Griffin named senior director of University Health Services

January 05, 2021
 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Micah Griffin has been named senior director of University Health Services (UHS) at Penn State, effective Jan. 4. Griffin will be transitioning to this new role after serving as director of health programs at the City University of New York's Kingsborough Community College.

Micah Griffin

Micah Griffin has been named senior director of University Health Services at Penn State, effective Jan. 4.

IMAGE: Provided by Micah Griffin

Griffin has more than a decade of leadership experience in college health enterprises. He has worked on a variety of grant projects and campus health initiatives that improved student health and campus health service utilization. He currently serves on the board of the American College Health Association (ACHA) as a member-at-large and sits on the association's COVID-19 task force.

"I am looking forward to joining UHS and the Penn State community at a very important time where college health is being challenged on many fronts,” said Griffin. “UHS has a phenomenal team, and I am excited for the opportunity to lead this organization as Student Affairs collectively navigates the challenges ahead. Now more than ever, college health professionals are being tasked with defining the role of health and well-being on a college campus. I am confident that Penn State can be positioned as a national leader in college health and ensure all students in our community have equitable access to quality, competent health services."    

Prior to his role as director of health programs for City University of New York's Kingsborough Community College, Griffin served as director of Student Health and Counseling Services at Alabama A&M, where he led a team of health professionals that significantly improved student health outcomes on campus and increased student access through innovative models of care and outreach. Additionally, at Alabama A&M, he developed comprehensive policies to support students of concern, with an emphasis on suicide prevention programs and mental health support.

Most of Griffin’s experiences have been focused on improving the health outcomes for marginalized people and underrepresented students. He developed the Student Health Alliance, a student-led organization that supported student health engagement, peer education, campus safety, and LGBTQ inclusion. In 2020, he was awarded the Hannibal E. Howell Jr. award for promoting diversity in college health. In 2019, he helped to establish the Historically Black Colleges and Universities coalition with the ACHA. He also is the founder of a nonprofit organization, Heal Our People Inc., that supports the social and well-being needs of African American men through innovative programs focused on mentoring college students, fatherhood training, and barbershop health promotion.

“Dr. Griffin is a rising star in college student health circles, and we were fortunate to attract him to Penn State,” said Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs. “Public health is clearly more important than ever, and Micah gives us the opportunity to build upon the strong foundation that already exists in one of the best ambulatory student health centers in all of higher education. I am excited for what lies ahead for student health at Penn State.”

Griffin received his master’s degree in health care administration and a doctorate in health services – community health from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He also received a master's degree in exercise science from Life University in Marietta, Georgia. He received his bachelor’s degree in science biology from Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina.

Griffin succeeds Dr. Robin Oliver-Veronesi, who served as senior director of UHS since 2015. Oliver-Veronesi joined Penn State in 2012 as the director of women’s health at UHS and served as interim medical director for a year before transitioning to the senior director role.

Oliver-Veronesi is stepping down from the senior director position to continue her passion for working in women’s health care and will resume her previous leadership role as director of women’s health at UHS.

Oliver-Veronesi’s experience and leadership have been invaluable throughout the past five and a half years — especially this past year for her work with the coronavirus. In response to the pandemic, Oliver-Veronesi implemented telemedicine at UHS; restructured the UHS scheduling system to accommodate all patient care, including COVID-19 patient care; acquired rapid COVID-19 tests; facilitated a major reconstruction project to convert examination rooms into a negative pressure suite; worked with the medical director to transform the ambulance bay into a student viral testing center; and contributed significantly to several University coronavirus crisis teams.

Some of Oliver-Veronesi’s other accomplishments during her time as senior director include leading the administrative team through a successful Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Inc. reaccreditation in 2018; leading the implementation of an upgraded radiology suite; managing a surgical quality improvement project and implementing new processes and procedures as a result; developing and implementing the UHS chaperone policy and training program; and working to offer in-house sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing processing for same-day results.

Oliver-Veronesi re-created and expanded the Student Health Advisory Board with increased student participation and an updated mission and vision, which led to the Student Fee Board allocating $420,000 for student STI testing. She also worked with Andrew Read, director of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, and Erina MacGeorge, professor of communication arts and sciences, to create the Student Health Research Center.

“Robin Oliver-Veronesi has been a consistent advocate for the physical well-being of our students and the services and staff that provide for that well-being,” said Sims. “Her leadership, particularly through the course of this pandemic, has been steadfast and reliable. We are deeply grateful for all she has done, and we are pleased that she will remain an important part of us through her continued leadership of our women’s health services.”

UHS, a unit of Student Affairs, is an all-inclusive, on-campus health care service offering medical, pharmacy, physical therapy, insurance, lab, imaging, medical records and emergency services. 

Last Updated April 15, 2021