Health Services Director’s Work Lauded

Alex Langhart honored for series of changes to foster better health at UM

Alex Langhart, UM health services director, is a recipient of the American College of Health Care Executives’ Early Careerist Award. The award honors professionals under age 40 who have made a significant mark in their community through health care administration. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – Even though his focus recently has been on the University of Mississippi‘s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alex Langhart has been making meaningful changes designed to improve all aspects of health care on campus and beyond over the last year.

For his work, the university’s health services director has been honored with the American College of Healthcare Executives‘ Early Careerist Award for a series of administrative steps to reduce V.B. Harrison Health Center patient wait times and, therefore, offer more available appointments daily.

These initiatives were put in place before the university’s COVID-19 response, which has changed the operating procedures for University Health Services.

“We are now able to get patients in and out of the office in just under an hour,” Langhart said. “This has greatly improved our ability as health care providers to treat more patients and also helps to ensure each patient is able to receive care amidst busy schedules.”

Langhart, an UM alumnus and Tylertown native, is proud of the recognition from the ACHE, which is a network of health care administrators working to improve patient care from the regulatory and administrative end.

The award goes to administrators under the age of 40 who have made significant impact on their community and state.

“It’s a humbling award to be nominated for and to receive because I am from Mississippi,” Langhart said. “I am from a small town. My whole family is in health care, and for me to be able to give back not only to my alma mater, but also the state of Mississippi, is really important.”

His reach extends beyond the halls of campus. As a member of ACHE, Langhart works with other health centers around the state to address Mississippi’s prevalent challenges such as heart disease and chronic care management, and to improve the system for population health as a whole.

Since taking over as director in 2019, Langhart has been committed to improving every aspect of care on Ole Miss campus. One of the main focuses for improvement was decreasing the average time a patient spends at the health center through a streamlined process, making care more convenient and accessible for busy students and faculty members.

Besides convenience, the health center also has implemented measures to provide personalized care for all patients through new check-in kiosks, where patients can choose their preferred pronouns and disclose any personal information in a private setting before interacting with staff members.

These are just a few of the ways administrators and staff are working to serve the Ole Miss community, with plans to continually improve so that each patient receives the best care possible. Once University Health Services resumes normal operations, Langhart hopes to expand the center’s services beyond regular hours by incorporating telehealth appointments and an online patient portal.

He also continues to oppose any cost barrier that would hinder patients from receiving the care they need through finding a broader pool of insurance coverage for undergraduates.

“Alex provides consistent, transformational leadership every single day,” said Natasha Jeter, assistant vice chancellor for wellness and student success. “Under his supervision, the V.B. Harrison Health Center continues to adopt new innovations, grow and thrive.”

University Health Services treats both students and employees on campus with primary, urgent and preventive health care needs through two clinics, with free office visits for students. Besides physicians and nurse practitioners, the center has specialized mental health physicians, a lab, X-ray machines and a full pharmacy. Physical therapy is available on campus at the Gillom Sports Center.

While Langhart was nominated for the Early Careerist Award anonymously, health center personnel continue to applaud his commitment to excellence not only on the business administrative side, but also for his focus on people.

“Alex is energetic, extremely capable and creative in his thinking,” said Dr. Jean Gispen, physician at UM Employee Health Services. “All of us at the health center – providers, nurses, pharmacists, lab techs, receptionists, insurance clerks and custodians – trust him.

“Alex asks the providers what we need from him so that we can practice good medicine, then he listens to our answers.”

Langhart hopes to continue his commitment to improving all aspects of health service, both at the university and across the state, through striving for excellence down to the smallest details. He hopes this will help pave the way for a healthier world.

“In health care, you find you can impact people in so many different ways than you may have originally thought,” Langhart said. “This is wonderful because it can be something small that you do every day without even thinking about that makes them stop and say, ‘Wow, that made such a difference to me.'”

For more information on University Health Services, visit