A doctor and friend of the Obamas plans to leave his executive position at University of Chicago Medicine, according to an announcement this morning.
Dr. Eric Whitaker will “seek a new venture in the public health field,” U of C Medicine said. He is departing March 31 as executive vice president of strategic affiliations and associate dean of community-based research, according to a statement.
Dr. Whitaker, 47, will be on the board of the Urban Health Initiative, U of C Medicine's effort to improve health and health care access on the South Side.
“Eric has been a driving force behind the Urban Health Initiative,” Dr. Kenneth S. Polonsky, executive vice president for medical affairs at the University of Chicago and dean of the Biological Sciences Division and Pritzker School of Medicine, said in a memo to employees.
“His contributions will continue to be felt for years to come,” Dr. Polonsky's memo said.
"(D)etails of the next chapter of his career are being finalized," the U of C Medicine statement said. A national search will be conducted to replace Dr. Whitaker.
“I am a South Sider by birth and by choice,” Dr. Whitaker said in the statement. “I maintained my connection to the community by earning my medical degree from the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine, then by working at Cook County Hospital. I intend to keep faith with my commitment to the community and to the challenge of providing innovative solutions to public health issues.”