Gov. Pritzker appoints new IDPH director with SIU ties

Dr. Sameer Vohra, Founding Chair of the SIU School of Medicine’s (SIU-SOM) Department of...
Dr. Sameer Vohra, Founding Chair of the SIU School of Medicine’s (SIU-SOM) Department of Population Science and Policy, will serve as the 20th Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).(Source: SIU School of Medicine)
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 1:25 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KFVS) - Governor JB Pritzker has appointed Dr. Sameer Vohra as the new Director of Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Dr. Vohra will begin leading the IDPH on Monday, August 1.

According to Gov. Pritzker’s office, Dr. Vohra is the Founding Chair of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s (SIU-SOM) Department of Population Science and Policy. He is also Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Public Health, Medical Humanities, and Law at SIU-SOM.

In addition to his roles at SIU-SOM, Dr. Vohra is currently serving the State of Illinois as the Interim Chair of the Children’s Mental Health Partnership, on IDPH’s Illinois State Board of Health, the Illinois Medicaid Advisory Committee, the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council and has recently completed a term on the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund Steering Committee.

Pritzker’s office says Dr. Vohra is not only a general pediatrician, but he also holds degrees in law and public policy.

Pritzker calls Dr. Vohra a distinguished pediatrician and healthcare policy expert.

“Dr. Vohra is accomplished in every sense of the word. His experience and education transcend sectors and fields, bringing a well-rounded perspective to this agency,” said Pritzker. “As a leader in state and national health policy, I have absolute confidence in Dr. Vohra’s ability to continue shaping a stronger IDPH for the 21st century.”

Dr. Vohra says he is looking forward to serving as Illinois’ 20th Director of IDPH.

“I am honored to lead this agency into the future, continuing to keep us safe from emerging illnesses, supporting our public health workers, and promoting wellness in every community across Illinois,” said Dr. Vohra.

Dr. Vohra is replacing Dr. Ngozi Ezike, who stepped down in March.

The department’s assistant director, Dr. Amaal Tokars, has been leading the department on an interim basis.

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