Rachel Caskey, MD, MAPP, has been appointed Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, effective Feb. 1, 2024, subject to Board of Trustees approval. Dr. Caskey serves as Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the College of Medicine and has served as Chief of the Division of Academic Internal Medicine and Geriatrics since 2016.
Dr. Caskey is a national leader in the field of maternal child health from both a clinical and research standpoint. She combines her clinical interest in women’s health with her public health interest in population health to develop a research platform focused on health care delivery through scalable behavior change interventions. She is a health services researcher focused on novel system-level changes to health care settings to improve outcomes for women and children; with an emphasis on improving access to care for postpartum women and reducing maternal morbidity and mortality. She is principal investigator on several federally funded grants. Dr. Caskey has received recognition for her work both locally and nationally, including the UIC Researcher and Scholar of the Year in 2019.
Dr. Caskey has an appointment at UIC’s School of Public Health in the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health, where she has taught core courses on health outcomes. She is a member of the University of Illinois Cancer Center, where she collaborates on efforts to reduce the incidence of HPV-related cancers. Dr. Caskey has considerable experience working with the State of Illinois, City of Chicago and the state Medicaid office. She is often asked to provide content expertise on state Medicaid healthcare policy and pharmacy coverage policy decisions. She partners with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on several large research and public health programing efforts. Finally, she has been invited to sit on several city- and state-wide task forces targeting health disparities and prevention activities.
Education and mentorship remain a core pillar of her career. She co-leads the NIH-funded Precision Lifestyle Medicine and Translation Research (PREMIER) T32 postdoctoral training program. She was a residency program director for over seven years and continues to mentor junior faculty and trainees of all levels. She has received several awards for her teaching and mentorship. In 2023, she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society.
Over the past 15 years, Dr. Caskey has held several important roles across the College and state, including serving as a member of the promotion and tenure committee for the Department of Medicine, Vice Chief for Research in the Division of Academic Internal Medicine, and Chair of the Drug Utilization Board for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. She is a board-certified internist and pediatrician and her clinical contributions to UIC have led to several clinical teaching awards and the Chancellor’s COVID-19 Response Award in 2020.
She received her MD from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Penn., and completed a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. After residency, Dr. Caskey completed a research fellowship at the University of Chicago, and a master’s in public policy (healthcare policy track) at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.
My thanks go out to George Kondos, MD, who has served as Interim Head of the Department of Medicine since September of 2022 and Jeff Jacobson, MD, who served as Acting Head of the department for a period beginning in April of last year.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Caskey on her new leadership role with the Department of Medicine and the College.