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SUHI Staff

The SUHI team is made up of a group of dynamic, passionate, and motivated individuals. We are Community Health Workers, Research Assistants, Epidemiologists, and SUHI Support Staff. Below you can find links to staff Bios for all current SUHI staff. If you have any questions, please email us at suhi@sinai.org.
 

CHRISTOPHER AHMED, BS

Research Assistant II

Chris joined SUHI in December 2016 to help build a RedCap data management system for collecting, storing, and reporting data for Sinai’s HIV and Hepatitis C programs. This system will compile previous data reporting methods into one central reporting system reflecting the full spectrum of patient care in one succinct database.

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KIM ARTIS, AA

Community Health Worker II

Kim was brought into the SUHI fold in March 2012 as a Community Health Educator for the extensive Helping Children Breathe and Thrive Program. She currently works on Helping Chicago's Westside Adults Breathe and Thrive - A Healthy Homes Approach to Improving Respiratory Health, an asthma intervention that started in November of 2013. Kim studied at Wright College where she received her AA Degree. 

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JEANETTE AVILA, BA

Research Assistant II

Beginning her tenure in August of 2006, Jeanette started her SUHI journey as a Research Assistant for the Institute's unique suite of asthma projects. Ms. Avila is responsible for collecting, entering and monitoring all asthma project data, in the role of a Emergency Department Coordinator. She also has completed a comprehensive training course in medical interpretation, certifying her as a Spanish medical interpreter. Her research and advocacy interests center around urban environments and their affect on Spanish-speaking communities and health outcomes for children and families.

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MELINDA BANKS, BA

Community Health Worker II

Melinda Banks became a Community Health Educator with the SUHI family in April 2015, equipped with a passion for helping the diabetic community in North and South Lawndale.  Ms. Banks grew up and currently resides in the Austin community, west of North Lawndale. Melinda has extensive experience - more than 10 years - working as an administrative support professional.  Prior to joining SUHI, Melinda was a Bilingual Call Center Representative and provided quality customer service to individuals requiring door-to-door transportation.

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MAUREEN BENJAMINS, PHD

Senior Research Director

Dr. Benjamins joined SUHI in 2005 to evaluate data from the Jewish Community Health Survey. Based on the findings from that survey, she developed and implemented a five-year, multi-component obesity prevention program for the Jewish school system in Chicago. She co-authored a book, Urban Health: Combating Disparities with Local Data, with Steve Whitman and Ami Shah that describes this initiative and others. Urban Health was published by Oxford University Press in 2010. Following this, Dr. Benjamins received a 2-year grant from the American Cancer society to better understand the impact of discrimination on cancer screening behavior in underserved communities  

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GABRIELA BUSTOS

Community Health Worker I

Gabriela Bustos joined SUHI in April 2016 as a Bilingual Community Health Educator I for the Helping Her Live Program.  In providing breast health awareness, she will navigate women on the west and southwest sides of Chicago through the mammogram process. 

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JAMIE CAMPBELL, MPH

Program Manager

Jamie became a member of SUHI in March 2010, serving as a member of SUHI's home-based asthma program, the Chicago Westside Partnership for Children’s Asthma Initiative, a CDC-funded translational research grant intended to combat the medical, environmental, and social causes of asthma. Ms. Campbell currently works on the Sinai Improving Community Health Survey project, a 3-year Chicago Community Trust funded grant that began in October 2013. Prior to coming to SUHI, Ms. Campbell worked as a Graduate Research Assistant for the AIDS International Research and Training Program (AITRP) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

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GUADALUPE CRUZ

Community Health Worker II

Guadalupe joined SUHI as a Community Health Educator in March 2014 to provide asthma education and assistance to individuals and families in the Lawndale communities and throughout the Chicago area. Before coming to SUHI Guadalupe worked as a Spanish interpreter for the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) Early Intervention program, where she helped families in the Chicago area utilize a variety of therapeutic interventions.

