Evanston Health & Human Services Director Ike Ogbo today announced the appointment of two key leaders in the city department.

Audrey Thompson, regional ombudsman and program manager for the City’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, has been appointed community services manager. And Interim Public Health Manager Greg Olsen has been appointed public health manager.

In her new role, Thompson will oversee the City’s senior services and youth and young adult programs and staff, including the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program  and Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. These programs, along with family advocate services, were moved to the Health & Human Services Department from the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department this year following a comprehensive review of the city’s social services programs.

Thompson has 28 years of experience in social services, and began her career with the City as regional ombudsman and program manager in 2010.

She led the creation of the Age-Friendly Business Initiative and the Evanston Benefit Card program, which provides seniors with one-step access to City programs, such as the Subsidized Transportation Program, Wheel Tax Discount, and Recreation Program Fee Assistance, as well as discounts at local businesses.

Before starting work for the city, Thompson spent 18 years with the MS Children’s Home Services in Jackson, Mississippi, rising to the position of central region director for Community-Based Services. 

“Audrey has a strong track record of providing innovative and impactful services to the Evanston community and beyond,” said Ogbo. “Her steadfast commitment to our city’s residents along with her extensive experience connecting both seniors and youth with services and opportunities will be a tremendous asset to the City. I look forward to working with Audrey in her new position.”

Thompson is a licensed Master Social Worker and serves as an adjunct professor in the Social Work Department of Northeastern Illinois University.

She earned a master’s degree in social work from Jackson State University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Tougaloo College.

She is chair of the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse board, and serves as a member of the advisory boards for North Shore Senior Center and WiseUp: Aging with Attitude. Thompson is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and was the recipient of the 2017 Evanston/North Shore NAACP Community Service Award.

As public health manager, Olsen will be responsible for managing the department’s public and environmental health programs and staff, including restaurant inspections, food safety, lead poisoning prevention, vector and rodent control, beach water safety, tobacco cessation, emergency response, and health and wellness initiatives.

Olsen began joined the city staff in 2014 as a licensed environmental health practitioner, and was promoted to senior environmental health practitioner in 2015. Since April 2019, he has served as senior management analyst and interim public health manager, filling the position of Ike Ogbo, who was appointed Health and Human Services director.

“Protecting the health and well-being of our community is of the utmost importance, and Greg has done an outstanding job as the City’s interim public health manager,” said Ogbo. “With more than a decade of experience in the public and environmental health field, Greg is an excellent choice to lead the City’s efforts in the years to come.”

Prior to his service with the City of Evanston, Olsen held public and environmental health positions at Cook, Kane and Lake Counties. He holds a master’s degree in public health and a graduate certificate in epidemiology from the University of Illinois in Springfield and a bachelor’s degree in public health from Northern Illinois University. 

Both Olsen and Thompson will begin their new positions next Monday, Jan. 20.

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