We are writing today to let you know about a significant new initiative to advance health and wellness at Penn. Wellness, as you know, is one of our highest priorities for the Penn campus. We have a profound shared responsibility to care for each other, to look out for each other, and to help all members of the Penn community forge lives of purpose and meaning on our campus.
Over the past two years, we have advanced several initiatives to achieve these essential goals, including the appointment of the first Chief Wellness Officer in the Ivy League, a comprehensive operational review of CAPS, and the development of a Wellness at Penn website and ongoing series of Community Conversations about wellness. Building on these initiatives, we will now take the next step of integrating all of our health and wellness resources, including CAPS and SHS, into a comprehensive Health and Wellness unit of the Provost’s Office. This unit will be overseen directly by the Provost in partnership with our Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Benoit Dubé, who will report to him as an Associate Provost.
This reconceived structure will help us to better understand and to promote wellness as a holistic, multi-dimensional process. It will bring together Campus Health, CAPS, SHS, and programs to support students with challenges involving alcohol or other drugs to more explicitly inform and complement each other’s work. It will integrate them more fully into the core educational missions of the Provost’s Office, encompassing our Vice Provosts for Education, Faculty, Global Initiatives, and Research, as well as such areas as College Houses, New Student Orientation, and Athletics & Recreation. And it will create more effective partnerships with the vitally important wellness and work/life balance programs developed in Human Resources for our faculty and staff.
At the same time, the new organization will be streamlined to give our outstanding clinicians more time to focus on their work in health and wellness, reducing the amount of time they spend on administration. CAPS and SHS, which both provide essential care for our students, will be more tightly integrated under the leadership of the Chief Wellness Officer, working closely with the senior medical and clinical directors of those areas.
We are grateful to all of you for the extraordinary community that we create together every day at Penn. We know that you will join us in our ongoing efforts to ensure that every member of our community has the support and resources to thrive on our campus.