New Medical Director hopes to partner with students

Doctor’s goals include increasing holistic care, student feedback



New Medical Director Bonnie de Vries describes her vision for the success of WSU health services.

YASMEEN WAFAI, Evergreen assistant editor

The new Health & Wellness Services medical director told students and faculty about her plans to increase collaboration with the university and create a culture of wellness at WSU.

Dr. Bonnie de Vries, who has been at WSU for a week, said she is looking forward to fostering the relationship between wellness and success for students.

“The role of any physician,” she said, “is to help their patient live their fullest meaningful life.”

De Vries said she wants to develop student-centered, integrated and holistic treatment, as well as services that students want and need.

“There is a lot of work that needs to be done in the clinic to help our staff really maximize their impact on the health of the student,” she said.

Feedback about students’ needs is important to her as well, but she said it is hard for her to get specific right now about what those needs are because she is still new.

“I certainly want to collaborate with the students, the faculty, everyone,” she said, “so that we can figure out what those [needs] are.”

De Vries said she is also looking to partner with the new medical college to create professional development opportunities for staff and students within the college.

“I do come with some ideas about the direction we should be moving in,” she said.

De Vries was introduced at the event by Renée Coleman-Mitchell, executive director for Counseling and Health Services. Coleman-Mitchell said she is excited to have de Vries as the new medical director.

Mary Jo Gonzales, vice president of Student Affairs, was also at the event.

“We are super thrilled to have you,” she told de Vries.

De Vries said it is hard to pick from the many things she is most excited about. Partnering with students and the university to provide services in the clinic that meet student needs, but also to expand services across the university, is one of her goals.

“It sounds like there is a lot of willingness on the part of students to give us feedback,” she said, “and so it is a matter of tapping into those students that are leaders in the student body and know what that feedback is.”