National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)

Allison Arwady, MD, MPH
Allison Arwady, MD, MPH

Allison Arwady, MD, MPH is the Director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control where she leads CDC’s innovative research and science-based programs to prevent injuries and violence and to reduce their consequences.

Dr. Arwady most recently served four years as the Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, leading the health department of the nation’s third-largest city, including through the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that, she spent four years as Chicago’s Chief Medical Officer, overseeing the department’s behavioral health and disease control work.

Under her leadership, Chicago’s behavioral health team more than doubled in size and established dozens of innovative programs and partnerships in substance use and violence prevention, as well as mental health promotion and linkage to care. For the first time, Chicago embedded mental health professionals into 911 response; coordinated and funded a citywide network of no-barrier mental health clinical providers; and launched new behavioral health supports in homeless shelters, libraries, schools, food pantries, clinics, and more, while working to decrease stigma and increase access to mental health supports. Chicago is now funding public health approaches to community safety in its neighborhoods most impacted by violence; operating a citywide narcotics arrest diversion program; offering same-day connections to medication for opioid use disorder; dispensing naloxone from its libraries; and investing in evidence-based programming for community violence intervention.

Dr. Arwady has received local and national recognition for her strong leadership and communication skills. Earlier in her career, as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer based at the Illinois Department of Public Health, she responded to disease outbreaks across the state as well as CDC responses in Saudi Arabia (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and Liberia (Ebola). She has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University, and completed medical school and clinical training at Yale University. Dr. Arwady is a board-certified internal medicine physician and pediatrician and continues to see primary care patients regularly.