Javette C. Orgain, MD, MPH, FAAFP


Javette C. Orgain, MD, MPH, FAAFP, a family physician in Chicago, Illinois, is speaker of the American Academy of Family Physicians Congress of Delegates, the organization’s governing body. As speaker, Orgain serves as an officer on the AAFP Board of Directors.

The AAFP represents 124,900 family physicians and medical students nationwide. As an AAFP board member, Orgain advocates on behalf of family physicians and patients nationwide to inspire positive change in the U.S. health care system.

Orgain is a clinical associate professor of family medicine in the University of Illinois – Chicago Department of Family Medicine and team physician for Vitas Healthcare, providing home hospice care to terminally ill patients. Orgain also serves as medical director/consultant for the Village of Park Forest Health Department. She served as assistant dean of the UIC College of Medicine Urban Health Program until 2011 and medical director at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System (formerly University of Illinois – Chicago) Mile Square Health Center until 2013.

An AAFP member since 1983, Orgain served on the Commission on Governmental Advocacy from 2007 to 2011. She has also served as an Illinois delegate and alternate delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates.

At the state level, Orgain served on the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors from 2002 to 2010, including terms as president and board chair. She also has served on the Illinois AFP’s Government Relations Committee and chaired the Urban Health Committee. In 2003, Orgain received the Illinois AFP President’s Award for her work on the campaign for a Healthy, Smoke-Free Chicago, which called for smoke-free laws and a cigarette tax increase in Cook County. She has served as chair of the Illinois State Board of Health since 2003, and is a governor-appointed member of the State Health Improvement Plan Implementation Coordination Council. In September 2014, she was elected chair of the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Alumni Council.

In 2000, Orgain served as the 100th president of the National Medical Association, the oldest and largest organization representing African-American physicians and health professionals in the United States. Prior to her presidency, she served two terms as vice president. She was vice-chair of the NMA Past Presidents Council from 2007 to 2012, has served as chair of the NMA House of Delegates Council on International Affairs, and was an NMA Delegate to the United Nations. Additionally, Orgain chaired the African-American Health Care Council in Chicago from 2000 to 2011.

In 2003, Orgain was an honoree of the National Library Association/National Library of Medicine and the American Medical Women’s Association as a “Local Legend.” In 2009, she was honored as a HistoryMaker by the University of Illinois – Chicago Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Blacks. She received the Helen O. Dickens, MD, alumni award for distinguished service and leadership in 2014 from the University of Illinois – Chicago College of Medicine Urban Health Program as well as the Practitioner of the Year award from the National Medical Association. 

She has traveled extensively to examine other health systems, including visits to China; Cuba; South America; east, west and southern Africa; the Caribbean; Laos; and Myanmar. Along with two colleagues in 2009, she wrote and received funding from Rotary International for an HIV community health education and nutritional supplementation project in Mthatha, South Africa.

Orgain received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois – Chicago, and her medical degree from the University of Illinois – Chicago College of Medicine. She received her master’s degree in public health from the University of Illinois – Chicago School of Public Health.

She has the AAFP Degree of Fellow, an earned degree awarded to family physicians for distinguished service and continuing medical education.