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updated: 3/29/2013 11:00 AM

New Lake County Health Department Executive Director Named

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Lake County Health Department

The Lake County Board of Health and Lake County Community Health Center Governing Council on Thursday approved hiring a new executive director for the health department who brings not only a master's degree in business administration, but also a wealth of experience in public health, including managing community health centers, developing financially sustainable programs and creating accountability standards.

Antonio "Tony" Beltran will begin his duty as executive director on May 6, 2013, replacing Irene T. Pierce, who retired in March after serving as executive director for five years.

Beltran was promoted in 2011 to First Deputy Commissioner at the Chicago Department of Public Health after being hired there in 2010 as the Deputy Commissioner of Clinical Health. He supervised six deputy commissioners and four medical directors in a department of 800 staff and an annual budget of approximately $170 million. At the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center, he will oversee a budget of approximately $84 million, four service areas and 937 full- and part-time employees.

"Antonio is the ideal person to take on the role of our new Executive Director," said Lake County Board of Health President Michael Waxman. "He has demonstrated strong skills in strategic leadership and fiscal management. He is dedicated to public health and is a collaborator. The Board of Health is looking forward to working with him to accomplish our goals to improve the health of Lake County residents and communities."

During the time he served at the Chicago Department of Public Health, Beltran achieved much. Last year, he led the implementation of a plan to transition Chicago Department of Public Health centers to private federally qualified health centers, saving more than $10 million annually. He was a key participant in the development and implementation of Healthy Chicago, the City's first comprehensive strategic plan for health.

Before working for the city, he was Chief Operating Officer for the Heartland International Health Center on Chicago's north side; Practice Director for Access Community Health Network in Chicago and suburban Cook County; Business Director of Patient Services for the Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago; and Director of Finance at the University of Illinois at Chicago-Family Medicine.

Beltran earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and his master's degree in business administration is from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.

"I am excited to be joining an organization with a long history of providing excellent services to the community," said Beltran. "The Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center is locally and nationally regarded as a top public health department. I will work hard in collaboration with the Lake County Board of Health, the Lake County Community Health Center Governing Council and staff to maintain that tradition."

Established by referendum in 1958, the Lake County Health Department is a state-certified public health department responsible for the prevention of disease and disability, the promotion of health and the maintenance of a healthful environment. The Health Department's Community Health Center offers a broad spectrum of personal and community services directed at individuals and families who are unable to access the private medical sector.