Below is a message from President John Fry:
Dear Students and Colleagues,
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of building and sustaining a comprehensive and proactive approach to keeping the Drexel community safe. Our ability to thrive amid the upheaval triggered by a global health crisis is a credit to the multi-faceted way we responded, and to the commitment and expertise of so many individuals and organizations in the Drexel community. Going forward, I want the University to sustain its focus on health and wellness. To lead our efforts, I am announcing the appointment of Marla J. Gold, MD, currently vice provost for community health, to the new position of senior vice provost for Community Health and Chief Wellness Officer.
As director of the Return Oversight Committee during the pandemic, Dr. Gold has played a pivotal role in evaluating the best strategies to safeguard students, faculty and professional staff. In consultation with colleagues from around the University, and with great care and expertise, she has guided our approach to everything from campus health protocols to the ramp-up of research and, now, our return to full campus life in the fall.
In her new role, Dr. Gold will be a key advisor to me and the Executive Council on matters of community health and wellness, disease management, critical public health issues, health equity, safety and emergency preparedness. She will explore closer cooperation between the schools and colleges, and promote interdisciplinary education, research and practice opportunities related to wellness. Acknowledging Drexel’s civic engagement mission in Philadelphia, Dr. Gold will examine ways in which the University can address key health and wellness needs in the West Philadelphia and North Philadelphia communities. Additionally, she will lead the process of reimagining public safety at Drexel based on the forthcoming report from 21CP, working closely with Executive Vice President Helen Bowman, Senior Vice President Subir Sahu and the Drexel Police in recognition that public safety is also a public health issue. And under her direction, we will establish a university-wide wellness council to advise on all of these matters.
Dr. Gold brings a wealth of experience to her new position, having served as dean of our School of Public Health, and as an assistant health commissioner for infectious disease control in city government in the early 1990s. She is professor of Health Management and Policy at Drexel, and has worked extensively with diverse leaders in health care, government at all levels, social services, community-based organizations and neighborhoods in designing and implementing such programs as region-wide comprehensive HIV care. Her undergraduate degree is from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and she received her medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey Medical School.
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Gold on her new role and in supporting her efforts to nurture and sustain a culture of wellness at Drexel that will benefit the entire University community.