City Club of Chicago: Suzet McKinney, Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District Commission
September 21, 2016
Suzet McKinney – Executive Director – Illinois Medical District Commission
Dr. Suzet M. McKinney currently serves as Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District Commission. The Illinois Medical District (IMD), a 24/7/365 environment that includes 560 acres of medical research facilities, labs, a biotech business incubator, universities, raw land development areas and more than 40 healthcare related facilities, is one of the largest urban medical districts in the United States. Dr. McKinney is the former Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response at the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), where she oversaw the emergency preparedness efforts for the Department and coordinated those efforts within the larger spectrum of the City of Chicago’s Public Safety activities, in addition to overseeing the Department’s Division of Women and Children’s Health. During her time at CDPH, Dr. McKinney also spearheaded Chicago’s efforts as the field test site for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Generation-3 autonomous biological detection system technology.
Dr. McKinney previously served as the Sr. Advisor for Public Health and Preparedness at the Tauri Group, where she provided strategic and analytical consulting services to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS), BioWatch Program. Her work at DHS included providing creative, responsive and operationally-based problem-solving for public health, emergency management and homeland security issues, specifically chemical and biological early detection systems and the implementation of those systems at the state and local levels.
Dr. McKinney serves on numerous committees and advisory boards. Most recently, she was appointed as Co- Chair of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events and is a member of the IOM’s Standing Committee on Health Threats Resilience. She also serves on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Advisory Council (NAC). She has served as an Incident Commander for CDPH and was a member of Chicago’s Incident Management Team. She has been responsible for leading multiple emergency response efforts, including Chicago’s 2014-2015 Ebola response; the operational response to the 2009 H1N1 outbreak, with the set-up and operation of over 100 mass vaccination clinics, which were successful in vaccinating nearly 100,000 residents over a six-week timeframe; as well as CDPH’s participation in the 2012 NATO Summit response and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake response.
Dr. McKinney has earned a reputation as an experienced, knowledgeable public health official with exceptional communication skills. She has served as an on-camera media expert on emergency issues including biological and chemical threats, natural disasters, pandemic influenza, and climate-related emergencies. A sought after expert in her field, she also provides support to the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, to provide subject matter expertise in biological terrorism preparedness to the country of Poland.
In academia, Dr. McKinney serves as an Instructor in the Division of Translational Policy and Leadership Development at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. She also serves as a mentor for the Biomedical Sciences Careers Project, also at Harvard University.
Dr. McKinney holds her Doctorate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, with a focus on preparedness planning, leadership and workforce development. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Brandeis University (Waltham, MA) where she was also a Howard Hughes Fellow. She received her Master of Public Health degree (Health Care Administration) and certificates in Managed Care and Health Care Administration from Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.