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Student Health Services, Graduation, and Summer Health Fees

Congratulations to all graduating students!

The Student Health Fee for Spring Semester 2014 EXPIRES at 5:00 pm on Friday, May 16th. This means that all Duke students who have paid the Spring Fee can continue to use the Student Health Center (SHC) through May 16th. Depending on your status at Duke, there are different rules that apply after that date. If you are:

Graduating on May 11th – After May 16th, you can no longer be seen as a patient at the SHC. You must find another source for health care. The only exception to this is if your SHC provider requests that you follow up for a condition for which you were seen prior to May 16th.

Taking summer classes at Duke – Students who are taking summer classes pay the Summer Health Fee each term.

            Summer Term I                        May 14 – June 26                    $109.25

            Summer Term II                      June 30 – August 10                $109.25

            Summer Term I and II             May 14 – August 10                $218.50

If you are taking classes for the first term or both terms, you can continue to use the SHC uninterrupted. If you are taking classes during the second term only, you must elect to pay the first term health fee to be allowed to use the SHC between May 16th and the start of the second summer term. Likewise, if you are only taking classes during the first term, you must elect to pay the second term health fee to continue to use the SHC throughout the whole summer.

Not taking classes, but staying in the area – Students who will return to Duke for Fall Semester but are not taking summer classes can elect to pay the Summer Health Fee, utilizing the SHC uninterrupted between Spring and Fall Semesters.

Prescriptions, Refills:

Prescriptions can be renewed at the discretion of the prescribing provider for up to 30 days after graduation (e.g. June 11, 2014). After June 11th, only returning students can have prescriptions written or phoned in by SHC providers.

Medical Records:

Students may request that copies of their records be forwarded to other providers. Appropriate release will be required. For more information, visit our website:  http://studentaffairs.duke.edu/studenthealth, click on Forms & Policies and look under the “Clinical Forms” section. Alternatively, you may call 681-WELL (681-9355) and press menu option 6.

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How is Your Microbiota?

Excuse me? When was the last time someone asked you about YOUR microbiota?  Most people don’t realize that our bodies are made up of more bacterial cells than human cells. “We are walking ecosystems, as our bodies are colonized from top to bottom by microbes that, not happy with behaving like guests, are actually integrated into our biology. “They help us digest food, shape our immune system, alter our metabolism and evidence is even starting to show that they affect the nervous system, influencing our mood and behaviour,” explains Justin Sonnenburg, a microbiologist at Stanford University (USA).”


Keeping the microbiome, or the environment that the bacteria live in, optimal is key. As you might have guessed, this brings us to the discussion of our diets. Our GI bacteria, although very adaptive, love plant materials and fiber.   Those who follow vegan and vegetarian diets have different combinations of colonies in their guts, than carnivores, the bacteria in our colon actually help break down the fiber that other enzymes cannot.


Stress negatively impacts the health of our bacteria, for many reasons, but often due to poor dietary choices. Bacteria, or our bodies in general, don’t like the highly processed, highly sugared foods – (although they may taste great in the moment) they’re actually inflammatory. However these are often the types of foods we reach for when we are stressed. If you want to keep your microbioata happy, be selective with your diet. These microbes produce 95% percent of the body’s serotonin. Yes, serotonin – that neurotransmitter that can make us “sleepy” or “relax” us. Eating a diet that is rich in plant materials and dietary fiber is a good way to nurture your microbiome.  Consider yogurt and Kefir and even sauerkraut, yes sauerkraut to help keep a healthy environment. Just don’t lose sight of balance in the diet. Plant materials may be important but protein and fats are equally as important. Just living on salads is also not the answer.


