First Optometrist Named to State Health Board

Dr. Valarie ConradDr. Valarie Conrad, the Illinois College of Optometry’s vice president of compliance and community-based services, has been appointed to the Illinois State Board of Health by Gov. Pat Quinn. She is the first optometrist to be named to the advisory group.

The board’s responsibilities include advising the department director on public health policy, emergencies, and control of health hazards; reviewing department rules and program proposals; and recommending solutions to public health issues.

“It’s important for doctors of optometry all over the state to be represented in this very broad-based health board,” says Dr. Conrad. “The board is instrumental in developing rules concerning the legislation of health matters and in the implementation of health laws. I look forward to serving the state of Illinois.”

Dr. Conrad, who practiced optometry for 21 years, has worked at ICO since 1988 and has served as a vice president since 2003. Her department ensures that ICO’s programs fulfill regulatory and ethical expectations and manages outside legal counsel and auditors. Originally from Clarksburg, WV, she now lives in La Grange, Ill. Her work with the 20-member board, which includes a registered nurse, veterinarian, chiropractor, dentist and medical doctors, officially began in March. Her term will run until February 15, 2016.