Member Group: Research & Support Staff


Lauren DeMaat


ChicagoCHEC Role: Research Education Core Manager
Organization: Northeastern Illinois University

Lauren DeMaat, MPA, Research and Education Core Program Coordinator for the NEIU division of ChicagoCHEC. She became interested in public health while working for UIC Community Outreach Intervention Projects (COIP) as an undergraduate student. After completing her undergraduate education at UIC in 2009, she continued working for COIP in an administrative capacity. earned her Master of Public Administration degree with a focus on Non-Profit and Public Management. In 2022, she joined the NEIU Center of Health as an administrative assistant, and in 2023 she joined ChicagoCHEC as the REC program coordinator.


« Back to Team Page

Ana Hernandez


ChicagoCHEC Role: Research Education Core
Organization: University of Illinois Cancer Center
Title: Visiting Research Associate II

Ana is the Research Education Core Manager for the UIC division of ChicagoCHEC. She is a UIC alum with Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Spanish with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. She has years of experience working in Psychology and Clinical Trial research laboratories. In addition, she has experience as an educator, teaching college-level courses in Psychology and Research Education courses for high school students. As a former Senior Fellow of the ChicagoCHEC Fellows Program and a Chicagoland native, she is passionate about addressing healthcare disparities and access to education in under-resourced communities.


« Back to Team Page

Tracy Kwan


ChicagoCHEC Role: Community Health Educator (CHE)
Organization: Northwestern University
Title: Research Assistant

Tracy Kwan is the Research Project Coordinator for Chicago Health Equity Transformation and is currently involved with the Outreach Core at ChicagoCHEC. She received her BA (Hons) in English for Business and Professional Communication from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Before joining the team, she was actively involved in community organizing and public service in the underserved immigrant communities in Chicago. As a Community Health Educator, Tracy hopes to help increase access to quality healthcare among low-income and immigrant communities.


« Back to Team Page

Feda Taha


ChicagoCHEC Role: Research Education Core Manager
Organization: University of Illinois Cancer Center
Title: Visiting Research Associate II

Feda Taha is the UIC Research Education Core Manager for ChicagoCHEC. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with her B.A. in Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has worked as a community health worker with various populations, including patients experiencing kidney disease.

Feda is passionate about health promotion, demonstrated by her previous work with the Illinois Department of Public Health, where she co-developed a curriculum for youth regarding vaccine promotion strategies, historical medical mistrust, and racial inequities in healthcare.

Feda has been involved in community organizing for several years, including her current involvement to support a research-based intimate partner violence prevention program for Arabs in Chicago. Her long-term goal is to commit to research in the Southwest Asian and North African regions, primarily in regard to psychosocial health in communities affected by war, violence, and forced displacement.


« Back to Team Page

Cayla Iwaniuk


ChicagoCHEC Role: Planning and Evaluation Core Manager
Organization: Northwestern University
Title: Clinical Research Project Manager

Cayla Iwaniuk (she/her) joins the Chicago CHEC team as a planning and evaluation core manager. Cayla comes to Chicago CHEC with a background in quantitative analytic methods in social epidemiology. Prior to joining Chicago CHEC, she supported projects that investigated occupational lung disease in US coal miners as well as supported program initiatives to connect US coal miners to quality care to receive their federal black lung benefits. Cayla has received her MPH in Social Epidemiology and her BS in Health Sciences. Her research interests include health equity, environmental health, and women’s health initiatives.


« Back to Team Page

Guy Morris


ChicagoCHEC Role: Community Health Educator / Patient Navigator
Organization: University of Illinois Cancer Center
Title: Visiting Research Associate II

Originally from Chicago, Guy Morris returned home after graduating Magna Cum Laude from Syracuse University with a B.S. in Public Health.

He has several years of experience working with diverse communities including time as an AmeriCorps VISTA completing community health needs assessments as well as community organizing to empower marginalized residents to take charge of their own health.

With a passion for combining community development, empowerment, and healthcare, Guy hopes to bring innovative solutions wherever he goes. Including, most recently, graduate school to enhance and increase his knowledge and skills set of healthcare leadership and innovation with a Master of Healthcare Administration at UIC.


« Back to Team Page

Yesenia Uribe


ChicagoCHEC Role: Outreach Core
Organization: Northwestern University
Title: Community Health Educator

Yesenia Uribe (she/her) is a Community Health Educator for Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative (ChicagoCHEC). Yesenia graduated from Lake Forest College with a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience and a Chemistry minor. She is driven to address the current disparities that exist for marginalized populations and prevent health equity. She aims for a career as a scientist-practitioner and implementing community-based approaches in under-served communities.


« Back to Team Page

Joana Salievska


ChicagoCHEC Role: Outreach and Research Education Core
Organization: Northwestern University
Title: Research Assistant

Joana is a research assistant at the Northwestern University’s Center for Health Equity Transformation (CHET) and for ChicagoCHEC. She received her BA in anthropology from Middlebury College. She has worked at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in a preschool classroom and hopes to one day work as a pediatrician or an OB-GYN. Joana is excited to contribute to ChicagoCHEC’s various projects and to work with its many community partners. She is motivated by CHEC’s mission to diversify research and the healthcare workforce and eliminate the cancer health disparities across the city.


« Back to Team Page

Erin Chen


ChicagoCHEC Role: Research and Education Core
Organization: Northwestern University
Title: Research Assistant

Erin Chen is the research assistant for Chicago Health Equity Transformation and is currently involved with the Research and Education Core at ChicagoCHEC. He is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a BS in chemistry and history. He is passionate about working with community members in understanding and solving health disparities. Erin is also dedicated to increasing diversity in STEM through mentorship and community building. His goal is to earn his degree in Epidemiology and hope to one day, conduct his own research and advocacy in promoting health equity within underrepresented communities.


