Dr. Patrick Lenihan – one of the longest-serving deputy health commissioners in the history of the Chicago Department of Health – received the Maurice “Mo” Mullet Lifetime of Service Award at the 2015 Annual Conference of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). The award honors current or former public health officials for noteworthy service to NACCHO that has reflected the commitment, vigor, and leadership as exemplified by the distinguished career of Dr. Maurice “Mo” Mullet. During his career, Mullet worked as a family physician and public health official, served as president of NACCHO, and was recognized as a national leader in disease prevention and health promotion.
Dr. Lenihan was recognized for his career in local public health spanning more than 25 years. He served as NACCHO president in 2002-2003 and managed NACCHO’s response to bioterrorism. In addition, he advanced local public health practice by directing the first evaluation of Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships, a community-driven strategic planning process for improving community health, through the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Lenihan also directed the first regional designation for Project Public Health Ready, a criteria-based public health preparedness program that assesses local health department capacity and capability to plan for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies for the Northern Illinois Public Health Consortium. Dr. Lenihan also directed the production of three editions of the Big Cities Health Inventory, a compendium of health statistics published by NACCHO. He is currently faculty of the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he directs the Doctor of Public Health Leadership Program.
“I am doubly honored to receive this award, first to be recognized by my former colleagues in local public health through NACCHO. But also to be acknowledged for following in the footsteps of Dr. Mo Mullet,” Dr. Lenhian said when receiving his award. “Leadership is fundamentally about change but leadership is more than what we do as individuals to make change. Rather, it is the change that can be made through the shared leadership of others. This is what I learned from Mo and what I have tried to put into practice at CDPH, through NACCHO and what we try to teach in the DrPH program at UIC.”