Deborah Helitzer, dean of the College of Health Solutions, has been named one of AZ Big Media’s Champions of Change for 2022.
Helitzer, who came to Arizona State University in 2017, is one of only five people to receive the honor in the category of education leaders.
“I have worked for over 30 years to develop and implement innovative education programs for students in higher education,” Helitzer said. “To be acknowledged for my hard work is terrific; even more so, to be seen as a role model and a change agent for other educators is an honor.”
In her time with the College of Health Solutions, Helitzer has worked to break down barriers between different areas of expertise and unified them under one integrated, interdisciplinary structure. That structure, unique in higher education, puts the college in a position to design better health solutions while improving efficiency and reducing costs.
Under her leadership, the college has improved in all measures of success, increasing grant funding by 75% and growing student enrollment by 28%. College of Health Solutions faculty now collaborate on interdisciplinary research and technological innovation with the arts, engineering, journalism, community solutions and business fields at ASU. Helitzer is focused on the future of health and is increasing collaboration with the community to better prepare students for the workforce and to improve health outcomes, especially for populations with health disparities.
In addition to her leadership in higher education, Helitzer is a noted researcher who has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications. She earned a doctorate in international health from Johns Hopkins University and an undergraduate degree in communications from Washington University in St. Louis.
The Champions of Change awards recognize “dynamic innovators and trailblazers who are changing Arizona’s economic environment through leadership and visionary thinking.”
AZ Big Media is a collection of nine publications focusing on Arizona business, real estate and lifestyle news. Its printed publications include AZ Business and AZRE (focusing on Arizona real estate), Ranking Arizona and Play Ball (with an emphasis on baseball spring training). Its website, AZBigMedia.com, is a complement to the print publications.
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