JILL CUNNINGHAM BLACK Oct. 25, 1944 – Nov. 2, 2018

State government lost one of its unsung heroes when Jill Black died on Nov. 2. For over 17 years when I ran the Illinois Lottery and the Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), Jill was a trusted senior aide and confidant.  

She fortunately never hesitated to offer me her opinion even when she knew it differed from mine. From 1989 until 2003, she was the Chief Public Affairs Officer for CHIP. This meant she was often the face and voice of this critically important state program that provided health insurance coverage for Illinois residents who were chronically or seriously ill. She talked with legislators, media and thousands of Illinois residents who sought information about CHIP or were already enrolled.  

She was not only knowledgeable, but also kind and compassionate, and had a way of comforting and reassuring those who needed our help. Individuals who talked with her quickly sensed she would do anything she could to help them. She was a wonderful role model for younger staff who absolutely adored her.  

Well done, Jill, good and faithful servant for the People of Illinois. We all miss you, but will remember you always.

Submitted by Richard W. “Rick” Carlson

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