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Nov. 9, 2018

MSU hires director to address wellness and vulnerable populations

Claudia Finkelstein, an internal medicine physician and medical educator, has been named to the newly created position of director of wellness, resiliency and support for the vulnerable. Finkelstein is helping MSU health care providers address care for vulnerable populations and is also developing a wellness and resilience program for the College of Human Medicine’s faculty and staff.

“Dr. Finkelstein is one of the nation’s top experts in wellness and so we’re happy to have her join us in creating a culture of wellness and resilience,” said Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., associate provost and assistant vice president of the Office of Health Affairs and dean, College of Human Medicine. “The issues faced by MSU have created fertile ground for fundamental change and Dr. Finkelstein will help lead the way to healing and health.”

Vulnerable populations can be defined through many lenses and include people from underrepresented minorities, children, the elderly, socioeconomically disadvantaged, uninsured, underinsured and those with underlying chronic medical conditions. The entire MSU community, following the events of recent years, is vulnerable too, Finkelstein said.

“As a physician, my primary goal is to diminish suffering,” Finkelstein said. “I believe that much of the suffering of our patients and colleagues can be alleviated in the ways that we treat them both individually and collectively. I am confident that the current leadership in Health Affairs is committed to collectively acting to diminish this suffering and I am eager to help create these changes.”

Finkelstein also has been appointed associate professor in the College of Human Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine and will be practicing at the Family Health Center clinic.

Finkelstein earned her medical degree at McGill University in Montreal and is a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine. Prior to coming to MSU, she was the founding director of the Faculty Wellness and Peer Support Programs at the University of Washington School of Medicine and served as a medical director at the Seattle King County Free Clinic.

The new Office of Health Affairs was created in February 2018 to set clear expectations, standardize care, put in place policies and procedures that are stringent, consistent and enhance how health and wellness services are delivered across the university. It oversees the clinical operations of the colleges of Human Medicine, Nursing and Osteopathic Medicine as well as all Student Health and Wellness units and Athletic Medicine.

By: Kim Ward