News, University News

Health, wellness director to depart in June

Director Unab Khan will take on a position at the Aga Khan University in Pakistan, her alma mater

By
Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, April 6, 2017

The University’s executive director of health and wellness, Unab Khan, will leave the University at the end of June, the University announced in an email to the community.

Khan will return home to Pakistan, where she will serve as an associate professor and chair of the department of family medicine at Aga Khan University — her alma mater — the release stated. She will remain a consultant to the University during the search for her replacement.

The search process for a new director will seek out the most qualified person for the job, not necessarily the director most immediately available for hire, said Vice President for Communications Cass Cliatt.

Health Services will work to ensure there are no gaps in care provided to students, Cliatt said.

In the coming weeks, the University will assemble a search committee to find the next executive director, wrote Eric Estes, vice president for campus life and student services, in an email to The Herald.

The committee will “include undergraduate, graduate and medical school student representation,” he wrote. Students who have worked with and advocated for the health community will make up the majority of the committee. Some faculty and staff members will also serve on the committee. The University has hired Keeling and Associates to help in the search process, Estes added. Keeling and Associates previously assisted the University in hiring Will Meek as director of Counseling and Psychological Services.

Khan arrived in 2014 as medical director and began to oversee CAPS in addition to her other duties within a year, which earned her the title of executive director of health and wellness. The joining of Health Services and CAPS allowed “us to think about our students’ physical and mental well-being under one umbrella,” she said.

Khan made a number of changes and improvements to health services, Estes wrote.

The majority of her initiatives were intended to improve CAPS, and included the removal of the seven-session counseling limit and increased accessibility, Khan said.

Khan’s achievements also included the addition of mental health screening to routine health services appointments and increased support for Brown Emergency Medical Services, Estes wrote.

Khan described the shift from the traditional-practice model toward a model that studies how the learning and living environment affects student health as the largest and most important change during her tenure. “We build trust and connectedness … and empower our students with more information about their health,” she added.

None of the changes could have been possible without students, she said. “They advocated … and we were able to respond in meaningful ways to their concerns.”

Khan values the opportunities to build systems that create high quality and respectful support provided by her job, she said.

“Her work has been transformative at an important time for the community,” Estes wrote.

Looking forward, health Services could explore even more holistic student care, Estes wrote. In the future, his office will focus on increasing staff diversity and professional development opportunities, both of which allow for better student support.

Khan voiced her hope that Health Services will develop a multi-disciplinary model of care that seamlessly meets students’ needs.

Hopefully, the next executive director will “build off of the groundwork that we’ve been doing,” she said.

“At this point, my family really needs me, and I would hate to live with the regret of not being present for them … I would have loved to be part of this community for a longer period,” Khan said.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated that Vice President of Communications Cass Cliatt said the search process for a new director will not necessarily seek the doctor most immediately available for hire. In fact, she said the director most immediately available for hire. A previous of this article also misstated that Cliatt said Health Services will fill any gaps in student care. In fact, she said Health Services will ensure there are no gaps in student care. The Herald regrets the errors.