So the next time you’re stressing, like right now or in the upcoming weeks, remember to be kind to your microbiota by eating well; have some yogurt with “live culture” bacteria, along with some granola and fruit, consider some hummus and raw veggies for a snack, sandwich on a whole grain bun along with some minestrone or vegetable soup at lunch, cheese and whole grain crackers as a mid-afternoon treat and maybe some schnitzel and sauerkraut for dinner.
Want to learn more: Follow http://www.gutmicrobiotawatch.org/

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A Word About Lavender Graduation

You may ask,  “Lavender graduation…why the need for a special ceremony?”  I’m glad you asked.  A lot of seniors at Duke have been positively affected by their existence at Duke as a LGBTQ student and/or as an ally.  Some students have also been very negatively affected and found the Center to be a safe haven at some point in their journey… a place to get support, a place to be greeted by a smiling face, a place to get a hug, a place to crash on the couch, a place to have fun and forget your troubles even if just for an hour.  But most of all Lavender graduation is about celebrating who you are and one another as you have walked the campus of Duke as an LGBTQA students…even if you consider that part to only be a small part of who you are. 


Whether a student has been in the Center every day or only just passed by our doors they are welcome to participate.  And yes, there have been students in the past who participated in Lav grad who had never entered the Center door before, but who as they leave Duke want to celebrate/embrace who they are, and we welcome them! We also especially welcome allies to participate because it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to thank you and recognize your contributions to making Duke a safer place to be for LGBTQ students staff, and faculty.  
If you are not a graduating senior why should you attend?  If you are a Duke staff member or faculty member why should you attend?  What a very visible show of support your presence is to the seniors as they leave this place they have called home for four years. It’s one of the last memories they will have of their time at Duke and you can help make it a very positive one that they will never forget.  It will also fill your heart with pride for them and hope…hope that we are making this campus a more welcoming and safe space for all students and recognition that you play a very key part in making that happen and in ensuring its continuance in the years ahead. 
I look forward to seeing you there!
-Janie

Click here register to attend Lavender graduation

 

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Meet Stephanie Helms Pickett

Stephanie Helms Pickett was recently named as the new Director of the Duke Women's Center. We asked her a few questions about herself, and her how she plans to serve the Duke community.

Why is working in higher education important to you?

I often tell folks that I went away to college and I fell in love. It wasn't with a significant other, but instead the environment.  

When I arrived at my school as an undergraduate, I had limited knowledge of what I was in for. I'd never seen the campus. I was a first generation college student. My family was supportive, but they didn't know what I would be exposed to, confronted with, challenged about and affirmed to become. It was all a new experience, for me and for them. I needed help, and I found it. There was a woman named Virginia Rinella who worked in the Career Development Center, and instructed an orientation course. She was one of my professors, and eventually became my mentor. She was instrumental in providing me with the tools, resources and compassion I needed to navigate a place so foreign to me. She was a significant person in my developmental experience, providing both challenge and support. I am forever grateful for her presence at that crucial point in my life.

Being a student who was involved in a plethora of activities and organizations, I decided early my senior year that I wanted to assist students in the same manner and extension that was given to me. So, instead of pursuing Oprah Winfrey's job in Chicago (I was a Radio-Tv Broadcasting Major), I elected to pursue a graduate degree in Higher Education and from there, a career in Student Affairs. Since then, I've had the opportunity to work with thousands of students over the last 20 years at public, private, single sex, predominantly white and historically black institutions of higher learning. It has provided me joy and challenge. It has allowed me to give voice to policies and ideas. It has afforded me the opportunity to ensure that the place that I fell in love with over 25 years ago is safe, welcoming, affirming, challenging and empowering for all who enter and exit. It is a decision I've never regretted.

Is there someone in your life that has guided or inspired you?

My mother has always been my biggest inspiration. She was a single parent. My father passed away when I was 5, and she never remarried. I was reared on the south side of Chicago with limited monetary resources, but bountiful amounts of love, wisdom, compassion, accountability and faith. She was not afforded the opportunity to attend college, but it was always an expectation that I would. She has always believed in me, encouraged me, counseled me and corrected me. There is absolutely nothing that I've ever aspired to do without her full endorsement. The guiding principles she set for me have played a profound role in my life and who I present myself to be in any community. Further, her modeling has shaped me as a mother, a sister, friend, colleague and woman. She is my blueprint for how I interact and serve to bring out the gifts of others to witness their mark on this world.

