LAWRENCE – Watkins Memorial Student Health Center at the University of Kansas completed its search for a new director with the hire of Dr. Douglas Dechairo.
Dechairo comes to KU after serving the San Diego area in multiple clinical and teaching capacities from 1978 to 2011.
“I am both flattered and honored to be returning to my alma mater,” Dechairo said. “I look forward to working with our students and our faculty and staff to grow Student Health Services in ways to serve all Jayhawks and act as a model for other universities.”
As director, Dechairo is responsible for all aspects of the student health program, which includes outpatient treatment, gynecology, pharmacy, laboratory, x-ray, physical therapy and health education, and he will provide expert consultation to university administrators regarding health-related matters affecting the student body and the KU community.
Dechairo said his goals for Watkins and Student Health Services were to improve business support services to assist students, create an environment for student success through improved physical and mental wellness, to improve accessibility for student health services, and to develop partnerships and programs with other units at KU to better serve the entire community.
Student Health Services is a unit of Student Affairs.
"I am pleased that Dr. Doug Dechairo will be leading the Health Center's efforts. He has an impressive list of accomplishments and experiences, along with the desire to lead the Student Health Center forward in this exciting and challenging time in student health care delivery," said Tammara Durham, vice provost for Student Affairs.
Dechairo graduated from KU with a bachelor's degree in chemistry and received his doctorate from KU Medical Center. He also served as a lieutenant commander in the Navy for eight years, working in naval hospitals in Chicago and California during his tenure.