Illinois Governor Pritzker Announces Seven Appointments to the Illinois State Board of Health

Springfield, IL (STL.News) Building on a strong team of diverse experts in their fields, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced the following appointments in his administration:

ILLINOIS STATE BOARD OF HEALTH

Patricia Canessa will serve on the Illinois State Board of Health.  Canessa is the Director of Diversity and Health Equity at the Illinois Public Health Association, addressing programmatic and Public Health policy issues that directly impact health disparities outcomes in the Illinois and Midwestern region.  Additionally, Canessa holds an academic position at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine where she serves as Field Director of the National Lupus Outreach and Clinical Trials Education Program, a partnership with Harvard Medical School.  Canessa is a two-time graduate at Northwestern University in Chicago with degrees in Family Therapy and Executive Management.  Canessa has provided cancer coordination and navigation services to special populations in Central Illinois through the past 5 years.  Subsequently, she has researched and designed with the support of African students from the University of Illinois at Springfield School of Public Health a culturally and linguistically competent evidence-based model of breast care and Hepatitis B for African immigrant women settled in scattered semi-rural areas of Illinois.  She was the recipient of the Humanitarian Komen Memorial Award in 2017, among others.

Rashmi Chugh will serve on the Illinois State Board of Health.  Chugh has served as medical officer at the DuPage County Health Department since 2003.  Chugh graduated from the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed her family medicine residency at AMITA Health Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.  She is board certified in family medicine and earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health in Health Policy and Administration.  Drawing from her background in family medicine, public health and organized medicine, Chugh serves in leadership roles with the DuPage County Medical Society, Illinois Academy of Family Physicians and EverThrive Illinois.

Janice Phillips will serve on the Illinois State Board of Health.  In 2011, Phillips completed the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship working in the office of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) where she analyzed complex data in support of implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and garnered support for prescription drug abuse legislation.  Later, Phillips assumed the role of Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs at CGFNS International where she helped position the organization in receiving their 5-year reauthorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to issue Visa Screen ® certificates to foreign educated health care professionals and securing first time NGO Consultative Status with the United Nations.  As the Director of Nursing Research and Health Equity at Rush University Medical Center, Phillips serves as a system wide leader in supporting health equity as a shared goal across the Rush System.  She is the author of over 100 publications, four edited textbooks and a health policy column.  In 2019, she was appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve as a member of the National Advisory Council on Nursing Education and Practice.  Phillips earned her nursing degree from North Park College, graduate degree from Saint Xavier Community Health and PhD in nursing from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Julie Pryde will serve on the Illinois State Board of Health.  Pryde is the Administrator of Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD), a nationally-accredited health department, which was named 2019 Local Health Department of the Year by the National Association of County and City Health Officials.  She is published in professional journals including Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, Journal of Infectious Disease, The Journal of Adolescence, Proceedings of the International Meeting on Emerging Diseases and Surveillance 2011, Life: the Excitement of Biology, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services and Child and Adolescent Social Work.  In addition to presenting at numerous Illinois conferences, she has presented at such national conferences as the American Public Health Association, National Association of City and County Health Officials, NetSmart’s Connections, International Mobile Health Conference, the US Conference on AIDS, and the National Harm Reduction Conference.  Pryde earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois Springfield.  She is an Illinois licensed social worker and a certified public health administrator.

Esther Sciamerella will serve on the Illinois State Board of Health.  Sciammarella is the Executive Director of the Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition currently holds a position at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System working closely with the Family Medicine Clinic Medical Director in the development of Pilsen Clinic-based community health programs and classes to serve the community.  Sciammarella previously served as Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Hispanic Affairs at the Chicago Department of Public Health.  In addition to being on the board of the Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition, she is currently Community Co-Chair of Partnerships and Community Engagement for Healthy Chicago 2.0 Department of Chicago Public Health.  Sciammarella has a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology and has been involved in clinical therapy, mental health service delivery, and community support and residential services for refugees and mentally ill clients.  She is also a fellow graduate of Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Hispanic Health Leadership Fellowship Program, where she received extensive training for senior executives in state and local government.  She also participated in the 1999 White House Conference on mental health alongside with Tipper Gore.  In her ongoing partnership with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, she collaborated on the book “Salud!” A Latina’s Guide to Total Health-Body, Mind, and Spirit, by Jane Delgado, PhD – President and CEO of the Alliance.

Susan Swider will serve on the Illinois State Board of Health.  Swider is a Professor in the Department of Community, Systems and Mental Health Nursing at Rush University in Chicago. Dr. Swider has practiced in acute care, home health and public health settings over the past forty years.  Her research focuses on program development and evaluation of community health workers, engaging urban communities in health promotion, health policy to support health promotion efforts and educating health professionals in population health.  She has taught public health nursing and co-directed 10 years of HRSA supported work to develop an online doctoral program in Advanced Public Health Nursing, ensuring that it met the Quad Council competencies for Public Health Nursing practice.  She belongs to a number of public health/nursing organizations and is past president of the Association of Community Health Nursing Educators (ACHNE).  In 2011, Dr. Swider was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative & Public Health to advise on the development and implementation of the National Prevention Strategy, where she served until 2016.  She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the Institute of Medicine of Chicago.  In 2016, she was appointed to serve a five-year term on the Community Preventive Services Task Force of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sameer Vohra will serve on the Illinois State Board of Health.  Vohra is the Founding Chair of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s Department of Population Science and Policy, a non-traditional research and policy academic department aiming to improve health outcomes in central and southern Illinois.  A general pediatrician, Vohra is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Medical Humanities and Law.  He completed a residency in pediatrics at the University of Chicago.  Vohra earned a Master of Arts in public policy at the University of Chicago, a medical doctorate at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, a juris doctorate, graduating first in his class, at Southern Illinois University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts with honors at Northwestern University.  Vohra has received several honors including a United States Fulbright Scholarship in 2009, a 2014 American Medical Association Foundation’s Excellence in Medicine Leadership Award, named an Edgar Fellow in 2016, one of 40 emerging political and policy leaders in Illinois, awarded a Friend of Education by the Illinois Education Association in 2018, and was most recently named to the de Beaumont Foundation’s first national 40 under 40 list in public health.

Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.