Gita is an award-winning population health professional and native of Chicago, IL. She designs and executes strategies to strengthen public and private health systems and address leading causes of morbidity, mortality and disease. An expert in place-based programming and community engagement, Gita is a senior advisor to organizations in the development of multisector efforts to improve health and wellbeing, promote equity and resilience, and advance policy. She also serves on several volunteer boards and committees and is a workgroup member of Healthy Illinois 2021, helping to shape her home state’s health improvement initiative.
Gita has held leadership roles for several organizations focused on health and healthcare. She currently works as a Senior Advisor to several organizations, including the American Hospital Association’s Health Research and Education Trust, Healthcare Ready, the Wayne County Department of Health, and Equity Matters Baltimore. In her previous role as Senior Director for the National Collaborative for Health Equity in Washington, DC., Gita managed its flagship national Community of Practice, formed to advance health equity through the development of strong multisectoral networks that share data, leverage resources, advance policy, and disseminate best practices. Gita was the Vice President of the DuPage Health Coalition, a competitive alliance of healthcare systems and physician providers who delivered free or low cost comprehensive medical services to at-risk populations. She was the Founding Director of the Blue Island Community Health Coalition, a public/private partnership in a medically underserved region outside Chicago. Since 2013, Gita has worked with the American Heart Association’s Midwest Affiliate on health equity initiatives involving Latino populations. She enjoys running a health advisory practice with a diverse client base that includes large national associations, physicians, hospitals, universities, municipalities, non-government and community-based organizations.
Gita serves on national, state and local advisory groups. In 2014, Gita was appointed to the CDC/ATSDR’s National Brownfields & Reuse Opportunity Working Network (BROWN), helping communities incorporate health considerations in land reuse decisions. She is a member of the international Placemaking Leadership Council at Project For Public Spaces, the central hub for the global placemaking movement. In 2015, Gita served on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Help Initiative, a consortium of leaders striving to promote an atmosphere of dignity and compassion toward those in need by providing access to food, health services, shelter and employment. She is a frequent speaker at national conferences and known for her dedication to improving health and wellbeing for the overlooked and often neglected.
Gita has been recognized on several occasions for her service and leadership. In 2017, Gita was inducted into Marquis Who’s Who in America and in 2016 she was inducted into the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health. Also, in 2016, she was a recipient of the Community Leadership Award by the US President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and received the Circle of Service Award from the American Heart Association. In 2015, Gita and members of BROWN received the CDC’s Civil Service award for Excellence in Frontline Public Health Service. A former member of the University of Illinois Alumni Association’s Board of Directors for the School of Public Health, Gita is a proud recipient of the 2015 UIAA Loyalty Award given to alumni who have shown excellence in leadership and service to their alma mater. In 2011, Gita received the Excellence in Health Equity Award at the Minority Health in the Midwest conference.
Gita holds a JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law with a Certificate in Health Law and a Masters in Healthcare Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. In 2012, Gita completed the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health, a 12 month competitive applied leadership development program offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administered by the Public Health Institute. During the training, she led a team that addressed adult and childhood obesity concerns in a predominately Latino community.
In her free time, Gita enjoys walking programs, visiting art museums, listening to Cuban jazz and shopping at consignment stores.