Joshua Devine, Pharm.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in DMU’s master of public health (M.P.H.) program, epitomizes the life-changing impact a person with public health expertise can have. A U.S. Public Health Service captain and a regional health administrator in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) before he joined the DMU faculty, Dr. Devine led efforts of the department to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities across the nation.
In his prior roles, he and his colleagues worked to address a huge array of public health threats ranging from racial and ethnic disparities, HIV, maternal morbidity and mortality, and climate change. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he collaborated with states and communities to mobilize testing and vaccinations and address obstacles to health equity.
For his significant leadership and contributions, Dr. Devine will be honored today in Washington, DC, by the Service to the Citizen™: Champions of Change Program for “Lifetime Achievement for Delivering Service to the Citizens.” The program, created in 2018, honors individuals in federal, state or local government or industry who have “gone above and beyond” in demonstrating dedication and commitment to delivering services that impact the lives of citizens.
“There are heroes across the government that work tirelessly to provide the best services possible under sometimes difficult rules, politics and circumstances. They deserve to be recognized,” states the program’s website.
In its recognition of his Lifetime Achievement honor, the program’s website noted, “This Service to the Citizen Award opportunity appears to have been created especially for Josh, one who demonstrates excellence in delivering services that impact the publics’ lives and rebuild trust in government. You will find no finer demonstration of these traits and values.”
In remarks he prepared to be delivered virtually at today’s awards event, Dr. Devine praised the “tremendous public health servants and teams” he’s worked with as a reason he received the Lifetime Achievement award. He expressed gratitude for the work he’s been able to do.
“Whether it was working on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, helping bring health coverage to millions of Americans, or more recently helping lead our federal response to COVID-19, focused on protecting and treating Americans during a global pandemic, it’s been an incredible honor and privilege to serve,” he said. “Working with individuals and families to help navigate our programs and connect them with the support and care they need…has been a powerful reminder of why we hold our positions in government and how important it is to maintain a service-oriented mindset in our work.”
Dr. Devine had been the regional health administrator since 2019 for HHS Region 5, which is comprised of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin and 34 federally recognized tribes. He provided leadership and support from HHS with a focus on public health activities across the region.
Earlier, as the technical director for the Chicago Division of Financial Management and Fee for Service Operations in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Dr. Devine focused on regional and national implementation of Medicare and Innovation Center programs designed to provide patient-centered health care that promotes quality and improves outcomes. An officer in the uniformed services who’s managed health care programs for the past 22 years, he also worked for the Defense Health Agency, overseeing economic evaluation and outcomes research for pharmaceuticals covered under the Defense Department’s $7 billion TRICARE pharmacy program.
“Throughout my career, my goal has been helping the American people lead healthier lives,” he says. “I’ve felt privileged to be part of that.”
Dr. Devine says the award reflects his passion for public health.
“I want to share my passion and my experiences in public health with DMU students,” he says. “There is so much that can be done and is being done in public health service, and I hope to inspire students to get excited about the opportunities.”