New health and wellness AVP takes a 'holistic' view of student health

Since arriving at Tulane three months ago, Caesar C. Ross III, PhD, the university’s new assistant vice president for Health and Wellness, has been meeting with students and colleagues in Student Affairs and departments throughout the university to find the best roadmap for “whole student” well-being.

After working in higher education for over 20 years, Ross views students as the central focus of his job. He believes that university health and wellness programs should consider every aspect of being a student in order to best serve the academic community. 

"It is essential for Campus Health and Wellness (CHW) to use a holistic approach to meeting students where they are; and by doing so, CHW will better help students to realize their full potential in all dimensions of wellness," said Ross.

Ross came to Tulane from Coastal Carolina University, where he was the director of Student Health Services and adjunct professor for the College of Health & Human Performance. 

“We are excited about Dr. Ross’ arrival to Tulane to begin his leadership role as the assistant vice president of campus and wellness,” said Dusty Porter, vice president for Student Affairs. “He has also begun meeting with students and staff to hear what is on their minds related to how Tulane can best meet the health needs of undergraduate, graduate and professional students.”

Ross has a Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. He earned his master's degree in public administration from the University of Central Florida in 1990 and his bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of West Florida in 1987. He has been working in health and wellness in higher education institutions since 2001. Before his work at Coastal Carolina University, Ross served as the assistant director and business manager for the Health & Wellness Centers at Florida International University and the University of Central Florida.

His doctoral dissertation focused on the perceptions of privacy and security on telehealth utilization. His other research interests include health equity and the organization and delivery of health and wellness services in a technologically advanced society. 

“While I believe campus health and wellness should strive to achieve the quintuple aim tenets (better health, better care, joy in work, lower cost, and health equity),” said Ross, “how we pursue them should be a community effort and unique to the needs of students, staff, and faculty.” 

Ross previously served as public health advisor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the program administrator for the Florida Department of Health’s Children’s Medical Services. Ross said he and his family are thrilled to be settling into New Orleans after their move from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and he is looking forward to helping Tulane to continue to strive and make a positive difference in the lives of students and families.