The current Director of the UH Health Center Floyd Robinson has been appointed to the newly created position of Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs – Health and Wellness, and has stated expansion of the Health Center and renewed focus on student wellness as primary objectives moving into the future.
Robinson was named assistant vice president effective Jan. 1. He was handpicked by Vice President for Student Affairs Richard Walker, who began looking at candidates during the Fall semester. Walker cited increasing student population in the health center and counseling offices as reasons to create the position.
“My feeling is that obviously the physical and psychological well-being of students is an area we need to focus more on,” Walker said. “(Robinson has) a very good reputation on campus; he is a strong student advocate, and he meets the needs of students on campus.”
Walker said Robinson will be in charge of compiling a research committee to explore the options of expanding the UH Health Center. Robinson, who has served as head of the Health Center for 18 years, said an expansion and possible relocation of the center is “desperately needed.”
“As our campus grows more residential, obviously more students will want to have easier access to health care,” Robinson said. “We can’t expand any of the services in the Health Center because we don’t have the space for it.”
Student Government Association President Michael Harding, who met with Robinson and two other candidates during the on-campus interview process, echoed the need for a larger Health Center.
“(The) health facility we have on campus is a little disappointing,” Harding said. “I do think there are improvements to be made in the Health Center, but at the same time I hope funding doesn’t have to be put on the students’ back.”
Robinson also expressed interest in expanding dental and dermatology services available in the center as well as implementing an acupuncture service.
Robinson currently holds three positions at UH; he is also the interim Director of Campus Recreations. He will step down following the appointment of Kim Clark as the new director effective Feb. 1, but will continue to serve as the director of the Health Center while candidates are being interviewed.
Robinson first arrived at UH in 1994 following a director role at Memorial Hermann Hospital and an assistant director stint at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Since serving at UH, Robinson has been at the forefront of initiatives to introduce full-time psychologists in the Health Center and the implementation of free HIV testing in June and December.
Robinson said the growing student usage has proven the increased health services to be a success.
“I think there’s a very large contingency of students who want to be smarter about health care issues,” Robinson said. “I would like to thank them for being so responsive and allowing us to provide health care for them.”