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SUHI Staff: Steve Whitman


Founder, Former Director

Professional Summary
Steve Whitman (1943-2014) spent the last 36 years doing epidemiological health research in the Chicago area. While at the Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research at Northwestern University from 1978 - 1991, he served as Senior Epidemiologist on a $2 million grant to effect multi-disciplinary research about epilepsy in the urban environment. Also at Northwestern University, he received a 5-year subcontract from the National Cancer Institute to supervise the epidemiological aspects of an effort to reduce breast and cervical cancer in poor Black women who live in Chicago.

In 1991, Dr. Whitman was recruited to the Chicago Department of Public Health to organize and direct the Program on Epidemiology. While there, he focused his efforts on public health issues such as infant mortality, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, lead poisoning, cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, and immunizations. He also managed the Vital Records Division of the Health Department and was Assistant Registrar for the City of Chicago. Under his leadership, the Epidemiology Program published over 25 formal reports, made more than 300 presentations in the Chicago area, and published many articles in peer -reviewed journals. The Program on Epidemiology grew from zero members to 63 members.

In March 2000, Dr. Whitman was hired to create the Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI). He led all evaluations of health interventions and ongoing programs as well as community-based epidemiology. The SUHI staff has grown to 34 employees and work has extended to include a major first-of-its-kind health survey of the City of Chicago and evaluations of the following Sinai health interventions: HIV counseling and testing; pediatric asthma intervention; quality improvement for mammography services; obesity prevention; and diabetes prevention. In the 14 years since SUHI was initiated, Dr. Whitman and his staff have brought in over $32 million in grant funding. He has authored over 100 publications and made over 400 presentations on public health related topics.

Ph.D., Biostatistics, Yale University, 1969
M.Phil., Biostatistics, Yale University, 1968
M.S., Biometrics, University of Pittsburgh, 1964

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