Dr. Michael Deichen, director of UCF’s Student Health Services, was awarded the annual Public Health Hero award recently by the Florida Department of Health for his contributions to improving the health and safety of UCF students, employees and local residents. The award, one of 10 presented at the department’s Orange County office, recognizes individuals who work every day to improve the lives of Orange County residents and visitors.

Deichen’s work includes influenza surveillance at UCF that provides Orange County with flu-prevalence data on college students. For example, during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, Deichen and his staff at Student Health Services provided ongoing additional surveillance information and applied measures to prevent the spread of the disease among the university population, limiting the spread of the illness to the general population.

 “Dr. Deichen’s tireless efforts to create a healthier campus and watchful eye on potential impacts in the community make him a public health hero,” said Mary Schmidt-Owens, associate director of medical health administration at Student Health Services and 2013 recipient of the Public Health Hero award. “It should make everyone at UCF feel safe to know that there is someone looking at the bigger picture of our well-being.”

UCF Student Health Services provides a wide variety of health-care services to UCF students and employees on campus from an accredited facility. Services include primary and acute care, gynecological care, dental care, pharmacy services, clinical dietitian services, psychiatry, X-rays, immunizations and more. UCF Student Health Services excels in providing comprehensive physical and mental health services both in-house and through collaboration with other entities to promote wellness and accessible care.