campus news & events

Colby-Sawyer College Appoints Pamela Spear as Director of Baird Health and Counseling Center

NEW LONDON, N.H.– Pamela Spear of New London, N.H., was recently appointed director of the Baird Health and Counseling Center (BHCC) at Colby-Sawyer College. This position coordinates all programs, policies and procedures in the delivery of health and counseling services to students within a context of holistic health care.

Spear holds bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration, and her extensive business background shifts the role of Baird director from a more traditional lead medical role to that of an administrator model.

The BHCC is dedicated to supporting students' health and well-being, preventing illness and engaging students in active learning and responsible decision-making. The center is licensed by the state of New Hampshire as an educational health facility and its staff includes nurse practitioners, licensed counselors and a collaborating physician.

For 21 years, Spear worked at Haemonetics Corporation in Braintree, Mass., a global company that markets automated blood processing systems. She held a number of positions, including manager of donor center operations at New England Medical Center Hospital in a partnership agreement with Haemonetics; director of disposable manufacturing; and, for the last seven years, vice president of quality systems.

David Sauerwein, vice president for student development and dean of students, points out the advantages of a business manager as BHCC's director. “A business background helps in building a better functioning operation,” says Vice President Sauerwein. “A practitioner can be an expert in the medical field, but management training and experience matches our current needs, which include increasing demands in the quantity and variety of our services amid tight resources. Pam brings the ability to think differently about potential partners and solutions.”

The Spear family's relationship with Colby-Sawyer began with their daughter, who graduated in 2007, and continued with husband Bill's decision to join the faculty in 2008 as assistant professor of Business Administration.

“We were drawn to this area because my daughter had been a student here and fell in love with the area and did not plan to return to Massachusetts,” says Spear. “My husband and I had a five-year plan to transition out of the corporate business world once the kids were through with school. Bill always wanted to pursue teaching, and our experience with Colby-Sawyer was positive, so when he looked to start his next career he did so here.”

Spear left her job at Haemonetics Corporation to spend a year supervising construction of their New Hampshire home. With the project nearing completion, she set out to find a new direction in the healthcare field that brought her closer to both clients and medical staff.

“I wanted to use my operations background in process flow and operational efficiencies directly in the healthcare setting,” Spear says. “The folks at Baird are very committed to the students' well-being, but I would like to make Baird more integral not only to the students' health but to their development. We want to understand how BHCC should grow and change to meet the needs of the students and the community, to serve not only as caregivers but how we prepare students to manage their own health and related issues, such as insurance. We want to move forward and progress with the changing student body.”

Soon after starting at Colby-Sawyer, Spear was highly visible when an early and tough flu season hit campus. While engaged in educating the college community about the H1N1 virus and serving as a college spokesperson on the issue for local media, her calm leadership style was on display.

“Pamela has had some difficult situations to manage right away, including the H1N1 situation on campus,” says Vice President Sauerwein. “In the process she has garnered high praise from around campus and from the state health agencies as well. Her demeanor under pressure is calm and calms those around her, is a great listener, and speaks with understated confidence. She is a great team member.”

-Kate Dunlop Seamans, November 2009