Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the third-largest school district in the United States, serving over 330,000 students in more than 500 schools and employing nearly 36,000 people, most of them teachers. CPS has set ambitious goals to ensure that every student, in every school and every neighborhood, has access to a world-class learning experience that prepares each for success in college, career, and civic life. In order to fulfill this mission, we make three commitments to our students, their families, and all Chicagoans: academic progress, financial stability, and integrity. Six core values are embedded within these commitments – student-centered, whole child, equity, academic excellence, community partnership, and continuous learning.
Who You Are:
Under the direction of the Chief Education Officer (CEdO) and the Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) or her designee, the Chief Health Officer (CHO) is a dynamic professional who serves as the lead health authority for Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The CHO provides critical leadership for the Office of Student Health and Wellness (OSHW) and oversees a team of 130 people with an annual budget of $12M.
The CHO also works collaboratively with the Chief of the Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services (ODLSS) to oversee the CPS School Nursing Unit. This unit currently encompasses over 500 employees and a budget of $53M, and aims to achieve the goal of providing a full-time nurse in every schoo,l every day to meet the school nursing needs of all CPS students, including those with IEPs and 504 Plans. The CHO works directly with CDPH to promote the district’s Healthy CPS initiative and to align it with CDPH’s Healthy Chicago 2025 framework, which represents the city’s public health agenda. Extensive in its impact, this position leverages health and wellness policy, health data management, access to healthcare services, the COVID-19 Unit (which involves COVID-19 Vaccination, Testing and Contact Tracing), and enrollment in public health benefits (like Medicaid and SNAP) to create a culture of health across the district and the city.
The Chief Health Officer will be held accountable for the following responsibilities:
Chart the OSHW vision, articulate and promote its mission, and provide leadership and guidance to OSHW’s leadership team and programming.
Collaborate with other CPS offices, including Social Emotional Learning, Nutrition Support Services, Safety and Security, Innovation and Incubation, and Network Support to implement Healthy CPS priorities and other initiatives to improve student health and well-being.
With CDPH to prioritize and integrate public health priorities into school health programming, policies, and activities.
With CDPH, oversee the development of school-based public health infrastructure and practices to address child health and health inequities with the leadership of school nurses and engagement of stakeholders from the school community.
With CDPH, develop and oversee implementation of a coordinated research and data analysis agenda regarding health of school aged children to inform a larger health agenda.
Oversee the implementation of school-based health services delivered in partnership with CDPH, including oral, vision and sexual health programs.
Provide clinical and subject matter expertise in response to public health incidents and emergencies, in coordination with CDPH.
Serve as district spokesperson and subject matter expert on health policy, public health guidance, and clinical decisions.
Represent and advocate key district health challenges and priorities among CPS senior executive leadership; the CPS Board of Directors; Network and school leaders; health systems and academic research partners; philanthropies; and in the media.
Build strategic relationships engaging internal and external stakeholders, partners, and academic institutions to execute multi-level strategies that target complex school health issues.
Set and execute the strategic priorities for OSHW through the district’s Continuous Improvement Work Plan (CIWP) process.
Supervise the development, implementation and evaluation of policy-related initiatives including immunization; food allergy management; physical education and physical activity; sexual health education; and chronic disease management
Develop strategic collaborations within the district as well as with city agencies, community-based partners, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders that identify opportunities to address health-related barriers to learning.
Oversee the identification of and efficient use of resources to support OSHW activities.
Oversee OSHW fiscal activities including budgeting and reporting.
Implement and monitor organizational performance standards related to health and wellness policy compliance.
Ensure effective communication of district health and wellness priorities to all stakeholders.
Skills Needed for Success
Strategic Planning, Organization and Effective Execution
Strategic and critical thinker with a proven ability to lead thoughtful, transformative action within complex organizations.
In-depth knowledge and experience in leading data-driven practices including distilling analysis into insights and translating insights into systemic action.
Offer innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems and adapt strategy to changing conditions.
Exhibit a strong focus on goals and results. Set clear metrics for success.
Prioritize and plan activities, monitor progress continually and demonstrate persistence to overcome obstacles to achieve goals.
Ability to effectively achieve multiple goals and manage multiple priorities and projects simultaneously.
Influence and Leadership
Create clear compelling vision; proven ability to build consensus among diverse stakeholders to lead and drive change, including influencing and motivating others toward a common goal.
