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, 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
Ms. Ealey currently provides administrative support to Dr. Monica Peek, Dr. Marshall Chin and their project staff in the Section of General Internal Medicine. Ms. Ealey received her Bachelor’s degree in 2010 from the University of Chicago and joined the University as a staff member after graduation.
Kathryn E. Gunter, MPH, MSW
Project Manager, PCMH Evaluation & South Side Diabetes projects
Ms. Gunter 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. Ms. Gunter holds a dual master’s degree in public health and social work from the University of Michigan.
Project Assistant IV, Section of General Internal Medicine
Ms. Heffner currently provides exceptional administrative support to several faculty and their project staff in the Section of General Internal Medicine. Ms. Heffner received her Bachelor’s degree in 2004 and joined the University of Chicago in 2011.
Fanny Lopez, MPP
Project Manager, Your Voice! Your Health! (YVYH) Project
Ms. Lopez co-managers the YVYH project, a 3-year study of how to engage and empower LGBTQ people of color within healthcare settings. As a researcher and community organizer, she has worked closely with minority populations, such as undocumented immigrants, to help improve their access to health care. Ms. Lopez strongly believes in reducing healthcare disparities through community-based research and community empowerment. Prior to joining the Department of Medicine, she worked as a Policy Fellow at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, where she managed two research projects. Ms. Lopez holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago 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
Ms. O’Neal 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. Ms. O’Neal 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.
Althera M. Steenes
Project Manager, Dr. Deborah Burnet’s projects
Althera is well known for her outreach efforts in presenting nutrition, obesity & 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 Masters in Behavior Health. Her personal tag line is “Living Healthy and Activity-Focused”.
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 from Emory University with a concentration in mental health. 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.
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