How do you hope to serve the women of campus and the campus on women's issues?

The women at Duke are incredible. They are smart, savvy, innovative, empowered and beautiful. They are engaged and concerned. And yet, in conversations and spaces with women, you hear them speak of the challenge to be their authentic self in this environment. Academic engagement, leadership, entrepreneurship, belongingness, sexual violence, self-esteem, racial disparity, body image, social capital, choices, decision-making, and relationships are a part of their ethos; and each of these issues present themselves to women, concurrently and on a daily basis.  

I hope to encourage greater space for conversation with each other, to elicit compassion and understanding for each other's narratives before we can even speak of navigating the environment. Mentoring has always played a critical role in my life. I would like to see more of it, between underclass and upperclass students, with undergraduate and graduate/professional students, and with students and staff and faculty. I hope to continue the legacy of ensuring that women's voices are heard, and that that their voices are reflected in policy and the life of the university. I will make myself available to women, to hear what gives them joy at Duke, what gives them pause and what they need to be successful here and post Duke. I will listen, I will be accountable and I will be active to represent the concerns of women in student and academic life. I hope that as students, staff and faculty reflect on their Duke experiences, they can boldly state that the Center played a role in exposing them to something new, affirmed them as to who they are, and propelled them to higher heights. I want to move people and the environment from a place of knowing womanist and feminist theory to a place of doing and being womanist and feminist theory. I hope to inspire a deepened sense of community so that women's issues overall are not only heard, but responded to.

Tell us about the Women's Center staff?

The Women's Center staff are amazing! They are committed to the affirmation and empowerment of women. They are passionate about serving the needs of women and creating a climate that is safe, equitable and liberating, to fully enjoy and embrace their Duke experience. They model work-life integration and encourage women to lead lives that are reflective of their authentic selves. They encourage women to ask the tough questions, challenge systems that aren't representative of everyone, and insist their voices be heard and not silenced.

Full time staff and student interns create programming and discussions that allow us to consider multiple frameworks from a socially responsible perspective. I encourage anyone who is curious about the Women's Center to stop by, sit down and open up!

If you could stress a message to campus about the work the Women's Center does, what would it be?

The Women's Center is the place that always welcomes you, no matter what your path, how you arrived and where you intend to go, even if you don't know where that is right now. It celebrates your success, calms your fears, sustains your soul and, when you need it, gives you shelter from life's circumstances. It is a space that keeps on giving.

Now in her eighth year at Duke, Helms Pickett's other roles at the university have included directing Assessment and Professional Development within Student Affairs, chairing the Duke's Bias Analysis Task Force and serving on the Task Force on Gender and the Undergraduate Experience. Before coming to Duke, Helms Pickett worked at Bennett College, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, Durham Public Schools and Meredith College. She has been an instructor at Duke and Walden University, and holds numerous professional and committee appointments. She has published two books, "Later Never Came Until Now," and "Her Name is SHE."

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Where’s the Fire Now? Anti-inflammatory Eating Updates

Yes we have covered this topic before back in the fall of 2012 Inflammation-Where's the Fire?.

Back then we were presenting to you a proposed list of anti-inflammatory food to include in your diet.

These foods included healthy fats, spices, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and of course dark chocolate (70% cocoa or more).

Recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has highlighted what we have known for quite some time, many of us eat more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet and this may be contributing to heart disease.

What does this mean for us?  Not only should we consume anti-inflammatory foods every day but there are also some foods that we should try to limit our intake of as well.  If you eat too much simple sugar cutting back on the amount in your diet is important in the effort to fight chronic disease, which can be attributed to inflammation on the cellular level. Most recent studies refer to heart disease in particular.

Not everyone needs to decrease their sugar intake but if you feel that you are eating too much of the sweet stuff and you are looking for areas to cut back, consider the following:

·         Don’t Drink Your Fruit- opt for whole fruit instead of fruit juices and you will significantly decrease your intake of simple sugars and increase your intake of healthy fibers.

