WomenIn Health and Human ServicesS Bios

Theresa Eagleson

Theresa EaglesonTheresa Eagleson has served as Director of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services since January 2019. Immediately prior to her appointment by Governor Pritzker, she was the Executive Director of the Office of Medicaid Innovation at the University of Illinois for four years.

Director Eagleson had previously been the longest serving Medicaid Director in the state's history, from 2007-2014. She has served in policy and administrative positions in state government since 1990, with a concentration in human services and healthcare.

Her career included Governor's budget and policy teams under two previous administrations and fifteen years at the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Director Eagleson is a founding Board member of the National Association of Medicaid Directors and was elected by her peers to serve two terms. She was also a member of the Edgar Fellows Class of 2014. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics, as well as a Master's in Business Administration and has a strong foundation in both budget and policy areas.

Lizzy Whitehorn

Lizzy WhitehornLizzy Whitehorn is a committed public servant who has worked at the intersection of politics, policy and law her entire career. She currently serves as First Assistant Deputy Governor in Governor JB Pritzker’s administration, managing the healthcare and human services agencies, boards and commissions and associated initiatives. Before joining the Governor’s Office, Lizzy served as a senior policy advisor on Governor Pritzker’s campaign. She previously worked in Governor Quinn’s administration as an Associate General Counsel and Deputy Director for Personnel in the Department of Central Management Services.

In addition to her service in state government, Lizzy has worked on several campaigns, including Dan Hynes for Governor and Sol Flores for Congress; and served as an Associate Attorney at Jenner & Block LLP and a Staff Law Clerk for the Federal Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. From 2001 to 2004, Lizzy was Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff at the Chicago Public Schools and a policy coordinator working on No Child Left Behind.

Lizzy serves on the Board of Directors of Christopher House. She holds a JD from Northwestern Law School and a BA from Georgetown, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude. Lizzy lives in Lakeview with her husband and two children.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike

Dr. Ngozi EzikeDr. Ngozi Ezike is the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the first Black woman appointed to lead the 143-year old state agency. Dr. Ezike is a board-certified internist and pediatrician who previously worked for the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH), where she served for more than 15 years. She also was medical director at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. Prior to joining CCDPH, Dr. Ezike served as Austin Health Center medical director, where she actively engaged with the community on a variety of health initiatives. She also has delivered inpatient care at Stroger Hospital and primary and preventive care in community and school-based clinics. Dr. Ezike is a nationally recognized expert in the area of healthcare within the juvenile detention and justice systems. A graduate of Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, she is a Certified Correctional Health Professional and Diplomate of both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics. She is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Rush Medical College. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2020 Lester H. McKeever Individual Service Award from the Chicago Urban League, and the Health Innovator Award from Erie Family Health Center. An advocate for maintaining work-life balance, particularly in challenging times, Dr. Ezike is an avid tennis player and reader, and is fluent in Spanish and French.

Grace B. Hou

Shiloah TubbsGrace B. Hou has served on Governor JB Pritzker’s Cabinet as the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) since March 2019. The mission of IDHS is strengthening Illinois by building up lives and communities which is achieved through an integrated network of mental health, substance use prevention and recovery, rehabilitation, developmental disabilities and family and community services. IDHS operates seven psychiatric hospitals, seven developmental centers, one treatment and detention facility for sexually violent persons 76 local offices and four schools.

Grace also previously served as the Assistant Secretary at IDHS from 2003 to 2012, and during that time she was an architect of Illinois’ Immigrant Integration New American’s Gubernatorial Executive Order which was nationally recognized.

Grace has dedicated her career to advancing social justice by working in the non-profit and public sectors systems for change improvement through public policy development and implementation, social services provision, community organizing and engagement, and philanthropy. Grace most recently served as the President of Woods Fund Chicago from February 2012 to March 2019. Woods Fund Chicago is a bold grantmaking foundation that finds —and funds —projects that draw on the power of communities to fight the brutality of poverty and structural racism.

She had served as the Executive Director of the Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA) and as the Development Manager at the Chinese Mutual Aid Association where she became an advocate for immigrants’ rights. Grace is a child of immigrants from Taiwan, studied at the University of Illinois - Champaign and Springfield campuses, and has two teenage sons.

She is the board chair of the Healthy Communities Foundation and a board member of The Chicago Network; she is a 2001 Leadership Greater Chicago fellow, a member of The Commercial Club, and a German Marshall fellow. In her role as Secretary of IDHS, she chairs the Adult and Youth Redeploy Boards, chairs the Interagency Working Group on Poverty and Economic Security, co-chairs the Interagency Housing Working Group, and is a commissioner of the Early Childhood Funding Commission.

Shiloah Tubbs

Shiloah TubbsShiloah Tubbs is Assistant Deputy Director for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services’ (CMS) Bureau of Benefits. CMS is the operational engine working behind the scenes to enable the State’s more than 80 agencies, boards, and commissions to deliver efficient, reliable services to all Illinois citizens.

In her current role as Assistant Deputy Director, Ms. Tubbs administers and oversees the day-to-day operations and activities for the Bureau and supervises six division managers. The Bureau of Benefits administers the State Employees Group Insurance Program (SEGIP) as well as three other statutorily-required group insurance programs covering more than 440,000 lives, the Risk Management Program, Auto Liability Program and Deferred Compensation Program.

Ms. Tubbs has been employed by the CMS Bureau of Benefits for over four years. She moved into her current role after serving for several years as contract administrator for healthcare and benefits administration vendors and Interim Group Insurance Division Manager.

Prior to joining CMS, Ms. Tubbs managed day-to-day operations of University Risk Management for the Southern Illinois University system, consisting of three campuses throughout central and southern Illinois. University Risk Management administers a combination of self-insured programs and commercial primary and excess policies, including property, general and professional liability (including medical professional), cyber liability and intercollegiate athletic accident. In previous positions for private employers, Ms. Tubbs was responsible for auditing insurance premiums and operations.

Ms. Tubbs graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She is a Springfield native and her office is in the Illinois State Police Building in Springfield.