Dr. Julie Morita is a nationally renowned public health leader and vaccination expert. Mayor Rahm Emanuel nominated Dr. Morita to be Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) in January, following 15 years of service to the department. As CDPH Medical Director for Immunization, Dr. Morita fostered groundbreaking partnerships with health systems and the private sector, achieving national recognition for both the improvements in and overall coverage rates. In 2009, Dr. Morita led the City’s response to the pandemic influenza outbreak, developing a system to distribute more than one million doses of vaccine to clinics and residents across the City. Most recently, as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Morita led the City’s efforts to prevent the introduction and spread of the Ebola virus, including developing and launching the Chicago Ebola Resource Network, the first local network of medical centers working jointly to prepare and respond to a possible Ebola case. As a result of her efforts, Chicago was the first jurisdiction in the nation to establish four CDC-approved Ebola response hospitals.
Prior to her time with CDPH, Dr. Morita served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the CDC and worked in private practice. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Chicago, Dr. Morita lives in the City with her husband, a physician, and their two children.
President of the Chicago Board of Health
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.