UVM Doctor's Health App For College Students To Be Focus Of New Campus Study

Jul 19, 2017

A University of Vermont program designed to help college students form healthy behaviors could go national with the help of nearly $2 million in grant money. 

Dr. James Hudziak, professor of child psychiatry and pediatrics at UVM's Larner College of Medicine, has developed an app based on UVM's substance-free housing program that uses a daily survey to help coach students on healthy behaviors.

Hudziak won a $1.8 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to study the app's effectiveness and work on ways to scale UVM's model to help more college students make healthy choices.

Hudziak told Vermont Edition that even if students use drugs and alcohol, it's important to reward healthy behaviors during the brain development that happens in college.

"If we can prevent a kid from becoming an addict by the time she or he graduates college, she's not likely to become an addict," says Hudziak. "It's such a vulnerable period of cortical organization."

Listen above to the full interview from Vermont Edition, broadcast live during the noon hour on Tuesday, July 18, 2017; rebroadcast during the 7 p.m. hour.