Executive director candidate aims to improve health center’s “culture of excellence”

During a presentation on Jan. 26, LeAnn Gutierrez, a candidate for the executive director position at the University Health Center, presented her vision of success to a crowd of about 50 staff members of the UHC.

With the University of Oregon’s health services ranked 13 in the nation, according to the Princeton Review, Gutierrez praised the quality of the UHC’s care and said she will push to make it even greater.

She said that the UO’s health center has a “great reputation” and the teams are “first-class.” Gutierrez has collaborated with several UO representatives about ideas that she could implement at the University of Texas at Austin, where she currently works as its associate director of its health center.

Gutierrez said her first priority would be building trust among staff to “work together toward a shared vision” for the health center.

In order to build that trust, Gutierrez plans to create a supportive learning environment at the UHC and have leadership that “actively listens to staff and has a willingness to consider alternate viewpoints.”

Throughout her presentation, she focused maintaining the “culture of excellence that is already here” and creating greater staff input and recognition.

Gutierrez said higher education is known for being a “silo” — segmented and isolated from other resources on campus. However, she wants to change that by having staff look to other resources on campus and from inside the health center to improve the quality of care that the it provides.

“We forget that we’re not alone on campus. We need to increase on-campus collaboration,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez also wants to increase student participation through employment and make the UHC more accessible.

The UO’s commitment to cultural competency was one factor that influenced her decision to apply for the position because she believed that was something UT Austin lacked.

The executive director is responsible for the overall administration of the UHC. The director also provides a vision for the center, strategic planning, maintaining resources and serves as its spokesperson.

The second candidate, Shannon Millington, will present her vision for the University Health Center on Jan. 29 at the Gerlinger Lounge from 8-9 a.m.

Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.



Tell us what you think:

Miles Trinidad

Miles Trinidad

Miles Trinidad is an Opinion Columnist for the Emerald focusing on politics, social policy and economics. Prior to joining the Opinion Desk, Trinidad was a reporter and covered student groups and ASUO for the Emerald from 2015-2016 and contributed to Flux Magazine in 2017.

Trinidad has worked in political campaigns, non-profit political advocacy, and a legislative and communication role for a U.S. senator.

Trinidad is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in political science, economics, and journalism.