December 09, 2004

Media Advisory: Dr. Eric E. Whitaker

Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend a media availability on Tuesday, Dec. 14, featuring Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. The media availability is set for 11:30 a.m. to noon in the Mississippi Room at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Student Center. Also participating in the media availability will be Glenn Poshard, chair of the SIU Board of Trustees, and Mike Lawrence, director of the Public Policy Institute.

Whitaker, a Chicago native who became director of IDPH in 2003, will be visiting Carbondale to learn about Southern Illinois' health care needs, with a special emphasis on rural and medically underserved populations.

Prior to his appointment as public health director, Whitaker was an attending physician in internal medicine at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County in Chicago (formerly Cook County Hospital), and a member of the hospital's Collaborative Research Unit. His research interests included HIV/AIDS prevention and minority health, particularly for black males. He also is an assistant professor at Rush Medical College's Department of Medicine and Preventive Medicine.

Whitaker received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Grinnell College in 1987, his master's degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1991, and his medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1993.