With the Pacific Coast College Health Association Conference just four months away, Amy Chadwick is busy securing workshop presenters and event sponsors as part of her role as president of the organization.
Chadwick, who is the patient services manager at Cougar Health Services, became active in PCCHA after she was invited to present at its conference in 2018. PCCHA is an affiliate of the American College Health Association (ACHA), the nation’s leading organization for college health professionals.
Chadwick is in good company—three of her colleagues are in ACHA leadership roles. All four view their roles as opportunities to be part of national discussions shaping the direction of health services in higher education.
Ellen Taylor, senior associate vice president in the Division of Student Affairs, said she is proud of the staff for taking on leadership roles that help set the benchmarks for health services on college campuses across the country.
“Having WSU employees in the conversations to identify and articulate the most promising practices is both a reflection of their expertise and an indication of their commitment to their profession,” Taylor said.
Learning and collaborating
The WSU staff members’ roles in ACHA leadership are varied, but each offers opportunities to lead, learn, and get to know health professionals at other universities.
Executive Director Joel Schwartzkopf engages in discussions around best practices for leadership, billing, and strategic planning as part of his roles in ACHA. He was recently elected to the member-at-large position of the organization’s administrative section; he also co‑chairs the Leadership Institute and is a member of the strategic planning task force.
In June, CHS community engagement coordinator Rebekah King began her newly elected position as secretary in ACHA’s health promotion section, where she is responsible for developing meeting agendas, archiving, and promoting opportunities for involvement.
Paula Adams, director of health promotion, has previously served as chair elect, chair, and immediate past chair of the ACHA health promotion section. Most recently, she served on the ACHA COVID‑19 Task Force.
Schwartzkopf said being involved in ACHA helps him and his staff in many ways, most notably by providing opportunities to get to know and collaborate with professionals from other universities. When WSU became one of the first universities to offer COVID‑19 vaccines to students, many of his ACHA colleagues contacted him to learn about the steps his team took to get mass vaccination clinics up and running.
“Our work with ACHA is all about improving the services we provide to students,” he said. “It is important for students to know that members of our team are respected in their field, collaborate with other professionals, utilize best practices, and continually seek opportunities to improve.”
Adams checked all those boxes with her work on the COVID‑19 task force. She was a contributing author for ACHA’s spring and fall 2021 guidelines for reopening higher education campuses. She also helped plan last summer’s ACHA COVID‑19 Virtual Summit and participated in the Centers for Disease Control listening sessions to inform CDC guidance and support for its COVID response.
“My involvement helped me stay abreast of emerging information about COVID and how institutions across the country were responding,” Adams said. “I immediately translated what I was learning into our WSU Cougs Cancel COVID work.”
WSU in the spotlight
Having access to new information, cutting-edge practices, and a vast network of professionals drives the CHS staff members’ motivation to serve in ACHA leadership, but Chadwick said that an added benefit is the recognition their service brings to WSU.
“Cougar Health Services staff have a long history of serving on the ACHA executive board,” she said. “It demonstrates to others that although WSU may not be as large as other universities, Cougar Health Services provides students with leading-edge and high-quality services.”