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Illinois ‘Top Doc’ Puts People First
Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck is the top public health official for Illinois, the 5th largest state in the nation. The San Diego native comes to his role as Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) after leading the public health and mental health departments in Ulster County, NY.
Known affectionately as Dr. LaMar, he is well-liked by his peers and the community alike. He is committed to the health and well-being of all people.
“We must think of patients as being our customers. Through the partnerships we continue to build and cultivate throughout the state, IDPH has positioned itself to better meet the needs of its customers. Services are deployed where and when the need is greatest,” he says.
As a husband and father of three girls, Dr. Hasbrouck understands the impact of gun violence and homicide as a major health issue. In fact, homicide is a leading cause of death among black males (ages 15-34). So, what can be done?
Dr. Hasbrouck says, “It’s an ongoing educational piece. No single intervention will stop every violent act—violent behavior is complex, involves multiple factors, and generally requires a comprehensive approach to address. We must all work together.”
Dr. Hasbrouck was actively engaged in two of the largest global health initiatives in history: polio eradication with the World Health Organization and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, where he served in a diplomatic assignment as the CDC Director in Guyana, South America.
“I’ve seen from my travels that more impoverished communities do not have the same level of gun violence. We need common sense gun laws, as well as ways to address the trauma of individuals exposed to violence. The approach to this issue needs to be comprehensive.”