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Watkins Memorial Student Health Center hires new director

Fri, 12/13/2013

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.



When looking to tackle the issue of obesity in rural America, where should we start? The answer is not what you might think. Empathy, says Christie Befort, an associate professor at KU who has just won a $10 million award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to investigate solutions to rural obesity. Many physicians are embarrassed talking about weight—especially in a small town where everybody knows each other, Befort says. By providing obesity treatment options in rural primary care, she plans to start a conversation, and maybe a revolution, in rural health care. For more details on Befort's efforts, check out the 2015 Chancellor's Report: http://bit.ly/1D5A5MO and her video: http://bit.ly/1C5xYZa Tags: #KUcommunities #Obesity #Health #Rural #Midwest Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute - PCORI

Whistling the night away. #exploreKU shot by saamanthathomas on insta. http://t.co/JFZcj31X8h
Explore KU: Experience a KU Men's Basketball tradition It’s explosive. It’s dramatic. It’s intimidating. It’s a KU tradition (see more at http://bit.ly/KUtraditions) simply known as the Confetti Toss. But it creates a primal eruption of fan enthusiasm at the opening of every KU men’s basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse. It starts as the visiting team is introduced on court. The KU student section is visibly bored and unimpressed. The entire section under the north basket holds up University Daily Kansans — making the point they’d rather read the newspaper than even look at the other team. They shake and rustle the student newspapers. Then the moment they were waiting for arrives — the Jayhawks enter the court. All Rock Chalk breaks loose. Newspapers, confetti and thousands of thundering voices soar into already charged atmosphere of KU’s hallowed basketball arena. The confetti hits its high point, near the banner on the north wall reading “Pay Heed, All Who Enter: Beware of the Phog.” And the confetti rains back into the stands, onto the court and into the memories of all at hand. It’s time to play.


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