·         Avoid Sugar Sweetened Beverages- replace sodas, fruit flavored drinks, and sweet teas with water. Can’t give them up? Go “halfsies” by mixing half sweetened with half sugar free, unsweetened or water.

·         Be a Wise Consumer of your Favorite Hot Beverage- many coffee and tea drinks are loaded with sugar, each pump of syrup has about 5 grams of sugar, so limit the number of pumps or better yet go for a simple latte sans syrup.

·         When Baking- you can easily reduce the amount of sugar called for by ¼- 1/3 without sacrificing taste.

·         Share Desserts- if you eat them regularly. Otherwise eat what you enjoy but do so less often.

·         Enjoy!

The take home message here is you don't need to totally avoid sugar, just eat it in moderation and make the real thing count.

 

 

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Student Health Closed Saturday 3/8

The Student Health Center will be closed on Saturday, 3/8, due to Spring Break.

For after hours care, please contact us at 919-681-9355.

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Don’t Be a Victim of Perfection

In high school, I was team captain of the volleyball team. We had practice, games and weight training most of the time and it was easy to stay in shape. I would go home and my parents would cook a healthy dinner while I "wrote my essays", "researched" and "did my labs" (or Facebook messaged my friends about someone's new status, which in fairness sometimes seemed like an essay due to extensive stalking). I would have dinner with my family, which, since my sister is a vegetarian, usually consisted of steamed vegetables and fresh tofu and like good California hippies there was usually quinoa or some other strange grain my Tennessee roommate has never heard of.

I came into Duke with great self-esteem. I felt awesome! I had a great group of friends and things that I loved to do at school. I was voted “most likely to be heard across campus” because I was confident and spirited and a welcomed, lovingly obnoxious presence at my medium-sized high school. I had it all going for me and I was ready to take on college and be flawless.

Duke was different. I struggled, and I really mean struggled, to find my group of friends in the beginning. I called home crying several times a week for a while. Until I started going to Marketplace with people from down the hall from me, and started making some real friends. Oddly enough, I loved Marketplace! Sure I also complained and got sick of the food by second semester (or Thanksgiving), but like everyone else I would get my plate of dinner, then a slice or two of pizza, then either a scoop of ice cream, or a bowl of cereal (especially if they had Cinnamon Toast Crunch that day).

I always laughed at the “Freshman 15” because I “knew better” than to fall for the unlimited food and I was going to “go to the gym” “everyday.” But slowly I was gaining weight. Yet I kept doing the same things because that’s what I thought everyone was doing and I just didn’t know how everyone else around me still looked so thin.

So some days I would skip lunch. Or maybe breakfast and lunch. But I thought it was okay, I told myself I just didn’t have time between classes and by the time I got back from class it was almost dinner. I was counting calories, avoiding fat, and going hungry until dinnertime so that I could fit in with everyone else and still look good. I may have never put my fingers down my throat or taken laxatives, but I was binging and purging and just may have been bulimic.

I went on like this for months, most of second semester freshman year, until I realized that not everyone was eating like this every night. Most people were finding time to exercise a couple times per week instead of scrolling through buzzfeed and sporcle. And most of all, not everyone around me was as thin and perfect as I had created in my head.

We look at the world through a pair of binoculars, but we hold them the wrong way. When we look out, everything blends together. It looks beautiful and perfect. We fail to see any details or imperfections and we miss the truth. But when we look at ourselves, we see everything and we see it even more so than anyone who looks at us. They are all still looking through their binoculars too and think we are perfect and they are missing something that we have.

Eating disorders are real, they are around us, they are terrifying, and they manage to camouflage extremely well. Nobody ever knew about mine, absolutely nobody. They affect men and women; trust me, I know. You probably assumed that a girl was writing this until you just checked.

Take off your binoculars and see the world for what it really is. See yourself for who you truly are. Don’t be a victim of perfection; it is a game with no winners and a whole lot of losers.

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