RBJ Names Kieffer a 2024 Healthcare Hero

January 19, 2024

The Rochester Business Journal has named Rebecca Kieffer ’96, LCSW-R, director, Health and Wellness Center at St. John Fisher University, among the recipients of the 2024 Healthcare Hero Awards.

Rebecca Kieffer

The awards recognize excellence, promote innovation, and honor the efforts of individuals and organizations making a significant impact on the quality of health care in the Rochester area. Kieffer, along with 46 other awardees, will be honored at a breakfast celebration on Thursday, Feb. 29.

Kieffer, who began her career as a licensed clinical social worker in 2000 after graduating with a master’s degree in social work from Syracuse University, was recognized in the Mental Health category.

She spent 16 years in the Rochester Regional Health system, moving from an initial role as a direct care provider into leadership positions. She joined Fisher in 2016 to lead a team of licensed health care professionals at the Health and Wellness Center.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kieffer was a key member of several teams that planned for the safe return to campus and organized weekly testing and immunization clinics, among other initiatives.

She was also instrumental in forging a partnership with the JED Foundation to engage in its four-year JED Campus program, bolstering resources and support for mental health services across the University. As the chair of the JED Task Force, she has spearheaded a campus-wide mental health strategic plan that addresses issues of mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention among students.

In addition, she has served as the co-lead of the Trauma, Illness, & Grief (TIG) Team, a trauma response program that helps institutions effectively respond to challenges facing students and campuses more broadly. In one year, Fisher has nearly doubled the number of employees trained in crisis response skills, and has the largest higher education team regionally.

She has also been a member of multiple committees and planning groups on campus, including Accommodations Committee; HealthyU; Strategic Planning Committee; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative Planning Committee; Convocation Planning Committee; and the Early Alert and Behavioral Intervention Team. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Psychology Department.

Kieffer is the chair of the Upstate New York College Collaboration Wellness Committee and is a member of several professional associations, including the National Association of Social Workers, Association of University and College Counseling Center Directors, and American College Health Association. She has also presented at several conferences, most recently at the New York State College Health Association and New England College Health Association 2023 Combined Annual Meeting and the City University of New York Conference.