Health, Well-Being, and Safety Resources
Brandeis is committed to the health, well-being and safety of its faculty and staff. The following are some of the many services offered to care for our community.
Vaccination recommendations are based on a person’s age, occupation, Travel plans, and pre-existing conditions – are you up to date on your vaccinations?
Overview. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between 3.5 and 5 million deaths are prevented each year by vaccinations for preventable but life-threatening diseases. Receiving recommended immunizations plays a crucial role in protecting one's health throughout a lifetime.
How Vaccines Work. Vaccines work by stimulating your immune system to produce antibodies, like it would if you had an infection. However, unlike bacteria and viruses, vaccines do not actually make you sick. There are two main types of immunity, active and passive:
- "Active" immunity means you have antibodies against a particular germ. This can happen if you have had the infection in the past (this is called "natural immunity") or because you have received a vaccine that stimulated your immune system to produce the antibodies. Most vaccines induce active immunity.
- "Passive" immunity comes from serum immune globulin, which provides temporary immunity with antibodies obtained from a large pool of donors. This approach offers short-term protection to people who have been exposed to a specific germ; it is not routinely recommended for individuals.
Side Effects. Often vaccines cause no side effects, but sometimes they do. Experiencing a side effect does not mean that you are sick, just that your immune system is responding to the vaccine. When side effects happen, they can include:
- Redness, mild swelling, or soreness where you got the shot
- Mild fever
- Mild rash
- Headache or body aches
Vaccines can sometimes cause more serious side effects, such as severe allergic reactions, but serious side effects are rare. Ask your doctor or nurse what side effects to expect each time you get a vaccine. If you have a reaction or a problem after a vaccine, let them know.Vaccination Recommendations. There are some vaccines that all adults should get, even if they received their childhood vaccines. These vaccines protect against the following infections:
- Coronavirus disease 2019 ("COVID-19") – This is an infection caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. It can cause a fever, cough, and trouble breathing, along with other symptoms. Some people get severely ill from COVID-19.
- Influenza (flu) – The flu can cause fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, and sore throat. It can even cause a lung infection.
- Pertussis – This infection is also known as "whooping cough" and can cause a severe breathing illness in babies. It can also make older children and adults sick. Vaccinating adults helps prevent babies around them from getting the infection. The pertussis vaccine comes in the same shot as the diphtheria and tetanus vaccines.
- Diphtheria and tetanus – Vaccines against these 2 diseases are usually together in 1 shot, or in a shot with the pertussis vaccine. Diphtheria can cause a thick covering in the back of the throat that can lead to breathing problems. Tetanus causes the muscles to work abnormally.
- Hepatitis B – This is a serious disease caused by a virus. It can cause long-term liver problems or liver cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all adults under age 60, and some adults age 60 and older.
- Pneumococcus – Pneumococcus is a germ that can cause an infection of the lungs, ears, blood, or tissues around the brain.
- Meningococcus – Meningococcus is a germ that can cause an infection of the blood or tissues around the brain.
- Herpes zoster, also called "shingles" – Shingles can cause a painful skin rash and blisters.
- Human papillomavirus ("HPV") – There are different types of HPV. Depending on the type and where the infection is, HPV infection can lead to cancer of the cervix, vagina, penis, or anus. It can also cause genital warts or cancer of the mouth and throat. Most doctors recommend that people get the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12. But people can get the vaccine any time from age 9 to 26.
- Other infections – These include measles, chickenpox, hepatitis A, and respiratory syncytial virus ("RSV").
- Healthy Living with Diabetes: Getting the Vaccines You Need.
- Schedule and receive your vaccines here at Brandeis. Register today.
- Ensure you and those around you are safe
- Call Public Safety (781-736-3333) for first aid, help, or there are other hazards
- Call Occupational Health (781-736-8769) with questions or for additional support
- Notify your supervisor
- Get checked out - please contact your primary care provider or be evaluated by a local urgent care or emergency room
- Complete the accident/injury report. Please use the link to create an accident/injury report.
- Public Safety Emergency: (781)736-3333
- Public Safety Non-Emergency: (781)736-5000
- Occupational Health: Suzanne Raj, email@example.com, (781)736-8769
- Worker's Compensation: Renee Relerford, firstname.lastname@example.org, (781)736-4451
- Environmental Health & Safety: Andrew Finn, email@example.com, (781) 736-4262
- Facilities: Monday-Friday 7 AM- 4:30 PM (781)736-8500. Weekends, Holidays and After Hours (781)736-5000
Local Urgent Care
AFC Urgent Care Waltham: 1030 Main St · (781) 894-6900
Monday - Sunday: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Newton-Wellesley Hospital Waltham Walk-In: 9 Hope Ave · (617) 243-5590 Mondays - Friday: 10 AM - 6 PM, Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED
PhysicianOne Urgent Care Waltham: 1019 Trapelo Rd · (860) 650-3848 Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 8 PM, Weekends and Holidays: 9 AM- 5 PM
Newton-Wellesley Hospital- Main Campus: 2014 Washington St. Newton, MA 02462 · (617) 243-6193.
