The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has named M. Jacob Baggott, MLS, 1SG (R) USAR, executive director of UAB Student Health and Wellness. Baggott will lead an initiative to consolidate Student Health Services, the Counseling and Wellness Center and health promotions to centralize and expand health and wellness services to UAB students.
Baggott has more than 25 years of experience in campus wellness, and most recently served as chief of staff to the chancellor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC).
“Jake has proven that he is a tremendous advocate for health and wellness of students during his extensive campus experience, and we are proud to have him,” said Harlan Sands, vice provost for UAB Administration and Quality Improvement.
Before Baggott was named assistant to the chancellor at SIUC, he was associate director of the SIUC Student Health Center. He spent six years on the Board of Directors of the American College Health Association (ACHA), including two years as a member of the Executive Committee. He has a master’s of legal studies-health law and policy degree from the SIUC School of Law, and he has made repeated trips to Washington, D.C., advocating for college health concerns.
“I have been struck by the commitment of the UAB Team, at all levels of the organization, to taking a long-held vision and making it a reality,” said Baggott. “The coming months and years will greatly challenge everyone’s ability to meet the multi-faceted student health service mission. This is a hands-on position, requiring professional and personal commitment to success, and I intend to give everything I have to the well-being of UAB’s students.”
Earlier this month, The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees approved a $4 million renovation to the 20,000 square foot third floor of the Learning Resource Center, where the new Student and Health Wellness Center is scheduled to open in August 2014.
The new center will provide easy access to health and wellness services for all UAB students.
“Optimal health depends on ideal access, flawless care and excellent leadership; the new Student Health and Wellness Center will have each of those from day one,” said Dawn Bulgarella, MSHA, senior associate dean for Administration and Finance, UAB School of Medicine. “Jake could accept a job anywhere, and we are thrilled that he chose to bring his student health experience and passion to UAB.”
Baggott will report to the UAB Provost office and the UAB School of Medicine. His official start date is July 1, 2013.