Fikirte Wagaw, MPH
Acting Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health
Fikirte Wagaw, MPH, has over 20 years of experience in the field of local public health. Until appointed as Acting Commissioner, she was serving as the First Deputy Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). In this role she oversaw and coordinated cross-department functions and initiatives guided by and in support of the department’s focus on racial and health equity, especially eliminating Chicago's racial life expectancy gap. Prior to this position she worked in a variety of roles at CDPH, including as community planner, epidemiologist and public health administrator, mostly in the HIV program.
Fikirte received her BA from the University of Michigan and her MPH from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Janet Lin, M.D.
President, Chicago Board of Health
Dr. Janet Lin, MD, MPH, MBA is the President of the Chicago Board of Health. She is a board-certified senior emergency medicine physician at the University of Illinois Hospital and Clinics (UI Health) in Chicago. She has lived in Chicago since 1995. She has been a passionately and tirelessly promoting education, research, and service within a lens of equity and social justice. Dr. Lin is a tenured professor of Emergency Medicine and an affiliate professor in Community Health Sciences at the School of Public Health at UIC. Her work and efforts have been and continue to be dedicated to the pursuit of how to improve the access to or the delivery of health care in resource-limited settings. Dr. Lin has earned certificates in tropical medicine and has consulted on global health issues. Her work has led her to pursue activities in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. In Chicago, Dr. Lin’s work centers on creating and implementing programs related to what she terms “preventative – or pro-active – emergency medicine” which sounds like a contradiction but acknowledges the complexity and nuances of our healthcare system and a recognition that the ‘ER’, functioning as a safety net, oft serves as a microcosm of the public health challenges society faces. Her current efforts have innovated ways to seamlessly screen for conditions such as HIV, HCV, and diabetes and connect people to resources such that they are able to access the care they need. She was instrumental to UI Health’s COVID-19 pandemic response and its community vaccination efforts done in partnership with CDPH’s Protect Chicago Plus. Today, she is also leading efforts to study and understand the long-term effects of people who are infected with COVID-19. Dr. Lin is a recipient of the University of Illinois Presidential Medallion and currently serves as the Associate Chief Executive Officer for Strategic Integration and Partnerships at UI Health to help guide and lead transformative healthcare delivery system change. Dr. Lin also serves on the executive board of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and is a board member and previous President of the Illinois College of Emergency Physicians and is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. She previously served on the board of directors of MedGlobal, a humanitarian organization providing locally appropriate care in difficult-to-reach areas of the world that are affected by war, natural, disasters, famine, and ethnic cleansing.