Western Carolina University

WCU WELCOMES MICHAEL JORGE                                                                                                             

Image: Michael Jorge
Michael Jorge

Michael C. Jorge, former assistant medical center director for the VA Healthcare System in Miami, is the new director of health services at Western Carolina University.

A health educator, administrator and licensed psychologist, Jorge succeeds Deborah C. Beck, who left WCU earlier this year to become director of health services at the University of South Carolina. His appointment is effective Aug. 1.

Jorge is no stranger to Cullowhee, as he already owned a home in Jackson County when he learned of the vacancy in the University Health Center.

“Dr. Jorge has a broad background as an assistant medical center director, health systems specialist, staff psychologist and organizational development consultant,” said Robert Caruso, WCU's vice chancellor for student affairs. “He is ideally suited for this position. His background in both health services and counseling will be a great asset in facilitating collaboration between the University Health Center and the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services, as well as other areas in the Division of Student Affairs.”

In his role as assistant medical center director with VA Healthcare System in Miami, Jorge held a senior leadership position with responsibility for biomedical engineering, food and nutrition, canteen and retail store, prosthetics, and voluntary service. He is the first Cuban-American to hold a senior administrative post at the Miami center since its opening in 1961.

He served as supervisor for six service chiefs and had oversight of approximately 275 permanent full-time staff, and he was strategic planner for the medical center and its nine community-based outpatient clinics located in three densely populated and ethnically diverse counties of southeastern Florida.

Prior to joining the VA Healthcare System, Jorge was a staff psychologist for the National Center for Organizational Development in Cincinnati and project manager for the employee education system of the Cleveland VA Campus in Brecksville, Ohio.

He holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Florida International University, and a master's degree in education and doctorate in counseling psychology, both from the University of Miami.

“I come to WCU with a range of clinical and administrative experiences that I believe permit me to view service to our clients with a balanced perspective,” Jorge said. “To that end, I believe that the University Health Center does a wonderful job with very gifted staff.  My vision is to further the care we deliver.”

Among Jorge's goals are enhancement of the delivery of patient/client-centered care with minimum waits or delays, maximum convenience, and continued reliance on sound medical principles; deployment of an electronic medical record system by the end of the calendar year; and increased cooperation with other university divisions in development of a seamless atmosphere of caring and development for WCU students.

He also plans to increase collaborative efforts with the campus emergency management team and with community agencies in preparing for health crises and natural disasters, and to encourage mentoring and professional development opportunities for University Health Center staff.

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Last modified: Monday, August 14, 2006
Copyright 2006 by Western Carolina University