Jul 132010
Authors: Madeline Novey

When Steve Blom retires from CSU next June, he will be more than busy with his four grandchildren and worldly travels.

But even though the distractions will be many, he will still miss his students.

During the last 12 years, Blom has served as the executive director of CSU’s Health Network and transitioned to a half-time position, special projects coordinator within the network on July 1.

As part of the transition, former Dean of Students Anne Hudgens, will serve as interim executive director for at least six to eight months, after which the university will decide what is needed from the director role.

Blom has spent the past three decades in the health industry, enjoying stints at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, The Johns Hopkins University and the American College Health Association.

But it wasn’t until April 1999 that he found his home at CSU. It was then he started as director of what was then called Hartshorn Health Center.

Though the last eight years have been a blur –– increasing marketing and student programming –– what is occurring now with CSU’s Health Network is the end of a journey, Blom said. In 2007, CSU integrated The Hartshorn Health Service and CSU Health Network, combining physical and mental health under one roof.

From now until the start of the fall semester, crews are working to complete a $400,000 renovation to Hartshorn Health Center. A portion of the building’s first floor on the east side has been gutted to make way for five new rooms in addition to a remodel of 12 existing rooms.

Only one example of the integration occurring within the center, the renovation will allow for more counseling health and the new director of psychology a permanent home, Blom said.

Blom, too, wants to stick around to help with the Health Network’s upcoming accreditation process this May.

Every year since 1996, the network has applied for and received full accreditation as a health care facility from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

The network must meet about 22 of 25 standards –– these relate to patient care and satisfaction and facility cleanliness, among others –– to receive accreditation.

Since July, Blom has trained Hudgens in the “nuts and bolts of the every day operation.” And while training will take weeks, Blom is confident that Hudgens will be successful in the transition because of her involvement with the Health Network’s Integration of Medical, Counseling, and Health Promotion Services team in the past.

“She knows and understands all of the major issues,” he said.

Hudgens has been at CSU since 1984, when she started as an assistant director of Residence Life. In her new position, goals include:

– Finishing the remodel of the Hartshorn Health Center,

– Hiring a new director of Health Education and Prevention Serviecs,

– Utilizing more the center’s mentor/outreach program, Creating Respect and Educating Wellness for and by Students,

– Continuing to look at and improve student health insurance, and

– Continuing to assess student needs, among others.

Jody Donovan, formerly the associate dean of students, took over Hudgen’s position on July1. Craig Chesson, director of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services, will help backfill some of Donovan’s responsibilities.

As for the future, Blom said he’s heard that people who retire get bored after about 18 months. Though he anticipates he will get called for consults from colleges and friends in the field, he doesn’t think he’ll be headed back to work anytime soon.

“Travel and grandkids are high on the radar,” Blom said, taking a break from shopping for groceries Monday afternoon.

Blom said he and his wife are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this year and a couple week trip to Tuscany is on the books.

“Now it’s on paper, so I have to do it,” he said, chuckling.

Assistant News Editor Kirsten Silveira contributed to this report.

Editor in chief Madeline Novey can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:34 pm

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