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You can follow Dr. Choucair on Twitter @choucair
Dr. Bechara Choucair is Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
Appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley on November 25, 2009, Dr. Choucair is re-shaping the department to meet the public health challenges of the 21st century.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Dr. Choucair earned a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Chemistry (with distinction) and a Medical Diploma from American University of Beirut. From 1997-2000 he did his Family Practice Residency at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. In 2009 he earned a Master's Degree in Health Care Management from the University of Texas at Dallas.
From 2001-05, Dr. Choucair served as Medical Director of Crusader Community Health in Rockford, Illinois. From 2005-09, he was Executive Director of Heartland International Health Center. He has served as Vice-chair of Community Medicine, Department of Family & Community Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.
Awards he has earned include the Loretta Lacey Maternal and Child Health Advocacy Award, Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition, 2009; Health Professions Training and Education Award, National Association of Community Health Centers, 2008; American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, Pfizer Teacher Development Award, 2007; and Forrest Riordan Humanitarian Award, 2005.
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.