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VERONICA FITZPATRICK, DRPH

Senior Evaluator

Dr. Fitzpatrick joined SUHI in November of 2015 as the lead evaluator for Sinai Community Institute’s (SCI) social services programs in addition to providing evaluation support for several community health programs funded by the Chicago Community Trust.  Many of the programs Veronica evaluates focus on increasing access to local health services and eliminating health disparities in Chicago communities.  Prior to SUHI, Veronica worked in a similar capacity evaluating adolescent health programs in New York State. 

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SHEENA FREEMAN, BS

Data Manager

Sheena serves as a Data Manager providing extensive data management for the Asthma CarePartners program and the Asian Health Coalition diabetes project. Ms. Freeman joined the Sinai Urban Health Institute as a Research Assistant in March 2002 to work on the NIOS (NICU Infant Outcomes Study) Project, where she was responsible for data collection. She has gained experience with various projects by building and managing databases, designing forms and collecting data, as well as abstracting data from patient medical records.

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DONNA HAMPTON-SMITH, AAS

Community Health Worker I

Donna Hampton-Smith joined SUHI in April 2016 as a Community Health Educator for the Helping Her Live Program.  In providing breast health awareness, she will navigate women on the west and southwest sides of Chicago through the mammogram process.

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ADLAIDE HOLLOWAY

Community Health Worker II

Adlaide Holloway joined SUHI on December 21, 2015 as a Community Health Educator for both Asthma CarePartners and Helping Chicago’s Westside Adults Breathe and Thrive. She will conduct home visits and provide participants with education on proper asthma management and how to have an “asthma friendly” home.
 

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JANA HIRSCHTICK, MPH

Epidemiologist III

Jana joined SUHI in 2010 to develop  and lead a comprehensive evaluation capacity building program for community-based organizations implementing health interventions with funding from The Chicago Community Trust. She is currently the director of the Sinai Community Health Survey, one of the largest community-driven health surveys ever conducted in Chicago. 

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SHARON HOMAN, PHD

President

Dr. Sharon Homan, President of the Sinai Urban Health Institute, is a biostatistician and maternal child mental health epidemiologist. Previously, Sharon served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Associate Dean for Research School of Public Health University of North Texas School of Public Health in Fort Worth, Texas.

Her prior experience includes public health leadership and faculty positions with Rockhurst University (Academic Vice President), the Kansas Health Institute (Vice President for Public Health) and Saint Louis University (Professor of Biostatistics).

Sharon received her doctoral and master’s degrees from the University of Iowa, studying biostatistics, preventive medicine and environmental health. She completed additional studies in psychiatric epidemiology, theology and social ethics.

Dr. Homan brings a wealth of experience and publications in public health research and evaluation, with particular dedication to maternal and child health, violence prevention and community health improvement initiatives. Her research has been funded by NIH, HRSA, CDC, DOJ, state contracts and foundations.Sharon enjoys community volunteering, outdoor life, photography, gardening, biking, and tennis, is married to Ken Homan, PhD, and has four adult children.

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BIJOU HUNT, MA

Epidemiologist III

Bijou joined SUHI in the fall of 2008 and currently oversees SUHI's work with vital records data, which includes analyzing both birth and death files for Chicago, the US, and other large cities across the nation.

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ADELINA HUO, BA

Research Assistant II

Adelina joined SUHI in October 2013 to assist in providing evaluation support and to engage in capacity building with several community health programs funded by the Chicago Community Trust. These programs focus on educating community members on nutrition and creating opportunities for them to participate in healthy behaviors in an effort by the Trust to prevent and reduce obesity.

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STACY IGNOFFO, MSW

Program Manager

Stacy joined SUHI in January 2017 and serves as a Program Manager. In this capacity, she oversees and provides direction to the implementation of some of SUHI’s community health worker interventions. Stacy has extensive experience developing and implementing public health initiatives, building collaborative projects, engaging diverse stakeholders, and applying for and managing grants and contracts. She has designed, developed and implemented numerous programs designed to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities. These include community-based public health initiatives, community-engaged research projects, and initiatives that address policy and systems changes.

