Cristal Thomas Gary is a health policy expert and strategist who has dedicated her career to improving health care policy and transforming health care delivery systems to achieve better, and more equitable, health outcomes. She has an extensive record of leadership within public and private sector organizations and has served as a trusted advisor to governors, cabinet secretaries, and health system leaders.
Cristal has over 20 years’ experience leading complex organizations and initiatives. She is a former Deputy Governor of the State of Illinois, where she led the state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act. She has also served as Medicaid Director for the state of Ohio and Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
She is currently Chief Advocacy Officer for AMITA Health, a health system with 19 hospitals and over 200 care sites across the Chicagoland area. In this role, she is responsible for AMITA Health’s government affairs, public policy and health equity strategies.
Cristal holds a B.S. in molecular genetics from the Ohio State University and a MPP from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.