The village of Oak Park has announced that Theresa D. Chapple-McGruder will serve as the new director of the Oak Park Department of Public Health. With a scheduled start date of May 3, Chapple-McGruder brings to the village a doctorate in epidemiology and a master’s degree in public health.
“A health professional of her training and experience is uniquely qualified to guide our health department through what continues to be a very challenging time,” said Village Manager Cara Pavlicek in a village news release.
Chapple-McGruder has spent much of her career working at local, state and federal health agencies. She currently leads the Women’s Health Data and Evaluation team at the Health Resources and Services Administration in Rockville, Md.
While Maryland is a far cry away from her new position, Chapple-McGruder is already familiar with Oak Park, having lived in the village from 2005 to 2009 while working on her doctoral degree at the University of Chicago.
“I am excited by the opportunity to return to Oak Park in a leadership role with the municipal government that plays such critical roles in protecting and serving the public,” Dr. Chapple-McGruder said.
The village’s health department has been under the leadership of firefighter and paramedic Joseph “J.T.” Terry, who stepped in as interim public health director following Mike Charley’s departure. Charley, Oak Park’s previous public health director, resigned last November to serve as the village of Skokie’s director of health and human services.
“J.T. has done an outstanding job of managing the village’s response to the pandemic, but I know public health is not his chosen career path,” Pavlicek said in the news release.