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Harvard University Health Services received more than 25,000 virtual visits in its 2022 fiscal year, following students’ full return to campus in fall 2021, according to the healthcare provider’s annual report.
Of the roughly 116,000 patient visits to HUHS throughout the fiscal year, 23 percent were conducted virtually, the report said. Since 2020, HUHS has offered telemedicine services across 10 departments to increase accessibility during the Covid-19 pandemic. Last October, HUHS added TimelyCare — a telehealth counseling platform — to its digital offerings.
The report, which highlights HUHS’ activities from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, covers initiatives that span Harvard’s Cambridge and Longwood campuses, as well as satellite clinics at the Law School and Dillon Field House for Sports Medicine. The report, released last month, is the first in several years to be published and the first to be released digitally, according to HUHS spokesperson Tiffanie A. Green.
The report also reviewed public health measures implemented during the return to on-campus learning in fall 2021. During that time, Harvard required all affiliates to be vaccinated and boosted for Covid-19, participate in regular testing, and follow self-isolation procedures if positive.
In total, Harvard administered 1.4 million Covid-19 tests and 3,900 Covid-19 vaccines in the fiscal year. Covid-19 vaccination rates among students reached 97 percent, while 93 percent of employees were vaccinated, according to the report.
In spring 2022, HUHS retired mandatory Covid-19 testing, dissolved its contact tracing programs, and adopted a mask-optional policy.
Over the report’s period, HUHS saw 22,981 student visits to its Counseling and Mental Health Services arm, accounting for nearly one in five HUHS visits. In addition, the CAHMS Cares 24/7 mental health hotline, launched at the beginning of the reporting period, answered 2,421 calls over the year.
The report sets out diversity and inclusion as a focus area for the service, with initiatives including the recent hire of Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Laurie Nicholas. According to the report, 45 percent of HUHS’ 67 new full-time employees identify as ethnic minorities.
“Through campaigns, HUHS celebrates and highlights opportunities to educate the community about a diversity of backgrounds, cultures, identities and experiences,” the report reads.
In a preface introducing the report, HUHS Executive Director Giang T. Nguyen said that HUHS was “emerging from the pandemic with a renewed sense of purpose.”
“While we work toward our goals, HUHS will continue to provide outstanding service, invest in equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging, be accountable in our work, and act as responsible stewards of our resources,” he wrote.
“I am proud to be part of the HUHS team and look forward to the future with hope and determination,” Nguyen concluded.
—Staff writer Alexander I. Fung can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Staff writer Tarah D. Gilles can be reached at email@example.com.
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