As population health program managers, Rovito and de la Cruz say their initial priorities are collaborating with units across campus to promote the college to prospective faculty and students, launch a community health summit by the spring, develop and enhance external partnerships domestically and abroad and create curriculum for the undergraduate bachelor of science and certificate programs.
“Right now, it's all hands on deck as we work to launch the college. We are filling various roles that include creating materials from marketing to strategic plans, presenting to potential students and meeting with faculty candidates. We want students and faculty to know the vision of the college and that we are here to support them should they choose to study or work at the College of Health,” Rovito says.
While Rovito and de la Cruz have the same title, and Rovito acknowledged there will be some overlap in their duties, the two will also have the freedom to fully define their roles as the college evolves.
Wading into uncharted waters is nothing new for Rovito, who began the health department at Reading Hospital and, more recently, was the director of population health at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, where she worked with the Secretary of Health to build their health innovation program.
“It's kind of my thing to start new,” Rovito says. “I like being at the ground level and helping to build the framework.”
Population health was one of Rovito’s main focuses while she worked on health innovation at the state Department of Health. She says she examined the social determinants of health, health equity, racial disparities and opioids.
Prior to her work in Pennsylvania, Rovito worked as a grant writer at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut.