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'I look forward to co-creating solutions'

Gaya Arasaratnam, the new director of Concordia's Campus Wellness and Support Services, joins the university on May 18
March 23, 2016
By Sharon Hunter

Deputy Provost Lisa Ostiguy is pleased to announce the appointment of Gaya Arasaratnam as director of Concordia’s new Campus Wellness and Support Services Centre – a new mandate beginning May 18.

Gaya Arasaratnam Gaya Arasaratnam

“Gaya’s extensive track record designing health-focused service models through collaborative partnerships with community, institutional staff and volunteers is experience aligned perfectly with Concordia’s vision to promote well-being on campus for all,” says Ostiguy.

Concordia’s new Campus Wellness and Support Services Centre is part of the reorganization of student services that began with revitalizing the Student Success Centre last year. A regrouping of Health Services, Counselling and Psychological Services and the Access Centre for Students with Disabilities now forms this new directorate with a mission to promote accessibility and well-being within an environment that is inclusive, supportive and collaborative.

“Our commitment to bring a more responsive and robust service to the Concordia community includes future plans to house these services together in the Guy-De Maisonneuve (GM) Building, with access to shared common space and multi-function rooms,” Ostiguy explains.

Concordia’s appetite for innovation is what attracted Arasaratnam to this new role.

“Being open to having a non-clinician at the helm demonstrates a mindset where the benefits of complementing the team’s great clinical and practitioner knowledge with new models of delivery and community partnerships can fully realize the desired scale and impact. The complementarity of skills is vital and I look forward to co-creating solutions with my team and stakeholders.”

Arasaratnam, who holds an MBA in Health Industry Management, says she's delighted that accommodation services will be part of the new directorate since a multi-disciplinary approach will enable more seamless care and support for students.

Most recently, Arasaratnam served as acting director of Strategic Projects – Student Health and Wellness at Ryerson University, where she headed up the strategic direction of operations for the institution’s medical centre, counselling centre and health promotion programs — leading her team towards new models of delivery and programming to meet student needs.

An accomplished researcher, author and strategic planning consultant, Arasaratnam has worked at the intersection of health, community development, education and social innovation to deliver impact at both the national and international level for organizations including Cape Breton University, the Asthma Society of Canada and the World Health Organization, to name a few.

“I’m honoured to help launch this new initiative at Concordia, an institution known for embracing partnerships in the community to effect change and create value,” says Arasaratnam.

She looks forward to collaborative discussions with Concordia’s team and volunteers to implement a service model that will harness the institution’s unique strengths and energies as “a city within a university,” as well as the community’s culture, context, and evolving needs.

Learn more about the Campus Wellness and Support Services Centre.



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