes to complete a further report this spring.

    Contact: Ruth Stevens (609) 258-3601