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JENNY JARA, BS

Research Assistant II

Jenny joined the Sinai Urban Health Institute team in March 2016 as a Research Assistant-II to oversee patient recruitment of the diabetes CHAMP study.  Prior to joining SUHI, Jenny worked as a bilingual community health worker at The Greater Humboldt Park Community Diabetes Empowerment Center, providing basic heart screenings, counseling and health education to the community with the aim of reducing the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in Humboldt Park. 

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STEPHANIE JORDAN

Community Health Worker I

Stephanie joined SUHI in May 2016 as a Community Health Educator I for the Helping Her Live Program. In providing breast health awareness, she will navigate women on the west and southwest sides of Chicago through the mammogram process.

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JULIE KUHN, MSW

Program Manager

Julie joined SUHI in August 2011 as a Supervisor of Program Initiatives for the Asthma CarePartners program, a collaboration with Family Health Network, a Medicaid funded managed care organization.  The program’s goal is to improve the health of selected children and adults with asthma, utilizing Community Health Workers to educate patients about the disease, triggers and management, in their home and/or over the phone. 

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RHONDA LAY, BA

Community Health Worker II

Rhonda is currently employed as a Community Health Educator for SUHI & Sinai Children’s Hospital. Prior to coming to Sinai, Rhonda worked as an asthma educator teaching adults who were newly diagnosed with COPD or any other related respiratory diseases and on oxygen therapy.Rhonda is a registered respiratory care practitioner who has experience in routine oxygen therapy, acute and chronic respiratory care and asthma care, in addition to special training in neonatal, BPD.

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HELEN MARGELLOS-ANAST, MPH

Epidemiologist IV; Director of Community Health Initiatives

As a Senior Epidemiologist and disparities researcher with SUHI, Helen has been involved with the design, implementation and evaluation of seven community-based interventions to improve asthma outcomes since she joined SUHI in January 2001. Helen served as the program director for a CDC-funded translational research effort implementing the CHW model that focused on Westside Chicago communities and as the principal investigator for the expansion of that effort via HUD funding to Chicago public housing residents. Currently, Helen is the site principal investigator for a multi-site asthma collaborative that was recently awarded a $4 million, three-year contract by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). She is also the principal investigator of a second HUD-funded research study testing the feasibility and effectiveness of the CHW model with adults who have asthma. Helen was elected to the Board of Directors of the Chicago Asthma Consortium in March 2006 and served as the Chair from 2009-2010.

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DAVID MATA, MS

Supervisor of Program Initiatives

David Mata joined May 2016 and currently serves as the Supervisor of Program Initiatives for the Helping Chicago's Westside Adults Breathe and Thrive (HCWABT) project. Funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HCWABT is the first asthma initiative at the Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI) to focus solely on adults. It is also among the first in the nation to assess the impact of a Community Health Worker (CHW) home-based intervention model to improve asthma outcomes among adults living in Chicago’s Westside.

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KRISTIN MONNARD, MPH

Program Manager

Kristin Monnard joined the Sinai Urban Health Institute in November 2015 as a program associate specializing in community health needs assessment, stakeholder engagement, and qualitative data collection. Currently, she leads community dissemination and engagement efforts for the Sinai Community Health Survey findings.

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     GABRIELA MORONEY

Director of Finance and Administration

Gabriela Moroney joined SUHI in July 2016 as Director of Finance and Administration.  She is an accomplished health care administrator with senior leadership experience and subject matter expertise in grants management, operational planning, health policy, and regulatory oversight.  

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FATIMA PADRON, BA

Supervisor of Program Initiatives

Fatima joined SUHI in January 2015 and serves as a Supervisor of Asthma Education for the Coordinated Healthcare Interventions for Childhood Gaps in Outcomes Trial or CHICAGO Trial, a project funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The CHICAGO Trial is a collaboration between six different emergency departments in the city of Chicago and is a three-arm pragmatic trial to evaluate interventions to improve pediatric asthma management in inner city Chicago children.  One of the arms is the Community Health Worker (CHW) home-visit model in which SUHI is an expert.

