Dr. Kathleen Burke is currently the Director of Substance Use Initiatives with Will County Executive Larry Walsh’s office. In this new role, Burke manages the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose-Related Deaths grant and is a member of the Illinois Opioid Crisis Response Advisory Council. She is responsible for expanding community education across the county regarding the prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery in substance use disorders.
Burke has a long history in health education and addressing the heroin crisis. From 2005 until 2013, she was the CEO of the Robert Crown Center for Health Education where she led the development of the first primary prevention response to the heroin and opiate epidemic among adolescents. Burke spent 10 years at the Museum of Science and Industry where she assisted with the development the country’s first permanent exhibit addressing the AIDS crisis. Most recently, Burke was president of her own company, Strategic Prevention, in which she offered addiction recovery coaching, harm reduction training to community first responders and consulting services to new Drug Free Coalitions. She serves as a national and local advisor to numerous advocacy and community groups where she is a frequent speaker. Burke holds degrees in Health Care Administration from Penn State (Bachelor of Science), Rush University (Master of Science) and a PhD in Policy Studies in Urban Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago.