Dr. Connie Mennella, Chairperson of the Department of Correctional Health at Cermak Health Services, was named Cook County Health’s 2017 Doctor of the Year.
Dr. Mennella was selected from more than 80 doctors, who were all nominated by CCH staff for their exceptional care. Cermak Health Services provides health services to patients incarcerated at the Cook County Jail, the largest single site correctional facility in the U.S., and the residents of the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.
“I humbly accept this award on behalf of all the devoted Cermak staff,” Dr. Mennella said. “I am fortunate to be part of a compassionate and dedicated health system and team, who are mission driven and eager to impact the health and well-being of our patients and thus the community where our patients return.”
Driven by her desire to help the underserved, Dr. Mennella, a native Chicagoan and Northwestern University Medical School graduate, came to work for CCH’ Cermak Health Services in 1991 after completing a residency in Internal Medicine. Dr. Mennella started at Cermak as a Primary Care physician and subsequently became the head of Cermak’s Department of Correctional Health in 2014.
In her leadership role, Dr. Mennella has been committed to addressing the health conditions seen disproportionately in the incarcerated such as mental illness, substance use disorders and poorly controlled chronic illnesses. She collaborates and strategizes with many community partners and health systems in advocating for the justice involved population with the goal of improving health and reducing recidivism.