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Pritzker names Public Health, Veterans’ Affairs directors

Democrat J.B. Pritzker celebrates at an election night rally at the Marriott Marquis Chicago after beating incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in the Illinois gubernatorial election, Tuesday night, Nov. 6, 2018.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker | Sun-Times file photo

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has tabbed a Cook County pediatrician and an Army combat veteran to lead the state’s public health and veterans’ affairs departments.

The Democrat on Thursday named Dr. Ngozi Ezike as director of public health. She is an internist and pediatrician with Cook County Health for 15 years. She is currently medical director for the Juvenile Detention Center — the nation’s largest.

Army Lt. Col. Jaime Martinez heads up Veterans’ Affairs after serving as executive director of Joining Forces. It’s a statewide nonprofit that delivers services to military veterans.

Martinez is a 26-year veteran who served tours of duty as a paratrooper in Panama, the Gulf War, and Iraq and Afghanistan and was a policy adviser to the Defense secretary.

Both appointments require Senate confirmation.