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BU Student Health Services Director Departs

David McBride to move to University of Maryland

Boston University BU, Student Health Services SHS, David McBride

Outgoing Student Health Services director David McBride has been credited with improving staffing and overseeing a number of improvements in student care. Photo by Cydney Scott

David McBride, who as director of Student Health Services for the past eight years has been a powerful advocate for evidence-based solutions for medical and behavioral problems and a responsive ear to students’ suggestions, has accepted a job as director of the University Health Center at the University of Maryland. McBride will begin his new job in mid-September.

“David has greatly improved the breadth and depth of staffing at Student Health Services,” says Peter Fiedler (COM’77), vice president for administrative services. “He has done a particularly good job with Behavioral Medicine, which is an increasingly important component of health care for students. He has always had students’ best interests in mind.”

McBride’s tenure saw many notable improvements in Student Health Services (SHS), from the introduction of electronic medical records to AlcoholEdu, an online alcohol prevention course that is required of all first-year students. Under his tutelage, the department also instituted the Stress Buddy program, in which Student Health Ambassadors help peers by teaching them simple stress management strategies; the Condom Fairy program, which provides free condoms to students; and a “sexperts” seminar, a Q&A with a group of campus “sexperts,” including Sophie Godley (SPH’15), a School of Public Health clinical assistant professor of community health sciences.

McBride also moved his department toward high-quality, comprehensive, evidence-based interventions addressing dangerous alcohol use. SHS’s suicide prevention efforts earned BU recognition as a JED Campus, administered by the JED Foundation, a national nonprofit suicide prevention organization focused on the mental health of college students.

“We have been trying to decrease the likelihood that students will get in trouble,” says McBride. “We are taking a harm-reduction approach, not advocating that students abstain, but that they just be smarter about the choices they make.”

Margaret Ross, former director of Behavioral Medicine at Student Health Services, worked closely with McBride and says he is the most visionary leader she has worked with during her career. “His special talent is his ability to deal quickly and effectively with whatever came our way,” says Ross, who is now medical director at BU’s Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders (CARD). “When there was a threat of an H1N1 epidemic, David responded immediately, working to make sure that everyone was protected to the greatest degree possible.”

Ross says McBride carefully studied input from student surveys and made many changes based on the feedback. He also moved the department much closer to accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).

“He really enhanced the quality of service and the staff,” Ross says. “BU is very much on the college health services map now, and that is a result of his leadership.”

McBride, a School of Medicine assistant professor of family medicine, attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and was chief resident in family medicine at York Hospital in York, Pa. He will remain at BU until September 10.

Judy Platt, an SHS staff physician, will serve as interim director until a permanent replacement is named. Platt, who has been working part-time during the academic year, has extensive experience in family medicine. She earned an MD from Jefferson Medical College and has been chief resident and a clinical instructor at Albany Medical College and an assistant clinical professor and director of maternity care at Tufts University Family Medicine Residency.

Art Jahnke

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.

6 Comments on BU Student Health Services Director Departs

  • Sonia Alleyne on 07.14.2014 at 10:18 am

    It is with great sadness to see Dr. McBride depart from Student Health Services. For the past eight years he was not only a leader he become a ladder.
    Dr. McBride’s actions inspired others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. Dr. McBride thank you for entering the doors of Student Health Services, it was privilege to be of service to you. Good luck with your new job.

  • WEV on 07.15.2014 at 4:00 pm

    Dr. McBride is an amazing doctor and a genuinely nice and caring man. He has always treated me with upmost respect and been completely supportive of the tough health issues I’ve had to go through. It’s been a privilege to have him as my doctor and hope for the best for him. Thank you Dr. McBride.

  • anon on 09.03.2014 at 7:39 am

    I just don’t get the point of BU Today running this story. There are faculty who have taught students for 10, 20, 30 years who leave for other universities or retire: why does BU Today choose to acknowledge the departure of an administrator who’s been here for 8 years? I’m sure Dr. McBride was a fantastic leader and that he will be missed, but it seems to me that this story just attests to the narrow editorial choices of BU Today and related take over of Universities by administrators. Apparently BU Today is an insiders’ trade magazine for administrators to talk to other administrators and pat each other on the back. That’s all well and good, but then please don’t force all students and faculty to have it in their inboxes and please create a proper University circular that recognizes the contributions of all members of the community (and without trotting out the same old three or four faculty BU Today tends to rely on for their opinion pieces and news items).

  • Francie King on 09.03.2014 at 9:53 am

    Why are you running this story again, BU Today? It’s dated July 14, 2014 ….????

    • John O'Rourke, BU Today on 09.03.2014 at 10:00 am

      We ran the story in July when Dr. McBride’s departure was formally announced. Because the story ran during the summer, when most students and faculty were away, we decided to republish the story so that everyone would be aware of his departure.

  • Heather on 09.03.2014 at 11:13 am

    Dr. McBride is a great doctor! All the best in your future endeavors, Dr. McBride!


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