March 17, 2008

Finalists named for Student Health Center director

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois University Carbondale community can meet the four finalists for the position of Student Health Center director at a series of campus-wide open presentations this month.

M. Jacob Baggott, Tess D. Ford, Dr. Milorad P. Ketchens and Dr. Ted W. Grace are each scheduled for two-day visits to campus, during which they'll meet with University officials and more. Each candidate will make an open presentation on "Trends and Opportunities in Student Health on College Campuses."

All students, faculty and staff may attend the sessions at the Student Health Center Auditorium. Each session runs from 9 to 10:15 a.m. The campus presentation schedule includes:

• Wednesday, March 19: Ketchens.

• Friday, March 21: Baggott.

• Tuesday, March 25: Grace.

• Thursday, March 27: Ford.

Ketchens, currently clinical director of the medical clinics, staff physician and senior Federal Aviation Administration medical examiner at the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois in Urbana, will visit SIUC March 18-19. In his current position, he provides leadership, medical care and FAA medical exams at the campus with approximately 36,000 students enrolled. His experience also includes service in the Army Reserves where he became a flight surgeon and he served active duty during the first Persian Gulf War. He was the clinical director of the aviation medicine, physical exam and outpatient medical clinics at the U.S. Army Aerospace Medical Center at Fort Rucker, Ala.

Ketchens, of Urbana, earned his bachelor's degree in biology from Loyola University in Chicago with a minor in military science as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Reserves. He earned his medical degree from the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield in 1984 and completed his internal medicine internship and psychiatric residency at Northwestern University McGaw Medical Center/ Evanston Hospital in Chicago.

An Illinois-licensed physician and surgeon, Ketchens is active in a variety of professional societies, including the National Medical Association and civil rights organizations such as Operation PUSH.

Baggott, currently the associate director of the SIUC Student Health Center, will interview March 20-21. In his current position, he's had operational and fiscal responsibility for developing and managing the center's $16 million budget and managed the self-funded, self -administered student insurance program for 18,000 students, a program with about $5.5 million in annual claims. He also handles other operational responsibilities in the absence of a director.

His career at SIUC actually dates back to 1984, when he was a student employee in the student health programs of the student insurance office. In the ensuing years, he's been chief clerk, accounting clerk, assistant to health center administrator, health center administrator and business manager II for student health programs before becoming assistant director and now associate director. Baggott also served in the Army National Guard, rising to the rank of first sergeant before retiring and he served a tour with the United States Army. He earned numerous military medals and awards.

Baggott has completed a variety of trainings and certifications, held numerous committee positions and leadership rolls at the campus, community, state, regional and national levels. He's active in a variety of organizations, including the American College Health Association, Mid-America College Health Association and National Guard Association of Illinois.

Baggott, of Cobden, earned his associate degree in applied sciences in electronic technology and bachelor's degree in electronic business management from SIUC, as well as his master's degree in legal studies in health law and policy.

Grace, currently the senior director of disaster preparedness and health safety in the Division of Student Affairs at The Ohio State University, will be on the Carbondale campus March 24-25. Grace was previously the director of the Ohio State University Student Health Services for 15 years, preceded by a stint as director of clinic services and a college health fellowship at San Diego State University. He also logged several years in private practice as an internal medicine physician in Exeter, Calif. For the past 15 years, he's been co-leader of the Student Health Insurance Committee at Ohio State, with 16,000 student enrollees and a $20 million budget. He led the implementation of an urgent care clinic, men's clinic, sports medicine department and more.

Grace earned his bachelor's and medical degrees from Ohio State, along with a master's degree in public health from San Diego State University. He served residencies at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, for family practice, at Presbyterian Medical Center in Denver, Colo., for internal medicine and at University of California, San Diego for general preventive medicine.

From Columbus, Ohio, Grace is a licensed physician in Ohio and active in a number of professional organizations, including the American College of Physicians and the American College Health Association, along with honor societies. He's served in a variety of committee and other positions at Ohio State, San Diego State, University of California at San Diego and Memorial Hospital at Exeter and earned several awards. He has a number of published works to his credit and is involved in community activities.

Ford, currently the director of the Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development at SIUC, will interview for the Student Health Center position March 26-27. For nearly eight years at her current SIUC position, she's led in grant and project development, planning and managing the center's staff. Ford has overseen and developed campus and community health and social service projects relevant to healthcare and research, evaluation and curriculum development and training. These projects include the Live Free Tobacco Free Initiative geared toward SIUC and other university campuses, and the Promising Practices program, working with local law enforcement to improve its services to persons with disabilities. Meanwhile, Ford, a registered nurse, has also been an adjunct assistant professor at the University.

Previously, Ford was the director of the Shawnee/Adolescent Health Center in Carbondale for nearly 15 years. She's been an instructor at SIUC, training and project coordinator for Fellowship House Inc. in Anna, an outpatient counselor for the Jackson County Community Mental Health Center in Carbondale, a psychiatric nurse at the Clyde Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center in Anna and a nurse in Phoenix.

Ford, of De Soto, earned her associate degree in nursing at Maricopa Community College in Phoenix. She earned a bachelor's degree in community health services, a master's degree in rehabilitation administration and services and a doctorate in health education, all from SIUC. She's been active with numerous health committees and organizations.

Larry H. Dietz, vice chancellor for student affairs, said he hopes to announce the new director in mid- to late April.