Wellness at Leverett

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The Community Health Initiative (CHI) trains students as liaisons to the University Health Services (UHS) in undergraduate houses, freshman dorms, and other living centers at Harvard. Leverett House is especially important to CHI as it was the first House to support a CHI pilot program. CHI takes an upstream approach to students health, focusing on prevention rather than treatment. Your Leverett House CHI Representatives, Cathy Cheng ~R07 (cheng@fas; 4 years with CHI), Julia Rotow ~R07 (rotow@fas; 2 years with CHI), Eva Liggett (eliggett@fas; 2 years with CHI), Allie Rosene-Mirvis (rrosene@fas; 1 year with CHI) are experienced in promoting individual lifestyle choices and behaviors that prevent illness and lead to optimal health. Existing for the students, CHI Reps use proactive, holistic approaches which encompass the physical, social, and environmental dimensions of health. Leverett CHI Reps organize themed, House-wide study breaks to reduce stress among fellow Leverites, restock the House with complimentary contraceptives from UHS, and plan numerous campus-wide events including our annual Thrive event that draws hundreds of students each year. The CHI will continually evaluate and evolve with the needs and concerns of the students, as well as evaluate program success, but our roles include:

  1. Peer health educator: CHI Reps provide health education information for the people in their living center through written Health Tips, workshops, or Bulletin Boards. In addition, CHI Reps support a healthier working/living environment for the individual and the community.
  2. Resource Provider: Linking students and UHS, CHI Reps help students access the many resources available at Harvard as well as bring some of these resources into the houses/dorms. Some topics CHI Reps would be knowledgeable about include Harvard health insurance plans, what UHS services are available, what one can expect from and how to make the most of the clinical visit, and other appropriate sources of support (e.g. other peer programs, resources in the Boston area).

Because the CHI Reps are members of the house/dorm community which they serve, they can constantly be assessing the needs of their particular living center. This view from the inside will be extremely informative and effective, as CHI Reps can tailor their health education information to specific concerns. Also, students are often more willing to talk with a peer whom they know on a personal level and who is easily accessible than with unfamiliar professional from the outside. CHI Reps are an invaluable source of information for both their peers and UHS, helping students better utilize services at UHS and helping UHS better serve students. If you ever have any questions regarding CHI or ways to improve the well-being of students at Harvard, please feel free to contact your Leverett House CHI Reps!