Gillian Ice appointed OHIO special assistant for public health operations

Published: August 8, 2020 Author: From Staff Reports

Dr. Gillian Ice, a professor of social medicine at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, has been appointed special assistant to the president for public health operations at Ohio University.

“I am very pleased to have Dr. Gillian Ice serving in this vital role. Her specialized expertise in public health will help Ohio University navigate the extraordinary public health issues and initiatives we will be facing in the next year,” President M. Duane Nellis said.

In her new role, Ice will oversee non-clinical case management, coordinate the University’s response to positive COVID-19 cases, and act as a point of contact for sharing information about public health initiatives with the University community. In addition, Ice will monitor public health data in the counties where Ohio University has campuses and other business operations and will act as a liaison to regional campus teams established by Executive Dean Nicole Pennington.

Ice will serve on a term appointment that runs from July 30, 2020 until June 30, 2021. She will report directly to President Nellis, with a dotted line report to Chief Medical Officer Ken Johnson.

In her new role, Ice will lead the University’s Testing/Tracing/Quarantine Implementation Team, which has been working diligently to develop protocols and guidelines to ensure the University is prepared to respond during the pandemic. Additionally, Ice will consult with professionals across the University, including Housing and Residence Life, Academic Planning, and Campus Care to ensure appropriate response for students, faculty, and staff. 

Ice recently served on the public health planning work group that developed recommendations for a safe reopening of campus operations for the 2020-2021 school year.

“Ohio University, like most universities in the U.S., has a huge challenge of balancing health and safety with a desire to provide as much face-to-face instruction and normal college life as possible,” Ice said. “As a university that is situated largely in small Appalachian counties, we have a responsibility to be sensitive to not only student and employee health but also the communities in which we live. We don’t take that responsibility lightly. While I would much prefer to have life back to normal, I am happy to serve in this capacity and hope that my efforts help keep the university community and our host communities safe.”

In addition to her faculty position in the Heritage College, Ice has a faculty appointment in the African Studies program and serves as director of global health for the College of Health Sciences and Professions as well as director of the newly developed Master of Global Health program.

Ice teaches in a number of areas including research methods and evidence-based medicine, epidemiology, geriatrics, cultural competence, and global health. She is currently working on several health systems strengthening projects in Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Botswana that includes research training and capacity building. She was PI and director of the Fulbright Junior Faculty Development Program in Public Health called Egypt @OHIO. As director of global health, Ice oversees health-related institutional partnerships, global health curriculum, and global health study abroad programs.

Ice is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of American, Society for Applied Anthropology, and the Human Biology Association and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology and American Journal of Human Biology. She edited (with Gary James), Measuring Stress in Humans: A Practical Guide for the Field published by Cambridge University Press (currently being revised for a second edition). She authored (with Darna Dufour and Nancy Stevens) Disasters in Field Research published by Rowman and Littlefield. Her research has also appeared in journals including American Journal of Human BiologyEthnicity and HealthJournal of Cross-Cultural GerontologyResearch on Aging, and Social Science and Medicine