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Mary Driscoll, RN, BSN, MPH

Faculty, School of Public Health

University of Illinois Chicago


Ms. Driscoll has worked in healthcare for over 40 years, learning early that to effectively provide healthcare requires a justice lens.  Mary’s first involvement in healthcare was at a Chicago free clinic in the early 70’s and then at a Cook County community clinic in the mid 80’s.  These early experiences helped shape her realization that it is not cliché to say that everything, from the way we live, work, and play, to how our society is organized, is part of the public’s health.  


Next, she went on to work in the Cook County Health System in various capacities, including Administrator at the Uptown Health Center, Perinatal System Coordinator, Nursing Director in the HIV Primary Care Center and finally the Chief Nursing Officer and Director of Patient Care Services for the entire County Ambulatory System of Care. While at the Cook County Health System she developed various programs to help enhance healthcare and address disparities. In 2007 she was recruited to the Illinois Department of Public Health to build a Division of Patient Safety and Quality, which would use public health and hospital data to promote improvements in healthcare services and public health, provide a framework in which to look at population health using social determinants, and strengthen the ties between public health and healthcare services.  


She was a founder of the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition (now EverThrive) and remains a board member. She is also a board member of Chicago Women Take Action, an anti-racist, social justice group that works to help build equity in metro Chicago.   Since 2016 she has been faculty at the University of Illinois, School of Public Health. She teaches Critical Thinking in Public Health to undergraduates who have chosen Public Health as a major.   

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