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Leadership changes support “whole-person care” at Cornell Health

Dr. Marie Phoenix, director of Nursing and Clinical Support Services

Cornell Health has welcomed a new member to its senior leadership team this summer as head of a new department designed to support the delivery of collaborative medical and mental health care.

Marie Phoenix (formerly Marie Henry), a Doctor of Nursing Practice with clinical experience in addiction medicine and mental health, will join health center staff as Director of Nursing & Clinical Support Services. The new department will bring together nursing and clinical administrative assistant professionals to collaborate across Cornell Health’s medical, counseling, and administrative teams in support of student-facing clinical services. 

“The creation of a Nursing & Clinical Support Services department at Cornell Health will better enable us to provide whole-person care that supports students’ physical, mental, and emotional health,” said Sharon McMullen, Assistant Vice President of Student & Campus Life for Health and Wellbeing. “Dr. Phoenix has a wealth of experience and a genuine passion for supporting students, and is uniquely qualified to lead this new department.”

Phoenix is coming to Cornell from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, where she served as Nursing Administrator for Nursing and Hospital Affairs. She began her position at Cornell Health on July 12.

Dr. Alecia Sundsmo, director of Counseling and Psychological Services

“As the parent of a Cornell alum, I am honored to be joining the Cornell community that inspired and supported my daughter so well during her time as a student,” Phoenix said. “Through my doctoral studies and career path, I became increasingly interested in population health and in bringing high-quality equitable care to patients and clients from all socioeconomic and demographic statuses. My new position at Cornell Health provides a unique opportunity to collaborate across clinical disciplines to support Cornell’s diverse student body and make a real impact on students’ quality of life.”

In her new role, Phoenix will collaborate closely with Dr. Alecia Sundsmo, who joined Cornell Health as Director of CAPS a year ago, and Dr. Jada Hamilton, who was named Interim Medical Director this summer. 

“Dr. Sundsmo came on board during the pandemic, and has been instrumental in supporting our mission of providing interdisciplinary, collaborative care to a diverse student body,” said McMullen. “And Dr. Hamilton provided stellar leadership to Cornell Health’s medical team through the COVID-19 pandemic as Deputy Medical Director. We are thrilled that she agreed to bring her considerable skills and strengths to the role of Interim Medical Director.”

Dr. Jada Hamilton, interim director of Medical Services

Hamilton was tapped to lead Cornell Health’s Medical Department after the departure of former Medical Director Dr. Anne Jones ’04. Jones will join the faculty at Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine, as Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and will also serve as Director of Student Affairs for Rowan’s new medical school campus in Glassboro/Sewell, New Jersey. 

“Dr. Jones was a visionary and transformative leader during her time at Cornell Health,” said McMullen. “She was integral to Cornell Health’s provision of collaborative medical and mental health care for students, and developed policies and systems to promote equitable, accessible, and patient-centered health services that support all Cornell students.” 

At the time of her departure, Jones was also serving as Cornell’s COVID Public Health Officer.

A national search to fill the Medical Director position is due to commence during the 2021–22 academic year.

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