Jessica Goldhirsch has been named the new director of the Medical Department's Health Education Service by Dr. William M. Kettyle, associate medical director.
Through an extensive resource library, workshops of all kinds and a wide variety of special programs, the four-person Health Education staff provides health information to students; employees and retirees of MIT, Whitehead and Draper; MIT Health Plans members, and families of all of these groups.
The Health Education Service also sponsors MedLINKs, a network of student volunteers who plan and produce campus-wide health-related events and who connect fellow students with health-related questions to appropriate Medical Department resources. "I want to continue to encourage their interest and commitment, which is already phenomenal," Ms. Goldhirsch said.
"One big health problem that is getting attention-but needs more-is repetitive strain injury," she noted. Ms. Goldhirsch's office offers information on prevention and treatment, and works closely with other campus resources to raise awareness of this problem. Expanding the service's health information on the World Wide Web is another goal, she said.
Before coming to MIT, Ms. Goldhirsch worked as a public health educator specializing in AIDS, adolescents and family planning for organizations including the state Department of Youth Services and Planned Parenthood. She received the BA degree from the University of Michigan in 1979 and the master's of public health degree from Boston University in 1988.
Ms. Goldhirsch has spent her first few weeks at MIT helping to plan the Health Education Service's new layout as part of a renovation in the Medical Department building. "The renovated space will be brighter and more efficient, providing more room for people to visit, talk to staff and browse through the literature. We invite everyone to stop by E23-205 when we're back in operation, anytime after February 20," she said.