Moving Ahead In 2020

Grace Hou, the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services, has dedicated much of her professional career to systems change improvement through public policy development and implementation and social services provision. As the governor-appointed Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services, Ms. Hou will discuss the current Illinois’ administration plans in the human services arena. She will outline her vision and priorities for DHS, with special emphasis on policies and innovation in the area of mental health services. In particular, she will explain the Integrated Health Home (IHH) program, a new fully-integrated form of care coordination for all members of the Illinois Medicaid population.

 Grace Hou’s Bio

Grace Hou is the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). She previously served as the president of Woods Fund Chicago, a grant-making foundation that funds organizations that draw on the power of communities to fight the brutality of poverty and structural racism. From 2003 to 2012, she served as the Assistant Secretary at the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) where she was responsible for the oversight of the agency’s six program areas. During that time, she was a key leader in the creation and implementation of the state’s nationally acclaimed Immigrant Integration New American’s Executive Order. Hou previously served as executive director of Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA) and has been a vocal advocate for immigrant rights. She received her Master of Public Administration from the University of Illinois Springfield and her Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.