Other Numbers to Know
- Poisoning or Chemical Exposure Hotline: 1-800-222-1222
- Blood Borne Pathogen Exposure: Wash exposed and seek medical evaluation immediately.
- Injured at Work Quick Sheet Download (pdf)
- Hoja Rápida Sobre las Lesiones en el Trabajo (pdf).
Brandeis supports its employees with young families. Nursing individuals are offered adequate break times and private spaces to express milk for their babies.
Massachusetts Laws: Nursing At Work
The federal PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act protects all nursing employees, but Massachusetts already has a strong workplace lactation accommodation law. The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (2018) requires employers with six or more employees to provide all breastfeeding employees with reasonable break time and a space (other than a bathroom) to pump. In addition, the law stipulates that the lactation space must include electrical outlets, table, and a place to sit. Read the law: Chapter 54 of the Acts of 2017.
Dedicated lactation rooms:
- 60 Turner Street 1st floor, space 132-113A
- 51 Sawyer Road 2nd floor, space 160-247
- Goldfarb Library Room 69-41A
- This room is kept locked. To access the room a key can be checked out at the library’s information desk with your Brandeis ID. For reservations, please check the specific Google calendar for the space and book an available time or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You may need to ask for directions after obtaining the key as the room is a little tricky to find. The room can accommodate two individuals at one time. The key should be returned to the information desk after use. The room is equipped with a refrigerator and microwave (for sterilization) with a sink nearby.
- Leo Gerstenzang Library of Science Room 128
- This room is kept locked. To access the room, contact email@example.com. The room is located in the science complex through the Student Lounge area and through room 127 accessible with your ID card. Walk through the quiet study area and you will see room 128 on your right. This room can accommodate three people at one time. Kitchen area is next door with access to a refrigerator, microwave (for sterilization) and sink.
- Rabb Graduate Center Room 118
- This room is kept locked. To access the room a key can be checked out with reservations by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org in the English department. The room is equipped with a refrigerator, a microwave (for sterilization) and numerous electrical outlets with a sink nearby.
External Nursing Support Resources
As of May 11, 2023 the federal government ended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration, meaning COVID-19 surveillance testing, contact tracing and COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters are no longer a requirement. In alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Brandeis University has ceased our COVID-19 contact tracing efforts.
As of September 12, 2023 the CDC recommends all individuals 6 months old and older receive the updated COVID vaccines.
If you've tested positive for COVID
Brandeis faculty and staff are no longer required to submit their positive COVID test results to the Brandeis Contact Tracing Program (BCTP).
If you have any medical or health related concerns, please contact your primary care provider.
If you have any questions about Brandeis COVID policies, procedures, or return to work please .
If you believe you may have exposed another member of the Brandeis community, please notify them of their possible COVID exposure.
An exposure is defined as being less than 6 feet away from an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinical diagnosis) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. For example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes.
Isolate off campus for a minimum of 5 days from a positive test. The day you test positive or have an onset of symptoms counts as “Day 0”, so it’s really 6 days in total. After 5 days, if the symptoms have significantly improved or resolved, the individual may return to work, provided they are masked at all times while around others through day 10.
- The CDC recommends that people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should isolate through at least day 20, with specific guidance from a health care professional. Use of serial testing and consultation with an infectious disease specialist or primary care physician is recommended in these patients prior to ending isolation.
If you've been exposed to someone with COVID-19
Regardless of your vaccination status or if you have had a previous infection, if you were exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommends you take the following next steps.
After Being Exposed to COVID-19:
- Wear a high quality mask as soon as you find out you were exposed until 10 days post exposure.
- Watch for symptoms and contact your Primary Care Provider with any health questions or concerns.
- Get tested - if you become symptomatic and/or at least 5 full days after your last exposure.
- Day 0 is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19.
- Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure.
Request Free COVID Test Kits on COVIDtests.gov
As of September 25, 2023, residential households in the U.S. can order one set of #4 free at-home tests from USPS.com again. Here's what you need to know about your order:
- Limit of one order per residential address
- One order includes #4 individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests (COVIDTests.gov has more details about at-home tests, including extended shelf life and updated expiration dates)
- Orders will ship free starting the week of October 2, 2023.
Contact our employee assistance program for free, confidential counseling that is available 24 hours a day, every day. Call 1-800-828-6025 or visit the website.
The Employee Assistance Program operates under the New Directions name.
Log-in directions: Employee Assistance Program.
Company Code: brandeis university
If you are looking for Health plan member, provider or partner information (not associated with New Directions EAP), please visit LucetHealth.com
Living Well Health Portal
Available to all Brandeis employees. Sign up for Tufts Health Plan's Living Well program and earn rewards for participating in a variety of informative, fun and interactive activities. The Living Well program is packed with tools that let you define your own vision of wellbeing.
Nutrition Coaching provides Brandeis students, faculty, and staff with a convenient and affordable opportunity to meet their health goals. Brandeis Athletics' nutrition coach is nationally certified through NASM and is prepared to assist you in Weight Loss (losing fat), Weight gain (gaining healthy fat and muscle), Body Recomposition (losing fat and gaining/preserving muscle), and Performance enhancement (improving diet to maximize athletic performance).
