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Pritzker names Public Health, Veterans’ Affairs directors

January 31, 2019

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker has tabbed a Cook County pediatrician and an Army combat veteran to lead the state’s public health and veterans’ affairs departments.

The Democrat on Thursday named Dr. Ngozi Ezike (en-GOH’-zee ih-ZEE’-kee) as director of public health. She is an internist and pediatrician with Cook County Health for 15 years. She is currently medical director for the Juvenile Detention Center — the nation’s largest.

Army Lt. Col. Jaime Martinez heads up Veterans’ Affairs after serving as executive director of Joining Forces. It’s a statewide nonprofit that delivers services to military veterans.

Martinez is a 26-year veteran who served tours of duty as a paratrooper in Panama, the Gulf War, and Iraq and Afghanistan and was a policy adviser to the Defense secretary.

Both appointments require Senate confirmation.

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