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UHS appoints Melissa Marks ’86 as new director of medical services

<h6>McCosh Health Center: Mark Dodici / The Daily Princetonian</h6>
McCosh Health Center: Mark Dodici / The Daily Princetonian

Dr. Melissa Marks ’86 has been appointed as the new director of medical services at University Health Services (UHS), the University announced on Wednesday, May 20.

As director of medical services, Marks will be involved in making decisions about COVID-19 on campus. In addition, she is responsible for outpatient medical services, athletic medicine, employee health, and the infirmary.


“Dr. Marks will be an integral part of the University’s many efforts to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and to ensure the health and safety of the University community,” UHS Executive Director John Kolligian wrote in an email to The Daily Princetonian.

Marks will be succeeding Dr. Jonathan Pletcher as director of medical services at UHS. Dr. Valerie Lewis served as interim medical director during the search process.

“I am well-versed in rapidly changing roles to deal with new forms of risk. In my new role, I will focus immediately on finding out what Princeton needs during this time of restructuring in response to the pandemic,” said Marks in a University press release

Photo Credit: Melissa Marks via Office of Communications

“I will bring the medical knowledge and experience of a frontline medical provider as well as an understanding of administration and strategic planning to this role,” she added. “Above all, I will work to build the trust of this new community I am privileged to serve because without trust, no system can function well or mitigate risk.”

Marks will enter her new role on June 8, after working for more than 17 years at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC), most recently as president of medical staff, where she oversaw 1,200 medical employees. She previously served as vice chief of staff, director of GBMC’s Pediatric Advanced Life Saving Program, and clinical director of GBMC’s Pediatric Emergency and Inpatient Services.


“Dr. Marks is a rare medical talent. She is a dynamic physician leader and clinical mentor — well known for her innovative practices and collaborative skills,” Kolligian wrote to the ‘Prince.’ “She knows how to bring out the best in all those in her orbit.”

“In addition, Dr. Marks approaches medical issues in the context of the whole person, has special expertise in working with the health care issues of today’s students, and has a deep understanding of the interface between medical and psychological concerns,” Kolligian added.

After graduating with an A.B. in history from the University, Marks taught English for four years, during which she took interest in how emotions affect behavior and decided to become a physician. She attended the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and became board certified in pediatrics.

“Dr. Marks is a much-admired clinician and educator. She views patients holistically and has served as [a] role model for countless health professionals,” Kolligian noted in the University release. “In her most recent role at GBMC, which combined clinical care and administrative leadership, she was an innovative and transformative leader, known for her collaborative, supervisory and teaching skills.”

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Marks is particularly interested in the interplay between mental and physical health in adolescents and young adults, according to the University press release.

“My new role as director of medical services encompasses everything I am interested in — the health and wellbeing of adolescents and young adults, management of complex systems, leadership, creativity and transformation, all in a community that I know and love,” she said.