Communicate effectively, tailoring messages for the audience, context, and mode of communication.
Listen actively to others and effectively interpret motivations/perceptions. Seek and integrate feedback from others to achieve better results.
Build positive relationships and coalitions. Maintain visibility and work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders at all levels (i.e. district staff, students, families, communities, advocacy groups, etc.).
Collaborate with public agencies, multiple departments, schools, or organizations to achieve convergence in strategy and practice.
Navigate political structures, relationships, and dynamics to improve results and amplify access for all students.
Team Leadership and Management
Lead a creative, innovative, and high-functioning team; delegate and leverage the team effectively to drive for impactful results and achieve ambitious goals.
Assess team and individual skills and identify development needs; provide feedback and support to improve practice, build capacity, and maximize talent.
Promote professional learning and utilize effective adult learning techniques.
Lead teams to collaborate with other departments, teams, and stakeholders.
Knowledge and Expertise in Public Health and Pediatric Medicine
Possess superior clinical credibility with a strong knowledge of urban public health and school health issues.
Consult and develop preventative health programs and identify resources for students and families in order to prevent illnesses and promote healthy behaviors.
Interpret and implement federal, state, and local regulations and compliance requirements related to the pandemic, preventative health services, and infectious diseases.
Racial Equity Lens
Deep knowledge of research, principles, and practices around diversity, inclusion, and racial equity.
Ability to meaningfully engage a wide variety of diverse stakeholders in challenging dialogue and critical self-reflection around racial identity, implicit bias, systemic racism, and structural inequities.
Passion and urgency for addressing racial inequities and improving the lives of students and families in Chicago.
In order to be successful and achieve the above responsibilities, the Chief Health Officer will possess the following qualifications:
MD or DO degree from an accredited allopathic or osteopathic school of medicine required.
Current full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the State of Illinois required.
Board certified or board eligible in Pediatrics or Family Medicine is preferred.
Additional education in public health or related fields strongly preferred (e.g. MPH, MPP, MBA).
Minimum of ten (10) years of dynamic and effective results-oriented senior leadership experience, preferably in a large urban school district;
Minimum of five (5) years clinical experience post residency;
Previous experience building and leading high-performing teams to achieve ambitious goals with strong outcomes;
Proven record of building and leading large-scale complex programs, projects and change management initiatives; and
Experience with multi-year strategic planning and budgeting preferred.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Superior clinical credibility with a strong knowledge of urban public health and school health issues.
Ability to articulate a vision, set high standards, and effectively inspire and guide team members to success.
Ability to coach directors and managers toward excellence, and build capacity of content area teams.
Ability to build collaborative relationships with a variety of constituent groups, including internal and external partners, to ensure the entire system operates in the most effective manner possible to support schools and principals.
Demonstrated ability to execute large scale initiatives, while simultaneously managing continuity, change, and transition.
Exceptional writing, verbal and interpersonal skills, including public speaking.
Knowledge of operations, budget and finance, management and organizational development.
Successful history of creating partnerships with public agencies.
Knowledge of Illinois medical information release procedures and laws.
Knowledge of HIPAA and FERPA rules, regulations, and compliance.
Knowledge of OSHA regulations for bloodborne pathogens.
Proficiency with electronic medical records and systems.
Experience with grant writing and reporting.
Proficiency with the use of computers and software including, but not limited to, Google platforms, Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
Conditions of Employment
As a condition of employment with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), employees are required to:
Establish or Maintain Chicago Residency - Employees are required to live within the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago within six months of their CPS hire date and maintain residency throughout their employment with the district.
Be Fully Vaccinated or Submit to Weekly COVID-19 Testing - Employees are required to be fully vaccinated within 30 days of their hire date. Full vaccination is defined as at least two weeks after your second shot of a two-shot vaccination course, or at least two weeks after a one-shot vaccination course. Unvaccinated staff must submit to weekly testing.
Alma is dedicated to fostering the people, practices, and culture that enable staff to do their best, teams to do great work, and organizations to accomplish outstanding results.
We partner closely with our clients to understand their unique context, and the conditions that affect their ability to ensure the success of their staff. Then we work in collaboration with our clients to chart a path to solving their most pressing human capital needs, building the capacity in-house to continue to strengthen their work over time.