College campuses are more diverse than ever. However, social determinants of health (SDOH), such as access to quality care and health literacy, are still creating barriers that prevent certain groups of students from staying healthy and engaged. A study on student access to health care confirms that college-aged young adults are overrepresented in the uninsured population, meaning many are not receiving the healthcare they need [1].

Colleges and universities have recognized the importance of addressing SDOH on campus and have begun implementing policy changes to reduce the challenges students face in managing their health and receiving preventive care. LetsGetChecked’s at-home healthcare solutions can help address health challenges with high-quality prevention services that meet college students at the individual, community, and population levels.

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Social determinants of health that impact students

Access to healthcare

The college years are a transitional period in young adults’ lives that involve many individual differences and environmental influences that impact health and wellness. Access to healthcare can drastically change a student’s college experience and outcomes. While college students are no less likely to get sick than any other population, they still face many barriers to healthcare access. Addressing barriers to healthcare access on campus is crucial since preventive services can help college students avoid more serious illnesses, absences or leaves from school, academic issues, better management of chronic conditions, and lower medical costs that could interfere with tuition payments.

Health Literacy

Health literacy is the ability to obtain, read, understand, and utilize basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions to prevent or treat illness. Colleges are ideal settings for starting health promotion programs and getting students started on proactively managing their health. College students learn about their health problems, healthcare, and managing their health through the services they receive from colleges and universities. The availability of on-campus healthcare services and resources can help educate students on the importance of preventive care and how to utilize them.

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How at-home testing can help address SDOH on campus

College is an important developmental time, and colleges and universities play a critical role in student health promotion by providing student health services. Health challenges can undermine student motivation, engagement, and graduation rates. Although young adults have long been considered a population that is difficult to reach, school-based health centers are effective strategies for delivering preventive care. Investments in affordable, accessible healthcare for college students can address the SDOH students face and dramatically improve physical health and wellness on campus. On-campus healthcare services provide students who would otherwise not receive healthcare services or information with the resources and preventive care to manage their health and succeed at school.

Campuses must expand efforts beyond traditional health service delivery to improve student care and health. Leveraging LetsGetChecked’s at-home healthcare services can improve healthcare utilization on campus and empower students with the healthcare information they need to maintain their health and improve their health outcomes. With over 30 different tests and treatment options to integrate into your care offering, we can increase your student population’s access to diagnostics and care.

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