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Epidemiologist named Public Health Director

A public health professional with a PhD in epidemiology became the new director of the Oak Park Department of Public Health on May 3. A governmental and applied epidemiologist, Theresa D. Chapple-McGruder, Ph.D., has spent the majority of her career at local, state and federal health agencies, and with organizations that directly support governmental public health. Prior to coming to Oak Park, Dr. Chapple-McGruder led the Women’s Health Data and Evaluation team at the Health Resources & Services Administration in Rockville, Md. During the COVID-19 crises, she helped school districts craft reopening plans and provided expert consultations to recreational sports teams, news media and community-based organizations to help flatten the infection curve and promote vaccination. Dr. Chapple-McGruder lived in the Village from 2005 – 2009 while pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Illinois Chicago. She also has a Master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Clark University in Atlanta. As director of Oak Park’s state-certified local health department, Dr. Chapple-McGruder will oversee an operation that is one of only four municipal health departments in suburban Cook County certified by the state to provide public health programming. More information about local public health programs is posted on the Village website at