Illinois deputy governor joins UCMC administration

By Stephanie Williams

Cristal Thomas, the deputy governor of Illinois, will begin her new position as the vice president for Community Health Engagement at the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) and as the senior advisor to the Vice President for Civic Engagement on February 2.

At the UCMC, Thomas will be responsible for overseeing communications between the medical school, the University, and the South Side. She will also expand the University’s programs involving residents in the South Side, an outreach in line with the UCMC Urban Health Initiative.

Thomas has extensive experience working in the health field and in implementing public policy. She was elected Deputy Governor for Public Policy of Illinois in 2011, where she worked to implement the governor’s agenda and advised him on a range of issues.

Before being elected deputy governor, Thomas worked as Region V Director for the U.S. Department of Health Services, where she was responsible for working with a variety of partners, both local and national, on behalf of the Health Services department.