The Health Center at Auraria is well set up for a healthy dose of success. 

Jeffrey (Zack) Uszacki was recently appointed executive director of the Health Center, succeeding Steve Monaco, who retired in December. Uszacki may be new to his role, but he’s no stranger to the organization or the Auraria Campus. 

Uszacki has long been interested in health, double-majoring in Secondary Biology Education and Athletic Training at West Virginia University. After graduating, he hoped to use his emphasis on teaching and athletic training to work in public education. He worked for a year with Denver Public Schools before realizing his passions lay elsewhere and enrolling at Metropolitan State University of Denver. 

As an MSU Denver student, Uszacki quickly noticed that the insurance offered through the Health Center at Auraria was convenient, cost-effective and a good fit for him and his wife. He even began working with the Health Center as a student lab assistant while taking prerequisites for a physician assistant’s degree. Thus began his nearly 30-year commitment to the organization and the campus community. Over that time, Uszacki has seen significant evolution, progress and growth across the Auraria Campus. 

“When I started here, the Health Center had 16 staff members, and MSU (Denver) was only 28 years old,” Uszacki said. 

Now, the Health Center has doubled in size, added services and worked to create sustainable employment for each staff member. The resource was also vital in helping the Auraria Campus community navigate the many challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, Uszacki served as the center’s associate director, an experience that influenced his leadership and his perspective on organizational culture. 

“To be so successful in tackling the pandemic, we realized we had to help members of our staff on multiple fronts — not just pay attention to their experiences at the Health Center but also at home, with their friends, etc.,” Uszacki said. 

The experience added another layer to Uszacki’s leadership style, which he describes as collaborative and transformational, focusing on guidance, mentoring and advising (as opposed to micromanaging) and playing to the strengths and knowledge of his staff members to optimize service and care to the campus community. 

Jeffrey (Zack) Uszacki

“We try to offer convenient, low-cost, high-quality and compassionate care for everyone on campus, meeting students, staff and faculty where they are the best that we can,Uszacki said. “If someone is on this campus as a student, theyre working a busy schedule. We try to make it so they can easily come in to see us. Staying on campus for their care keeps them using their time effectively. 

Uszacki plans to continue this effort as executive director by leveraging more technology to efficiently streamline access and care for more patients and to alleviate any analog congestion that hinders workflow.  

Another goal Uszacki is passionate about is advocating for and supporting self-care for health care providers, specifically helping his staff members balance their family life and personal wellness. 

His alignment with MSU Denvers focus on student well-being and his commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion make him a perfect fit for the challenges and opportunities ahead,” said Taylor Tackett, associate vice president and dean of students. As executive director, Zack will leverage his projectmanagement, activelistening and collaboration skills to contribute to the achievement of institutional goals. His enthusiasm and positivity will undoubtedly enhance the work of the Student Engagement and Wellness team as they continue to serve the students, faculty and staff of the Auraria Campus. 

Taylor Tackett

When he’s not at the Health Center, Uszacki enjoys taking full advantage of the recreational opportunities in Colorado by cycling, camping, hiking and crosscountry skiing.