“These have been the best first two days at work,” Guy Nicolette, new Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Health Services, or UHS, said Tuesday after beginning his first day in his new role at UC Berkeley.
Nicolette previously served as the director of student health at the University of Florida. Before, he served as director of the University of Florida’s Primary Care Sports Medicine Program and medical co-director of its Undergraduate Athletic Training program, in which he provided primary and sports medicine care for students and student athletes alike.
“Whenever we have a member of our senior team leave for another position, I always have mixed emotions – and that happened here,” said University of Florida Health Physicians chief executive officer Marvin Dewar in an email. “I lamented the fact that an effective member of our team was moving on, but felt good that the experience here prepared Dr. Nicolette to take on another leadership position elsewhere with even greater responsibility.”
Nicolette said he decided to step into the role as UHS assistant vice chancellor because of UC Berkeley’s reputation and health services, namely the collaborative care program. The collaborative care program closely integrates primary care and mental health care, according to UHS communications manager Tami Cate.
UC Berkeley’s collaborative care program is one that other universities are “just starting or dreaming about,” according to Nicolette, who hoped to implement this program in his previous positions. Nicolette added that this program was key in his decision to become UHS assistant vice chancellor.
Nicolette added that he has always enjoyed working on university campuses because of the “energizing and invigorating” environment. He wanted to work at UC Berkeley because of its history, “mystique” and innovation.
In his new role, Nicolette said he hopes to shift health practice to make it more proactive. One of his goals is to improve health and healthcare literacy and to find better ways to serve the campus, specifically for students who are not familiar with the U.S. health system.
“I want to help create programs that are not reactive but proactive … to find ways to help others help themselves before they need clinical care,” Nicolette said.
Another one of Nicolette’s goals includes finding ways to improve students’ sleep hygiene. Though these are some of his future goals, Nicolette said that it is too early to decide what specific programs he hopes to implement as of now.
“It’ll take a few months to get my head around what the next step is,” Nicolette said. “The overall vision is to serve the entire campus, we can do it by being more proactive.”