Noorjean (BA’92, MHA’05) is University of British Columbia’s (UBC) new chief student health officer. Appointed to the role in mid-May 2021, she oversees the health and wellbeing services that support more than 50,000 students at the Vancouver campus. This includes everything from counselling and primary care services to health promotion and education.
Ensuring that 50,000+ students have the support and services they need to stay healthy is no small feat (especially during a pandemic), but it’s a challenge that Noorjean is more than prepared for.
A graduate of UBC’s School of Population and Public Health with a Master of Health Administration — training she calls “incredible preparation” for just such a moment — Noorjean has worked in healthcare for more than 20 years. Most recently, she served as chief operating officer at the BC Centre for Disease Control where she led the logistics of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, for an entire province.
To say that the pressure was immense is an understatement.
“We were working with such a time crunch because we needed to get this moving to save people,” she recalls. “We were working day and night, seven days a week.”
The only times Noorjean really saw her family during this intense period was when they dropped off food for her at her desk, worried she’d forget to eat. And yet, when she reflects on the innovation that resulted from working so closely, albeit remotely, with colleagues all throughout BC, who were as committed to saving lives as she was, Noorjean breaks into a smile.