Personal Health Coach
Tufts Health Plan Health Coaches can support, educate, and motivate you to help you achieve a wide range of health goals. During one-on-one telephonic coaching sessions, your Health Coach will help you adopt a healthy lifestyle, at no additional cost. Call 866-201-7919 or visit the Health Coaching page on Tufts Living Well Health Portal.
Recreational and Social Activities
Brandeis University Staff Advisory Committee sponsors a number of social and recreational activities for Faculty and Staff.
- Employee Assistance Program
Contact our employee assistance program (New Directions) for free, confidential counseling that is available 24 hours a day, every day. Call 1-800-828-6025 or visit the website. Log-in directions: Employee Assistance Program. Company Code: brandeis university
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline, also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service. They are confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, substance use, and information service, in English and Spanish. They can also be reached via phone at 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889.
- NAMI HelpLine, National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI provides advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives. They can also be reached Monday through Friday, 10 am–6 pm, ET. 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).
- Finding Mental Health Support in Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Behavioral Health Help Line (BHHL) can connect you directly to clinical help, when and where you need it. Even if you’re not sure what kind of help or treatment you may need, they can help guide you. Available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year (including holidays).
- Call or text 833-773-2445
- Live chat available at: https://www.masshelpline.com/
- Crisis Resources:
- Samaritans Statewide Helpline: 1-877-870-4673
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 OR Dial 988
- EAP, New Horizons: 800-828-6025
- Health Insurance Behavioral Health Service Navigation: Trying to understand your health insurance's Behavioral Health benefits? Most health plans provide coverage for outpatient counseling and inpatient behavioral health services. Learn more about what most health insurance providers in Massachusetts cover:
Physical Fitness Resources
- Fitness at Home
- Gosman Sports and Convocation Center
- Group Exercise Classes
- Personal Training
Tufts Health Plan Fitness Reimbursement Program
Faculty, staff, and postdocs enrolled in a Tufts health plan are eligible for a reimbursement of up to $150 per family, per benefit year for fitness center membership fees and/or exercise classes. Tufts Health Plan Member Fitness Rebate Form
The University is committed to supporting our staff with comprehensive benefits, programs and
services. We recognize that there may be times when a staff member experiences a significant and
unexpected personal emergency that creates a financial burden or crisis. To assist staff in these cases, the University offers eligible staff an emergency loan program.
The program is designed to provide a loan to the staff member to help cover the costs of the emergencies when they take place. The details of the program include:
- All benefits eligible staff with at least 6 months of continuous service.
- One interest free loan request per year.
- Payment terms - 12 months.
- Loan agreement - repayment via payroll. Up to amount - $5,000 (based on need).
- Loan must be paid in full if termination occurs prior to full repayment.
- Approval of an emergency loan is not guaranteed and is subject to the reasons for the request and/or the funds available in the program.
Examples of unexpected personal emergencies may include:
- Fire or natural disaster to the employee’s residence.
- A medical emergency not covered by medical insurance.
- The costs associated with an unanticipated family emergency (death; parent, spouse or child stranded out of state due to a non-self-directed event).
- Domestic emergency (domestic violence, incarceration of a custodial child, court-mandated change in custody of a child).
- Unexpected and significant repairs of an employee’s vehicle, if the vehicle is used as the primary mode of transportation to work.
- Impending eviction from one's residence through no flagrant fault of the employee.
Staff and faculty may be confronted by unexpected illness or loss, intense uncertainty or loneliness, or challenged by newfound tensions around personal and professional priorities. Recognizing the need for spiritual support among staff and faculty, the Center for Spiritual Life and Hillel are offering caring, pastoral-skilled, experienced listening, spiritual guidance and pastoral care. Request a conversation.
Religious services are held throughout the year at the Berlin (Jewish), Bethlehem (Catholic) and Harlan (Protestant) chapels as well as the Dharmic prayer and meditation space and Muslim prayer space on campus. Schedules and more information are available at the Center for Spiritual Life website.
- CPR, Stop the Bleed, & Overdose Prevention Training
- Emergency Preparedness
- Environmental Health and Safety
- Drug-free and Alcohol free Workplace
- Workplace Violence Prevention and Workplace Conduct
- Prevent Heat Illness at Work
- Prevenir las Enfermedades Relacionadas con el Calor
- Occupational Health and Safety Trainings
Ergonomics is the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products and systems so that they fit the people who use them.
An ergonomic assessment is an assessment of a workstation to ensure correct working postures and workstation set-up. A good ergonomic assessment is done to reduce uncomfortable postures, repetitive tasks, and straining of the body.
|Type of Concern||Contact||Phone / Email|
|Immediate Harm or Threat, Medical Emergency, Fire, Chemical Spill||Public Safety||
|Sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating/domestic violence and stalking||
|Environmental or Waste, General Questions||Andrew Finn, Manager of Environmental Health & Safety||
|Hazardous Waste Pickups, Containers, Labels. Waste Area Setup||Hazardous Waste Hotline||781-736-2561|
|General Employee Health or Safety Concerns and Questions||Suzanne Raj, Manager of Occupational Health||
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