Sameer Vohra named subsequent director of Illinois Division of Public Well being – Chicago Solar-Instances

By Steve Heldon Dr. Sameer Vohra will develop into director of the Illinois Division of

By Steve Heldon

Dr. Sameer Vohra will develop into director of the Illinois Division of Public Well being on Aug. 1, Gov. J.B. Prtizker introduced on Tuesday.
A distinguished downstate pediatrician with levels in regulation and public coverage will develop into Illinois’ high physician later this summer time, steering the state via the following chapter of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. J.B. Pritzker introduced Tuesday.
Dr. Sameer Vohra of the Southern Illinois College College of Drugs will take cost of the state’s Division of Public Well being on Aug. 1.
Vohra — who already serves on IDPH’s Illinois State Board of Well being, the Illinois Medicaid Advisory Committee and the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council — was hailed by Pritzker because the company’s “subsequent visionary chief.”
“Dr. Vohra is achieved in each sense of the phrase. His expertise and schooling transcend sectors and fields, bringing a well-rounded perspective to this company,” Pritzker mentioned in an announcement saying the appointment. “As a pacesetter in state and nationwide well being coverage, I’ve absolute confidence in Dr. Vohra’s skill to proceed shaping a stronger IDPH for the twenty first century.”
Vohra is poised to take the IDPH reins from Dr. Amaal Tokars, who has served as interim director of the company since mid-March following the departure of charismatic former director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. A every day presence on Illinois tv screens throughout public briefings within the early days of the pandemic, Ezike now leads the Sinai Chicago hospital community.
Vohra is the founding chair of the SIU College of Drugs’s Division of Inhabitants Science and Coverage. He’s additionally an affiliate professor of pediatrics, public well being, medical humanities and regulation on the faculty, and he serves because the interim chair of the Youngsters’s Psychological Well being Partnership.
Now, he’ll assist spearhead the state’s pandemic response as circumstances and hospitalizations climb but once more in Illinois.
Almost 5,000 Illinoisans have examined constructive for the virus every day over the previous week — a 12% improve on common since final month — whereas the 1,336 folks admitted to hospitals with COVID as of Monday evening marked an almost five-month excessive. And as Omicron’s extra infectious BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants achieve dominance, roughly one in each 5 eligible residents nonetheless hasn’t been vaccinated towards COVID.
“I’m humbled that the Governor has entrusted me to serve the folks of our State because the twentieth Director of the Illinois Division of Public Well being,” Vohra mentioned in an announcement.“Governor Pritzker, together with the devoted workers of IDPH, have served our State admirably throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m honored to steer this company into the long run, persevering with to maintain us protected from rising diseases, supporting our public well being employees, and selling wellness in each neighborhood throughout Illinois.”
Vohra, who couldn’t be reached instantly for remark, earned a bachelor’s diploma in political science and science in human tradition from Northwestern College earlier than finishing a residency in pediatrics on the College of Chicago, the place he additionally netted a grasp’s diploma in public coverage. Vohra earned a medical doctorate and a regulation diploma at SIU.
Amongst a slew {of professional} accomplishments, Vohra was named a Fulbright scholar in 2009 and a Presidential Management scholar in 2020. He has additionally served on the nationwide committees for the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Affiliation of American Medical Schools and the American Medical Affiliation.
Tokars, who has stored a low profile as appearing IDPH head throughout her four-month tenure, referred to as it her “nice honor to serve the folks of Illinois and Governor Pritzker as chief of IDPH throughout this interim interval at a time when we face public well being challenges on numerous fronts.”
IDPH oversees about 200 applications starting from vaccine allocation and hospital requirements to leisure facility security and milk farm inspection.

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