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Updated 10:00 AM Sept. 18, 2006




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Winfield to guide health and well-being initiative

As the University continues its initiative to enhance the health and well-being of faculty, staff and students, President Mary Sue Coleman has appointed Dr. Robert A. Winfield to the newly created position of chief health officer.
(File Photo/Paul Jaronski, U-M Photo Services)

Dr. Winfield currently is the director of the University Health Service (UHS). He will continue to serve in that capacity while taking on the responsibilities of his new role.

"I am pleased that we're taking another important step in this initiative," Coleman says. "Bob has the knowledge, insight and skill to advance our vision and commitment to the health of the University community."

As chief health officer, Dr. Winfield will play a key leadership role in promoting the health and wellness of the University community. He will act as a facilitator of concerted, Universitywide actions on issues related to health and wellness, and as a spokesperson for the University on such matters.

Dr. Winfield will seek to advance public discussion to improve the health and well-being of faculty, staff and students, as well as dependents and retirees; advocate for effective health service programs, policies and practices; and work to raise awareness and understanding in the community of health-related concerns. He will work closely with the President's Michigan Healthy Community Task Force and the Michigan Healthy Community Executive Vice President Working Group—two groups charged with carrying out short- and long-term programs to address health and well-being at U-M, while creating a national prototype for new approaches to rational and affordable health care.

From 1974-79 he was a faculty member in the Department of Internal Medicine. He has been associated with the health service as physician and administrator since 1980, and has served as its director since 1999. For many years, he led the Periodic Health Appraisal Unit in UHS, in which he and his colleagues developed a variety of ways to improve health and wellness for U-M employees.

Dr. Winfield has been a leader in the development of University policy on a variety of health-related concerns. From 2001 to 2003, he headed the University's Mental Health Working Group, which created recommendations for far-reaching changes to improve mental health support for students. He co-chaired the SARS Campus Planning Group from 2003 to 2005, which developed Universitywide preparations for the possibility of a SARS virus outbreak.

He currently co-chairs the Infectious Hazards Planning Group that is focused on preparations for a possible avian flu epidemic. In this capacity, he works closely with many units of the University, with the pandemic flu planning group in the U-M Health System, and in collaboration with the Region 2 South Bioterrorism Preparedness Group for the state of Michigan. Dr. Winfield is a key collaborator in public health management in Washtenaw County and in southeast Michigan. He also has served for the past two years as a member of the Michigan Healthy Community Task Force and co-chairs the Student Health and Wellness Subcommittee.

Dr. Winfield received his Bachelor of Science degree from U-M in 1967 and his Doctor of Medicine with honors from the Medical School in 1971.

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