Sarah Van Orman, MD
Since Dr. Sarah Van Orman became Executive Director of University Health Services, in 2008, the organization has moved to a brand-new location and expanded operations, coordinated the campus response to pandemic influenza, and begun preparing to celebrate a century of service as the student health center. “I can’t complain of ever being bored,” says Van Orman, whose leadership extends to all of UHS’s integrated clinical, mental health counseling, prevention and public health, and wellness services.
Van Orman is board certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics. She came to UHS as Director of Clinical Services, and even after being named Executive Director, she has continued to see patients in the UHS Primary Care Clinic. “I can only squeeze in a few appointments a week,” she says. “But I don’t want to give it up entirely. It’s one of the best ways for me to keep in touch with students’ experiences and concerns from year to year on this campus.”
Van Orman is a strong believer that a student health clinic should support students in being successful academically as well as after graduation. “The habits students develop during these years can influence their health years from now,” she says. “For example, whether they smoke, how much they exercise, and how they manage their stress are all factors in their level of risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.”
As an undergraduate, Van Orman majored in physics. After graduation, she taught biology and physical science through Teach for America before entering medical school. “Working in college health combines my passion for medicine with an educational mission,” she says. “It really is the best of both worlds.”