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CHARLOTTE PICARD, MS

Epidemiologist I

 

Charlotte joined SUHI in March 2017 as an Epidemiologist. In her new role she will work on Sinai’s breast health programs, including Helping Her Live. She will be evaluating program performance and updating data collection methods and software in addition to managing data from Sinai’s Clinical Navigation program. 

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VERONICA ROBLES, AA   

Community Health Worker II

Veronica joined SUHI in May 2014 as a Community Health Educator on the Helping Her Live Program. Veronica has worked in healthcare for over 20 years. 

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PAM ROESCH, MPH

Epidemiologist II

 

Pam joined SUHI in March 2017 to assist with the dissemination of findings from the Sinai Community Health Survey 2.0. In addition, she helps manage SUHI’s relationship with Chicago Medical School, directing SUHI’s summer and year-long internship programs for CMS students. Pam is also helping support the NIH-funded Improving Sickle Cell Care in Adolescents and Adults in Chicago (ISAAC) project, which aims to address the unique health needs of individuals living with sickle cell disease in the city.

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NAZIA SAIYED, MPH

Epidemiologist I

Nazia joined the Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI) in November 2015 to provide evaluation technical assistance to local community-based organizations implementing obesity prevention programs. She is now an epidemiologist for the Sinai Asthma Program, which provides home-based interventions to children and adults with poorly-controlled asthma living in the city of Chicago. 

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GLORIA SEALS

Supervisor of Asthma Education

Gloria has been with Sinai Children’s Hospital and SUHI in various positions since November 2000. Currently Ms. Seals serves as the Supervisor of Asthma Education for the Asthma CarePartners (ACP) program, providing oversight, training and support to Community Health Educators (CHEs) working in the program. Ms. Seals has worked in the health care field for the past 25 years. She is a respected and known member of the greater Chicago asthma and health communities, having served as an advisor to several programs. 

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MAUREEN SHIELDS, BS

Research Assistant I

Maureen joined SUHI in March 2015 as a research assistant for the Helping Chicago’s Westside Adults Breathe and Thrive (HCWABT) project. This HUD-funded project utilizes the Community Health Worker (CHW) model to help improve asthma control and quality of life among adults with poorly controlled asthma living on Chicago’s Westside. She will also assist with collecting and entering data for the Asthma CarePartners program, as well as the Coordinated Healthcare Interventions for Childhood Gaps in Outcomes Trial (CHICAGO Trial).

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ALNIERYS VENEGAS, MNA

Supervisor of Program Initiatives

Alnierys Venegas is the Supervisor of Program Initiatives for the Helping Her Live (HHL) program, a community-based patient navigation program that utilizes Community Health Workers to navigate minority women on the west and southwest sides of Chicago through the entire mammography process in hopes of decreasing breast cancer disparities. 

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MADELINE WOODBERRY

Community Health Worker II

Madeline joined SUHI in March 2014 as a Community Health Educator for SUHI’s HUD-funded Adult Asthma Program, entitled Helping Chicago's Westside Adults Breathe and Thrive (HCWABT). She has over 30 years of experience working in child care, customer service and construction inspection. Madeline was born in Moorehead, MS, and as a young child her family moved to Chicago North Lawndale area, where she currently resides. She attended elementary and high school in North Lawndale, and Kenney King College for Early Childhood Development.

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STEVEN WHITMAN, PHD

Founder; Former Director

Dr. Whitman was hired to create SUHI in March 2000. He led all evaluations of health interventions and ongoing programs as well as community-based epidemiology. The SUHI staff has grown to 34 employees and work has extended to include a major first-of-its-kind health survey of the City of Chicago and evaluations of the following Sinai health interventions: HIV counseling and testing; pediatric asthma intervention; quality improvement for mammography services; obesity prevention; and diabetes prevention. In the 15 years since SUHI was initiated, Dr. Whitman and his staff have brought in over $32 million in grant funding. He has authored over 100 publications and made over 400 presentations on public health related topics.

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