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Public Health


  • Bechara Choucair, M.D.
  • Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health
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You can follow Dr. Choucair on Twitter @choucair

Dr. Bechara Choucair, a Family Physician, has served as Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health since November, 2009.  Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Dr. Choucair earned both his bachelors and medical degrees from the American University of Beirut and a Master's Degree in Health Care Management from the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Choucair completed his Family Practice Residency at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. 

From 2001-2005, he served as Medical Director of Crusader Community Health in Rockford, Illinois. In 2005, he moved to Chicago serving as Executive Director of Heartland Health Centers until his appointment as CDPH Commissioner.​

In 2011, Dr. Choucair launched Healthy Chicago, the first comprehensive public health agenda for the City of Chicago, providing 200 action items for the City to improve the overall health and well-being of residents. Since its launch, CDPH has reported historic lows in childhood obesity rates and both teen and adult smoking rates, as well as significant increases in overall life expectancy. Under his leadership, CDPH became the first big city public health agency to be awarded national accreditation, in 2013. And in 2014, CDPH was honored as the Local Health Department of the Year by the National Association of County and City Health Officials. 

Dr. Choucair serves on numerous boards and has a faculty appointment at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. In addition to a number of local and national awards, he was named one of Chicago's 40 under 40 by Crain's Chicago Business in 2012. 

Carolyn Lopez

President of the Chicago Board of Health

Board President

A native Chicagoan, Dr. Lopez completed her undergraduate work at Loyola University in Chicago and received he M.D. in 1978 from the University of Illinois Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine. She is a graduate of the Rush-Christ Family Practice Residency Program and has been Board Certified in family Medicine since 1981.

Dr. Lopez has extensive medical management experience in both the private and public sectors. Her past positions include serving as Medical Director of the Chicago Park District and Chief Medical Officer of Rush Prudential Health Plans. She most recently served as Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County (the old Cook County Hospital). She has also been active in academic medicine, holding various positions as both an educator and as an assistant dean. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Family Medicine of Rush Medical College, Medical Director of Near North Health Service Corporation and is also President of the Chicago Board of Health.

Dr. Lopez has been very involved in medical organizations, among them the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians where she became the first woman and first Hispanic elected as President. She is also a past officer of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and held various leadership positions there, including service as the first woman and Hispanic Vice-Speaker and later Speaker of the AAFP Congress of Delegates, the governing body of the AAFP. Dr. Lopez was also awarded fellowship in and later joined the Board of Governors of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago (IOMC). She is Past President of the IOMC and also serves on the Steering Committee for the State of Illinois All Kids program.

Dr. Lopez has received many awards including a resolution of commendation from the Cook County Board of Commissioners in 1999. She was recognized as a "local legend" by the American Medical Women's Association, as nominated by Congressman Rahm Emanuel. In 2004, she was named by Crain's Chicago Business as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Chicago. During the same year Dr. Lopez was designated a "Hispanic Hero" by Chicago Fire and Major League Soccer.

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