40 under 40 class of 2019
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Managing Deputy Commissioner
Chicago Department of Public Health
"I want to be a voice for racial equity and social justice, and use my power to support the power within communities – so that all Chicago residents have access to opportunities, resources, and environments that maximize their health and well-being."
BOLD SOLUTION: Megan oversaw the evolution of Chicago’s Health in All Policies approach. A 2016 resolution called upon city agencies to consider the health implications of their policy and planning decisions. Since that time, she has cultivated relationships with other departments to help ensure that city initiatives and investments promote the health of residents and neighborhoods – by integrating health data into planning processes, strengthening environmental protections, facilitating walkability assessments, and expanding access to housing for vulnerable populations.
As Managing Deputy Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, Megan Cunningham brings partners together to drive policy change, access data and resources, and improve environments to help all Chicagoans lead healthy lives. Through Healthy Chicago 2.0, the citywide plan to promote health equity, Megan works across sectors to further affordable and supportive housing, food access, environmental justice, and community spaces that are safe and active. Within CDPH, she also supports workforce development and transformation efforts to become a more anti-racist organization. Megan previously worked as the Senior Director of Operations/Chief Operating Officer for HHC ACO, Inc., an accountable care organization serving patients of New York City’s public hospital system, as well as staff attorney at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers. She started her career teaching sixth-grade Language Arts in Newark, N.J.
Megan is a graduate of the NYU School of Law and the University of Illinois.