Mary Lou Kearns, RN, MPH, a 1981 graduate of the School of Public Health, has joined Democratic gubernatorial candidate Glenn Poshard to run as lieutenant governor in the upcoming state elections.

The only female Democrat ever to hold a countywide office in Kane County, Kearns has served as county coroner since 1976 and in 1996 was elected to an unprecedented sixth term of office. During her tenure, she has spearheaded prevention initiatives including the Anti-Gang Impact Program and a statewide drinking-and-driving prevention program, both widely hailed as model innovations by educators and the media throughout Illinois.

If elected, Kearns plans to enhance the lieutenant governorís office as a resource on health matters. She notes that Medicaid cost-containment and managed care/quality of care issues, now major concerns for state government, will be important areas of focus. Kearns intends to become a leader in developing policy and creating a consensus among the varied groups and interests with a stake in implementing health care reforms. As a nurse and public health practitioner, Kearns says that advocating for the interests of Illinois health care consumers and taxpayers will be her primary objective as lieutenant governor.

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