WMU News

Diane Berty is new health center director

Nov. 1, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- The WMU Board of Trustees at its Oct. 27 meeting named Dr. Diane R. Berty to the position of assistant vice president of student affairs and director of the Sindecuse Health Center, effective Aug. 30.

Berty, who has a doctoral degree in administration and supervision, comes to WMU from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., where she had been director of the Student Development Center since 1996 and interim director of Student Health Services since 1999. She replaces Scott P. Musial, who had been serving as the Sindecuse Health Center's acting director since this past June.

"Diane brings a wealth of valuable experience to WMU in the areas of health care delivery, student development and wellness education," says Dr. Theresa A. Powell, WMU vice president for student affairs. "That background makes her an ideal addition to our Division of Student Affairs team."

As head of the health center, Berty will oversee Sindecuse's operations and procedures and serve as chairperson of WMU's Health Management Committee, which develops and implements health-management and cost-containment strategies for the University community.

Her responsibilities as assistant vice president will include fulfilling the vision, mission and 10 key actions of the Division of Student Affairs by serving on the vice president's cabinet and providing leadership and direction for the health center.

"This position's combination of student affairs and health services responsibilities was especially appealing to me because that's my background," Berty says. "It really is the best of both worlds.

"I'm extraordinarily excited about the opportunity to work with the Sindecuse Health Center, which is a premier student health care center," she adds. "I'm looking forward to continuing the center's efforts to enhance services provided to the WMU community."

Berty served one year as a hospital staff nurse in a cardiac critical care unit, then, in 1978, joined Austin Peay State University. In 1980, she became the first nurse practitioner hired by that university to serve as both Student Health Services director and primary care provider.

In those roles, Berty developed a holistic approach to health care delivery and helped Student Health Services move from a medical-model approach that focused on diagnosing and treating illnesses to an educative-model approach that focused on involving students in the management of their health.

Her activities shifted more toward student advocacy and wellness promotion in 1990, when she was appointed Austin Peay's director of LifeChoices/alcohol and drug prevention. The position grew out of Berty's development of a new student affairs department, LifeChoices, which facilitates preventative wellness education and serves as the central programming unit for alcohol and other drug prevention.

"My work with LifeChoices solidified my resolve to pursue a career in student development and provided me the opportunity to design, develop and implement a new department within the Division of Student Affairs--the Student Development Center," she says.

"Directing the center has been a marvelous experience, as it has allowed me to work with the Austin Peay staff and faculty to develop programs and services for students that support and enhance their learning. In addition, I've had the opportunity to work with others in the student affairs division to develop a divisionwide assessment and evaluation program."

Berty is currently completing post-doctoral work in higher education at Tennessee State University, where she received her doctor of education degree in 1998. She is an adult nurse practitioner, certified college nurse and critical incident stress management counselor.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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