University of South Florida


A new role to support the health and well-being of our community

Dear USF community,

It is my pleasure to announce that Donna J. Petersen, dean of USF’s College of Public Health, has assumed an important additional role for the next year as chief health officer for USF and interim associate vice provost for Student Health and Wellness.

This vital, new position will help us pursue the ambitious goals of USF’s recently implemented Strategic Plan by focusing on the health and well-being of our students, staff and faculty – essential in promoting vibrant learning and working environments that support our core missions.

Dr. Petersen’s outstanding management of USF’s response to the global pandemic ideally positions her to craft how we can address ongoing needs for health, wellness and support among all members of the university community. Her duties in this new position, continuing through Aug. 7, 2023, include providing a voice for employee and student health issues in various forums at the university; serving as a key liaison between USF Health and other academic and central support units to promote community health and wellness; leading a collaborative effort to review critical Student Health and Wellness functions and determine the optimal organizational and financing structures to support high-quality, accessible and affordable services on all three campuses.

Dr. Petersen will report to Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president of USF Health, in her chief health officer and dean’s role, and to Interim Provost and Executive Vice President Eric Eisenberg in connection with her responsibilities in Student Health and Wellness.  We are fortunate to have her assume these critical roles and I am grateful for her commitment to USF and our ongoing success.


Rhea F. Law

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