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Dr. Sameer Vorha appointed director of IDPH

A South Asian man in a suit.
SIU School of Medicine
Dr. Sameer Vorha

Governor JB Pritzker announced expanded access to reproductive health services in the state and officially introduced Dr. Sameer Vorha as the new director of the Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday.

Pritzker pledged to continue to support and expand reproductive healthcare in Illinois, while many surrounding states are restricting access to abortion.

"In Illinois we trust women to make their own decisions about their bodies, and since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, our reproductive health providers have been working overtime to ensure that every patient has access to the reproductive care they're entitled to," he said.

Pritzker announced the expansion of the state's family planning program, the elimination of billing hurdles for those covered by Medicare and Medicaid, and a 20 percent increase to Medicaid reimbursement rates for abortion.

He also introduced Dr. Sameer Vorha, who previously led the Department of Population Science at SIU's School of Medicine, as the new director of IDPH.

Vorha spoke on a number of public health issues facing the state, including gun violence, monkeypox, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He also made a commitment to address health disparities in the state along with other public health officials.

Steph Whiteside is a Digital Media News Specialist with WSIU radio in Carbondale, Ill. She previously worked as a general reporter at AJ+ and Current TV.
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