Col Damon T. Arnold, M.D., M.P.H., CMT (Ret.) was appointed as the 16th Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health on October 1st, 2007, where he operated an agency of 1123 employees with an annual budget of over 600 million dollars. The agency was responsible for the public health concerns of the approximately 12.5 million residents within, and millions of annual travelers to, the State of Illinois. During his four years in this position, he brought millions of dollars to the State of Illinois and was very active on the local, state, and federal levels.
He obtained his Undergraduate Degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and both his M.D. and M.P.H. Degrees from the University of Illinois in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Arnold completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at Cook County Hospital, followed by a Residency in Occupational Medicine.
He served for 26 years in the Army National Guard, where he served as the Commander of the Joint Medical Command and State Surgeon General for 12 years. He completed 17 over-seas missions to include locations in Africa, Central America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. He was awarded the highly coveted Military Legion of Merit Medal from President Barack Obama for his achievements. Dr. Arnold also was awarded three Army Commendation Medals for his war-time deployments to Iraq and Kuwait where he served as the Officer in Charge of battlefield medical operations. During these deployments he functioned as a mechanized infantry Combat Medic as well as a qualified Flight Surgeon on over 120 field and flight operations. Among numerous medals, he also received two National Defense Service Medals, as well as, awards upon the battle field. He has completed formal training in Holistic Medicine for therapeutic massage therapy and acupuncture.
Dr. Arnold serves as a member on several health care focus groups, including the Harvard University L.A.M.P.S. Committee, Institute of Medicine in Washington, D.C., Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and several federally-based organizations. He has published many articles and contributed to books over the years. He is currently serving as the Director of the Public Health Graduate program at Chicago State University. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois, College of Medicine, and the School of Public Health. He lives with his wife Sharon Johnson-Arnold in Chicago, IL and has several hobbies including writing and art.