Publish Date
Nelson Agbodo, DPA
Acting Chief, Division of Health Data and Policy, Illinois Department of Public Health
Doctor of Public Administration

Dissertation: "Maternal and child health: An assessment of the effects of prenatal care on birth outcomes in Illinois using the method of difference-in-differences"

Current hometown: Jerome, IL

Original hometown: Lomé, Togo (West Africa)

Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Lomé, Togo, bachelor’s in economics

Graduate Institution and Major: University of Lomé, Togo, master’s in economics

University of Illinois, Springfield, Master of Public Health

University of Illinois, Springfield, Graduate Certificate in Epidemiology

University of Illinois, Springfield, Doctor of Public Administration

Bio: Nelson Agbodo is a health statistician at the Illinois Department of Public (IDPH). He leads a variety of data collections; descriptive, analytic, and epidemiologic studies; and data disseminations.  He is the principal administrator of the IDPH’s online database called IQuery that disseminates health data to the Local Health Departments (LHDs) and other internal and external stakeholders. He provides technical assistance to the LHDs, health programs, government agencies, researchers, and other stakeholders in acquiring health data, conducting scientific research, and interpreting health data for local community needs assessments, state health plans, and other projects. He prepares and publishes mandatory reports and scientific studies on health issues, applying advanced statistical methods to analyze vital records, surveillance, and survey data. His  professional and academic achievements have focused on maternal and child health, premature death, compression of morbidity and mortality, successful aging, and life expectancy. His dissertation highlighted the effectiveness and necessity of prenatal care and the effects of Medicaid incrementalism policy in improving birth outcomes in Illinois.

Previously, Nelson served in the capacity of Health Systems Data Manager for the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board (HFSRB) from 2013 to 2017. He managed the annual surveys of the Illinois health facilities and services; conducted scientific research studies to assist the State’s Certificate of Needs (CON) program in policy development, change, and position statement; provided responses to FOIA requests; produced population projections and estimates, using census, vital records, and migration data; produced reports required by the State Health Planning Act, including bed need projections, health facility profiles, capital expenditure reports, and bed reports (geographic distribution, update, utilization, etc.).

Before coming to the state government, Nelson held a variety of professional positions in the private sector. He worked for Cargill Meat Solutions Beardstown, IL in the position of ergonomics coordinator from 2005 to 2013, where he managed the plant’s occupational health program and policies implementation. He specifically implemented an evidence-based ergonomic program for more than 2,200 employees to reduce occupational injuries and illnesses. He performed ergonomics and safety risk assessment and wrote job-task procedures for more than 550 jobs, built and maintained injury database and computed safety metrics, and trained employees on ergonomics and safety.

Nelson was the founder and technical manager of Gausspace – Statistics Consulting in Togo from 2000 to 2005, where he wrote grants and managed research budgets and resources; led research studies on population, health, and poverty issues, and disseminated research reports; led data collection, management, and analysis; was the principal investigator and led data collection and reporting on the project entitled “Building Trade Capacity—ECOGEE & ECOTrade, the situation in Togo”; led data collection and participated in data analysis in the research study entitled “Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Related to STD/HIV/AIDS and Elements of Policy” through a statistics consulting provided to  the Department of Teaching and Research in Population and Development (UEREP) at the University of Lomé.

Nelson was an assistant-researcher at the Demographic Research Institute (URD), University of Lomé – Togo from 2003 to 2005, where he led  a research project entitled “Population, Mobility and Development in a Disadvantaged Area: The Case of Savanna Region in Togo” with the collaboration of the URD’s research team from October 2004 to September 2005; led data collection and participated in data analysis in a research study on Adolescent Reproductive Health entitled “Youth Education on Reproductive Health and Prevention of STD/HIV/AIDS in Schools (EDUC-JEUNES/SRA)” funded by the Population Services International (PSI) of Togo in 2000.

Nelson also served as a statistician-analyst at the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO Lomé, Togo) from 2000 to 2003 where he was responsible for data collection from businesses established in Togo,  supervised data collectors, administrated the business data and reporting systems, and published macro-economic indicators.

Relevant Professional ExperiencePublic Service Administrator, Health Statistician and IPLAN/IQuery Data Manager, Illinois Department of Public Health, 2017-Present; Health Systems Data Manager, Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board (HFSRB), 2013-2017; Ergonomics Coordinator, Cargill Meat Solutions Beardstown, IL, 2007-2013; General Manager, Gausspace – Statistics Consulting, Lomé (Togo) 2003-2005; Associate Researcher – Project Lead, URD-Demographic Research Institute, University of Lomé (Togo), 2004-2005; Statistician-Analyst, BCEAO-Central Bank of West African States (Lomé, Togo), 2001-2003.

Research Interests: Public policy and management in maternal and child health, premature death, occupational health, compression of morbidity and mortality, long term care, successful aging.

Areas of Expertise: Statistical process management (quantitative and qualitative data collection and management, statistical programming, and data analysis); epidemiologic and public health study designs; advanced statistical analysis, using SAS, STATA, SPSS, EVIEWS, ETHNOGRAPH, or R; demographic analysis; remote sensing, mapping, and spatial statistical analysis using GIS, operations research; modeling; project management; policy development, implementation, and analysis; safety and ergonomics programs development and management; risk assessment, management, and communication; leadership and management; programming using JAVA Script, VB, VBA and Python languages; machine learning, and big data analysis.


Agbodo, N., & Nuss, J. (2017). Age at death and compression of mortality: Multi-method analysis of modality trends in Illinois, 1990-2010. Illinois Morbidity and Mortality Bulletin, 3(1), 7-24.

Shahidullah, M., & Agbodo, N. (2015). Life expectancies for Illinois, Chicago and Illinois counties for 1989-1991 and 2009-2011. Illinois Morbidity and Mortality Bulletin, 1(1), 23-33.

Shahidullah, M., & Agbodo, N. (2016). Estimates of Disability-free Life Expectancies for Illinois and Illinois Counties: 2009-2011. Illinois Morbidity and Mortality Bulletin, 2(1), 12-30.

Shahidullah, M., Agbodo, N., & Nahar, L. (2017). Temporal Trends in Life Expectancy and Mortality in Illinois, 1990-2015. Illinois Morbidity and Mortality Bulletin, 3(2), 7-21.

Certification, Honors, and Awards: Leadership certificate, The Gamaliel National Network (2007); Certified in General Industry Safety and Health (2011); MPH Student Marshal, University of Illinois at Springfield, Illinois (2012); and Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society Inductee (2017).

Professional Affiliations: Population Association of America (PAA); Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society (PAA); Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA); American Society for Public Administration (ASPA)- Central Illinois.

Volunteer Activities: Student Representative, Doctorate of Public Administration Program Committee University of Illinois, Springfield (2019); and African Community Leadership (since 2006);