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Rutgers Health and Wellness leader Melodee Lasky to retire in May

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Health and Wellness Melodee Lasky, who will retire on May 10, established Rutgers’ Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program and Psychiatric Services. – Photo by Courtesy of Student Affairs

Melodee Lasky, assistant vice chancellor for Health and Wellness and associate vice president for Student Health Services, is retiring on May 10, said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Salvador B. Mena in a statement released on April 15.

In her 19 years at Rutgers, he said Lasky has made significant contributions to advancing student health practice at Rutgers, such as establishing Rutgers’ Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) and helping create and implement the Threat Assessment Safety Committee for addressing students who pose a risk to other Rutgers individuals.

Mena said she also streamlined the process for providing care to students by facilitating all-electronic health records, oversaw the construction and renovation of various Rutgers health centers, began gender-affirming hormone therapy on campus and mental health services for transgender students and managed responses to two campus meningitis B outbreaks.

“I will miss Dr. Lasky’s compassion and care for our students and her remarkable ability to manage complex issues with integrity, composure and thoughtfulness,” he said. “I also value her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion — particularly her strong advocacy for the hiring of staff who reflect the diversity of our students or who, at first glance, might get overlooked by a traditional search process.”

Mena said Lasky has also provided invaluable leadership to the University’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, guiding the implementation of telehealth services and COVID-19 testing and care for students.

Lasky said the health and well-being of Rutgers students are vital to their success and should never be taken for granted. She said wellness is something the whole Rutgers community needs to continue working toward.

“My 19 years at Rutgers has been a crazy ride with lots of changes, challenges, opportunities for growth and creativity,” Lasky said. “I could always count on wonderful colleagues from across the University and the Rutgers students, who are bright, engaging and always keeping us on our toes.”

Francesca Maresca, the director of Health Outreach, Promotion and Education (HOPE) at Student Health Services, will take Lasky’s place as interim assistant vice chancellor for Health and Wellness, overseeing CAPS, Student Health Services, Rutgers Recreation and HOPE, Mena said.


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