Dr. Polyak is an Associate Professor of Public Health at Benedictine University. She teaches courses in health systems, health policy and management. Her primary research interest is in public health services and systems. She has published studies on the performance and funding of public health agencies, and public health legislation. She has an interest in international health and led student trips to Bolivia and Tanzania. Prior to her teaching position, she was Director of Public Health for the Village of Oak Park, Illinois, and Director of Programs and Planning for the Will County Health Department, Illinois. Dr. Polyak also has experience in psychiatric social work and physician clinic administration. She is a past president of the Illinois Public Health Association; a fellow of the Illinois Public Health Institute; and was a site reviewer for the national Public Health Accreditation Board. She received her doctorate in Public Health Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Master of Science in Community Mental Health from Northern Illinois University, and Master of Health Services Administration from the University of St. Francis, Illinois.