The CCDTR is supported by a diverse and enthusiastic staff. These team members come from a variety of disciplines, including public health, biostatistics, social work, community health, anthropology, psychology, nutrition, communications, quality improvement, management consulting, and administration. While the prior experiences of staff members vary widely, the team shares a commitment to improving the lives of people with diabetes as well as the practice and policy that impact their care.
Project Assistant IV, Section of General Internal Medicine
Morgan currently provides administrative support to Dr. Monica Peek, Dr. Marshall Chin, and their project staff in the Section of General Internal Medicine. Morgan received her Bachelor’s degree in 2010 from the University of Chicago and joined the University as a staff member after graduation.
Julie Grutzmacher, MSW, MPH
Project Manager, Leadership for Urban Primary Care Education and Transformation (LUCENT)
Julie currently manages the Leadership for Primary Care Education and Transformation (LUCENT) program, an HRSA funded primary care training program for multidisciplinary residents and faculty. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from UIC Jane Addams College of Social Work and a Master’s degree in Public Health from Walden University. She worked several years as a social worker in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Rush Hospital and then as a Care Coordinator for high risk pregnant patients on the south side of Chicago as part of a research study to reduce preterm birth and low birth weight prevalence at ACCESS Community Health Network. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work with a minor in English Writing from Winona State University.
Kathryn E. Gunter, MPH, MSW
Project Manager, PCMH Evaluation & South Side Diabetes projects
Katie currently co-manages a five-year evaluation of a patient-centered medical home implementation initiative in safety net clinics. She also supports quality improvement programs within the South Side Diabetes project. Prior to joining the Department of Medicine, she worked with the Center on Men’s Health Disparities at the University of Michigan, and with a program of community-based participatory research studying the role of religion in American Muslim health behaviors, healthcare seeking patterns, and healthcare challenges in Southeastern Michigan. She has experience in implementing community-based interventions with a focus on chronic disease management in culturally tailored and patient empowerment interventions. Katie holds a dual master’s degree in public health and social work from the University of Michigan.
Project Administrator, Chicago Center for Diabetes Translation Research and the South Side Diabetes Project
Jenna is the Project Assistant for Your Voice! Your Health!, a 3-year study of how to engage and empower LGBTQ people of color within healthcare settings. Prior to working at the University of Chicago, Jenna was a TaLK Scholar where she was selected by South Korea’s Department of Education to develop English-language programs in a low-income school district. Jenna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Temple University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adler University.
Fanny Y. Lopez, MPP
Project Manager, Your Voice! Your Health! (YVYH) & PREP-RRT Projects
Fanny is the lead research project manager for Dr. Marshall Chin’s “Your Voice! Your Health!” study which aims to improve shared decision making between health providers and LGBTQ people of color. She also manages Dr. Milda Saunders’ PREP-RRT (Patient Referral and Education Program for Renal Replacement Therapy) study to improve access to treatment options for African American patients with advanced chronic kidney disease. As a researcher and community organizer, Ms. Lopez strongly believes in reducing healthcare disparities through community-based research and community empowerment. Previously, she worked as a Policy Fellow at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights managing multiple research policy projects. Ms. Lopez holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago Harris School and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Women & Gender Studies from Dominican University.
Aviva Nathan, MPH
Project Manager, Dr. Elbert Huang’s Geriatric Diabetes projects
Aviva earned her Master of Public Health degree in healthy policy and management from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Her current research focuses on the study of diabetes in the geriatric population. Previously, Aviva spent several years managing longitudinal research studies and working on clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at the University of Michigan. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Yolanda O’Neal, MPA
Class Coordinator, South Side Diabetes Project
Yolanda is a Health Educator with several years of experience in health promotion and disease prevention in underserved communities. Her background includes coordinating and facilitating health workshops for social service programs and federally qualified health centers to minimize health disparities. Yolanda holds a Master of Public Administration degree specializing in health policy from Walden University and a Bachelor’s degree in Community Health from Western Michigan University.
Erin Staab, MPH
Project Manager, Dr. Arshiya Baig and Dr. Neda Laiteerapong
Erin received her Master of Public Health in behavioral sciences and health education with a concentration in mental health from Emory University. At CCDTR, she manages quality improvement, implementation, evaluation, survey, and community-based research projects focused on diabetes and behavioral health care. Previously, Erin worked as a program coordinator at a clinic serving homeless women and children in Atlanta and as the research administrator at the Family Institute at Northwestern University. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology from Northwestern University.
Althera M. Steenes
Project Manager, Dr. Deborah Burnet’s projects
Althera is well known for her outreach efforts in presenting nutrition, obesity, and diabetes prevention. As the program manager for the Power Up! Nutrition & Physical Activity Program, Althera is very passionate about educating a healthy lifestyle to families of adults, children, and seniors. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Chicago State University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Behavior Health. Her personal tag line is “Living Healthy and Activity-Focused”.
Research Assistant, Dr. Elbert Huang and Dr. Neda Laiteerapong
Parmida provides research support for projects led by Dr. Elbert Huang and Dr. Neda Laiteerapong. Previously, she worked several years on a project examining the effectiveness of a cross-age peer-mentoring program on promoting positive outcomes for at-risk youth in various low-income, high violence neighborhoods in Chicago. Parmida has a B.S. in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago.