Giang T. Nguyen

Giang T. Nguyen joins HUHS as its new director.

Photo by Peter Tobia

Campus & Community

New director named for University Health Services

4 min read

Professor and physician Giang T. Nguyen, head of student health services at Penn, viewed as a champion of diversity and inclusion

The Office of the Provost today announced the appointment of Giang T. Nguyen as director of Harvard University Health Services (HUHS), effective this November. Nguyen, who has championed diversity and inclusion throughout his scholarly, clinical, and leadership experiences, was most recently executive director of the Student Health Service (SHS) at the University of Pennsylvania and clinical associate professor of family medicine and community health at the Perelman School of Medicine.

“Giang is an accomplished physician-leader who has a deep understanding of the health care needs of a diverse academic community,” said Provost Alan M. Garber. “HUHS has a tradition of innovation and excellence, and its people are dedicated to the needs of the students, faculty, staff, and families that it serves. Giang is well-suited to lead them. He has the experience, clinical excellence, and heart to succeed in this demanding and important position.”

As executive director of SHS, Nguyen led an organization that provides services to community members across Penn’s 12 schools, including primary care, sports medicine, women’s health, travel medicine, nutrition, and behavioral-care management. Under his leadership, the SHS Campus Health team spearheaded highly successful flu vaccine campaigns, achieved Healthy Campus recognition through the Partnership for a Healthier America, and managed outbreaks of mumps as well as hand, foot, and mouth disease.

Previously, Nguyen was medical director of Penn Family Care, a multisite primary-care practice affiliated with the university that serves a diverse population of patients in Greater Philadelphia.

“I am thrilled to be joining an incredible team at Harvard University Health Services,” said Nguyen. “The great work at HUHS is well-recognized within the field of college health, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such a talented and dedicated group of professionals. I am thankful to all of my colleagues and students at Penn who have taught me so much over the past 16 years; I am excited to bring these experiences to Cambridge and will work diligently to promote health and well-being across the Harvard University campus.”

For the past two decades, Nguyen has led and collaborated with organizations that focus on racial/ethnic minorities, immigrants, transgender people, and LGBTQ populations. He was a provider and lead preceptor for a free clinic in South Philadelphia that cares principally for Indonesian immigrants, and he has served on community boards for organizations such as AIDS Services in Asian Communities, the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Association Coalition, and the Asian & Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network.

At Penn, Nguyen devoted considerable time and energy to educate staff, providers, and partners on LGBTQ population health issues; SHS is highly ranked nationally by the Human Rights Campaign for providing excellent care to the LGBTQ community.

Prior to joining SHS, Nguyen’s academic career focused on community-based participatory research, including the relationship between depression and social connectedness, STI screening, cancer prevention, women’s health, health communication, LGBTQ health, and quality improvement.

Nguyen is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, the UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson School of Public Health (both now Rutgers), and the Perelman School of Medicine. He remained involved in public health while at Penn, serving as a senior fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, associate scholar of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and an advisory board member for the Center for Public Health Initiatives.

And he continued to see patients and mentored medical students and residents during his time as SHS director, providing valuable perspective from two decades of clinical experience in primary care, women’s health, and behavioral health.

“We are excited to welcome Giang to Harvard after an extensive nationwide search,” said Executive Vice President Katie Lapp. “The director of Harvard University Health Services not only manages the daily operations of a complex health care organization, but also works strategically with University leadership to envision and implement initiatives that enhance the health and safety of the entire University community. Throughout this process, we were impressed with Giang’s commitment to both of these objectives.”

“I have had the pleasure to get to know Giang over the last three years and witness the creativity and compassion he brings to his work,” said Paul J. Barreira, outgoing director of HUHS. “His professional and personal experiences are ideally matched for Harvard. He will be a tremendous asset to HUHS and the entire University community.”