The Illinois Medical District Commission (IMDC) Welcomes New Executive Director Dr. Suzet McKinney
The Illinois Medical District Commission (IMDC) kicked of Women’s History Month with a welcome reception for its new Executive Director, Dr. Suzet McKinney.
· Representatives from the four hospitals in the Illinois Medical District-Rush University Medical Center, the Jesse Brown VA, Cook County Health and Hospitals System and University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System-served on the host committee.
· The event was sponsored by Illinicare Health and hosted by IMDC.
· Gathered at the event were various IMDC stakeholders and partners, as well as elected officials from the City and County. Approximately 200 came out to open their arms to welcome Dr. McKinney on board. Among those who came out were Commissioner Robert Steele; Jeff Joy, President of IlliniCare; President of Cook County Board Toni Precwinkle; Tyronne Stoudemire, Vice President Global Diversity and Inclusion Hyatt Corporation; Cheryl Mainor, Chicago Defender President/Publisher, Alderman Jason Ervin, 28th Ward of the City of Chicago, Joseph M. Haarington, Regional Health Officer for Cook County, and Real Estate, Mogul Elzie Higginbottom.
· Following brief remarks from elected officials, IMDC Board President George Bilicic and Dr. McKinney, guests enjoyed time to network with each other and discuss collaboration.
· Dr. McKinney joined the IMDC after 13 years with the Chicago Department of Public Health, where she served as Deputy Commissioner for Emergency Preparedness & Response and Women & Children’s Health.
As the current Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District Commission a daily year round environment that includes 560 acres of medical research facilities, labs, a biotech business incubator, universities, raw land development areas and more than 40 healthcare related facilities –the largest urban medical district in the United States she is charged with overseeing all aspects of the operations.
Dr. McKinney is the former Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response at the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), where she oversaw the emergency preparedness efforts for the Department and coordinated those efforts within the larger spectrum of the City of Chicago’s Public Safety activities, in addition to overseeing the Department’s Division of Women and Children’s Health. During her time at CDPH, Dr. McKinney also spearheaded Chicago’s efforts as the field test site for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Generation-3 autonomous biological detection system technology.
Dr. McKinney previously served as the Sr. Advisor for Public Health and Preparedness at the Tauri Group, where she provided strategic and analytical consulting services to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS), BioWatch Program. Her work at DHS included providing creative, responsive and operationally-based problem-solving for public health, emergency management and homeland security issues, specifically chemical and biological early detection systems and the implementation of those systems at the state and local levels.
Dr. McKinney has earned a reputation as an experienced, knowledgeable public health official with exceptional communication skills. She has served as an on-camera media expert on emergency issues including biological and chemical threats, natural disasters, pandemic influenza, and climate-related emergencies. A sought after expert in her field, she also provides support to the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, to provide subject matter expertise in biological terrorism preparedness to the country of Poland.
In academia, Dr. McKinney serves as an Instructor in the Division of Translational Policy and Leadership Development at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. She also serves as a mentor for the Biomedical Sciences Careers Project, also at Harvard University.
Dr. McKinney holds her Doctorate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, with a focus on preparedness planning, leadership and workforce development. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Brandeis University (Waltham, MA) where she was also a Howard Hughes Fellow. She received her Master of Public Health degree (Health Care Administration) and certificates in Managed Care and Health Care Administration from Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.