May 08, 2008

Ted Grace named Student Health Center director

by Christi Mathis

Dr. Ted Grace

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Student Health Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will soon welcome as its new director, Dr. Ted W. Grace.

Larry H. Dietz, vice chancellor for student affairs, made the announcement this week, saying he anticipates Grace will begin his new position in early July. The appointment requires ratification by the SIU Board of Trustees.

"I think Dr. Grace has the experience, credentials, national reputation and vision necessary to showcase the staff, programs, services and facility as a national model in student health care," Dietz said. "Dr. Grace received the highest ranking of all of the candidates by those who were involved in the interview process and submitted evaluations. He also was the only candidate who had experience as a director of a student health center and he was very articulate in expressing a creative vision for the center."

Grace is currently the senior director of disaster preparedness and health safety in the Division of Student Affairs at The Ohio State University. Grace was director of that university's student health services for 15 years and also previously served as director of clinical services at San Diego State University. A licensed physician in Ohio, his experience also includes several years in private practice as an internal medicine physician in Exeter, Calif.

During the past 15 years, Grace has been a co-leader of the Student Health Insurance Plan at Ohio State, with its 16,000 student enrollees and $20 million budget. During his tenure, the Columbus, Ohio, resident led the effort to establish an urgent care clinic, a men's clinic, a sports medicine department and other initiatives. Now, he's looking forward to bringing his experience and innovative ideas to SIUC.

"I feel extremely fortunate to have this opportunity to join the SIUC Student Health Center team at such an important time in their history," Grace said. "After so many years of planning and building construction, the campus now has one of the finest student health facilities in the country. Coupled with the excellent medical staff and supportive campus leadership that I had the opportunity to meet during my recent campus visit, SIUC has all of the resources necessary to establish a truly model student health program; one that will extend beyond the walls of the Student Health Center and into the surrounding community."

Grace earned his bachelor's and medical degrees at Ohio State and his master's degree in public health at San Diego State University. He completed his family practice residency at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, and his internal medicine residency at Presbyterian Medical Center in Denver. His general preventive medicine residency was at the University of California, San Diego and he served a fellowship in college health administration with Student Health Services at San Diego State University.

Grace has written a number of published works and is active in a variety of professional organizations, including the American College of Physicians, the American College Health Association and several honor societies. He's served on numerous committees and held other positions, including faculty posts at Ohio State, San Diego State, University of California, San Diego and Memorial Hospital at Exeter. He's also garnered awards for his work, provided legislative testimony on several occasions and became actively involved in the communities in which he resided.

Dietz anticipates the SIU Board of Trustees will formally consider the appointment at its June 12 meeting. He said Grace will work with others on the SIUC campus to enhance services.

"He will be a part of a three-person team including Dr. Rosemary Simmons, director of counseling, and Willie Ehling, director of Recreational Sports and Services, and their staffs, who will be working collaboratively with each other and across the campus to highlight healthy campus initiatives available through the largest student healthplex in the country," Dietz said.

A campus visit wasn't sufficient to give Grace full insight into all of the unique challenges he'll face as the new student health director, he said. But, he's anxious to dive in and get started at SIUC.

"I can assure you I am excited about all of the opportunities that exist there to partner with colleagues, both on campus and in the surrounding community, to create the kind of environmental approach to health that will allow students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale to achieve the highest levels of wellness possible," Grace said. "It's a daunting task, but one that fits my past training and experience well. I look forward to working together with the health center staff and campus colleagues to achieve a healthier campus for all."