Dr. Ralph A. Manchester, director of University Health Service at the University of Rochester, has been elected president of the American College Health Association. The association is the nation's principal advocate and leadership organization for college and university health.
During his one-year term, Manchester plans to increase the organization's visibility in Washington as an advocate for health issues that affect college students. He and others were instrumental in the creation of a National College Health Assessment survey, which was begun by ACHA in 1998.
"The survey gives us information about the most important health concerns of college students today," said Manchester, who is also associate professor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "This assessment is administered to tens of thousands of students and it provides a powerful tool to identify health care issues and monitor how we're addressing those problems." Previously, he served as president-elect, vice president, Region V representative, and in many other positions within the association.
At University Health Service (UHS), Manchester oversees a staff of 70 who deliver health services to students, employees, and other members of the Rochester community. More than 32,000 medical visits and 7,000 counseling appointments are handled annually. UHS is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the nation's oldest and largest accrediting body for health care.
In his role as UHS director, Manchester reports to the University Provost. Recently, mental health services were reunified with health services as part of UHS. Manchester joined the health service in 1983 as a staff physician and was named medical chief of the health service in 1985. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, and from 1990 to 1992 was president of the New York State College Health Association.
When Manchester was appointed director of UHS in 1994, he succeeded Dr. Clifford B. Reifler. Reifler was director of UHS from 1970 until his retirement. For more than three decades, Reifler held leadership posts in ACHA and built a national reputation as he helped to establish today's model for college and university health services.
Manchester earned his bachelor's degree from Tufts University in 1975, and his medical degree from the University of Vermont in 1979. When serving his internship and residency at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in 1982, he was named outstanding resident teacher.
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