« Back to Team Page

Mohammed Elshareif


ChicagoCHEC Role: Community Health Educator
Organization: University of Illinois Cancer Center
Title: Community Health Educator, ChicagoCHEC

Mohammed Elshareif, MS, is the ChicagoCHEC Community Health Educator for the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the Visiting Research Associate II with the University of Illinois Cancer Center’s Community Engagement and Health Equity (CEHE) Office and has been working in the field of research and administration at UIC since 2018. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Health Administration at UIC and his research interests are health equity, healthcare quality, patient safety, and access for all.


« Back to Team Page

Jennifer Parsons


ChicagoCHEC Role: Site Director
Organization: University of Illinois Cancer Center
Title: Site Director, ChicagoCHEC

Prior to joining ChicagoCHEC as the UIC Site Director, Jenniferwas the Research Operations Director of the UIC Survey Research Laboratory, where shemanaged many federally funded research projects(including NIH, NIJ, HRSA and NSF). In particular, shedirected the survey cores of two P50 centers at UIC that were focused on health disparities among newly diagnosedbreast and colorectal cancerpatients in Chicago. Both of studiesincluded an extensive questionnaire development process that used cognitive interviewing techniques to understand the personal, cultural, and physical barriers to cancer diagnosis and treatment, and required tailoring recruitment strategies and appeals that were developed through meetings with community advisory boardsto ensure that the recruitment strategies were culturally sensitive. She also has extensive experience in questionnaire design, study design,and with all modes of data collection.


« Back to Team Page

Nihmotallahi Ayomipo Adebayo


ChicagoCHEC Role: Community Health Educator
Organization: Northwestern University
Title: Community Health Educator, ChicagoCHEC

Nihmotallahi Adebayo is a Research Assistant at the Center for Health Equity Transformation and a Community Health Educator with ChicagoCHEC. She primarily works on the National Library of Medicine projects and holds both a BA in Neuroscience with a minor in Global Health and an MS in Health Communication from Northwestern University. She previously worked in CPS as a Science Education Fellow through NU’s Science in Society and has an extensive background in research having worked as a research assistant in fields ranging from Global Health to Health Communication throughout her undergraduate and graduate career. She is dedicated to mentorship, health & educational equity, and increasing representation in STEM. Her ultimate career goal is to become a Primary Care Physician with a focus on community and global mental health.


« Back to Team Page

Melissa Martinez


ChicagoCHEC Role: Community Engagement Core Manager
Organization: University of Illinois Cancer Center
Title: Research Specialist

Melissa Martinez, BA, is the ChicagoCHEC Community Engagement Core Manager for the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a Research Specialist with the University of Illinois Cancer Center’s Community Engagement and Health Equity (CEHE) Office and has been working in the field of research at UIC since 2015. Her research interests are in behavioral, health equity, and community engagement.


« Back to Team Page

Oluwaseyi (Samuel) Adeleke


ChicagoCHEC Role: Research Education Core Manager
Organization: University of Illinois Cancer Center

Oluwaseyi (Samuel) Adeleke is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Oluwaseyi is a former ChicagoCHEC Fellow. He currently works on the Research Education core within the ChicagoCHEC grant.

 

 


« Back to Team Page

Alicia Kholamian


ChicagoCHEC Role: Community Health Educator
Organization: Northeastern Illinois University

Alicia Kholamian, B.S., CHES, is a Certified Health Education Specialist with a focus in Community Wellness and Health. Alicia has been working with underserved communities since 2008, collaborating with Native American communities in South Dakota and students in low-income areas in Peoria, IL before joining the CHE team. As a CHE, Alicia applies a holistic approach to promoting cancer health awareness, clinical trials recruitment, and cancer screening, focusing on the low-income communities surrounding NEIU.


« Back to Team Page

Ivanhoe Hall


ChicagoCHEC Role: Community Health Educator
Organization: University of Illinois Cancer Center

Ivanhoe Hall, B.A., has a Health Sciences background and is a patient navigator and clinical research coordinator with UIC. Prior to joining ChicagoCHEC in 2018, he served as a CHE with the Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition since 2014. Ivan has extensive experience –raising cancer awareness among men of color, supporting recruitment efforts of ChicagoCHEC’s outreach research projects, and implementing NCI NON Screen2Save. He is trained in smoking cessation and supports screening and navigation for prostate, breast, lung, and colorectal cancers.


« Back to Team Page

Edgardo Ramirez


ChicagoCHEC Role: Core Manager CEC
Organization: Northwestern University
Title: Research Project Coordinator

Core Manager ChicagoCHEC Community Engagement Core, NU

Edgardo is a Research Project Coordinator in the Simon Lab working with the ChicagoCHEC and other projects. He holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Iowa and has spent the last 6 years working in the cancer research and health disparities realm. His exposure has ranged from basic science to behavioral, community-based, and population-based research. He previously served as a Research Specialist at the University of Illinois Cancer Center as well as an RA on a randomized trial aimed at reducing tobacco use disparities among smokers who attend FQHCs in Chicago. He also completed a yearlong cancer research training fellowship at the National Cancer Institute. Ultimately, he plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology and has interests in stress, sociocultural processes, and mental health inequities among underrepresented communities experiencing chronic illness.


« Back to Team Page

Ifeanyi Beverly Chukwudozie


ChicagoCHEC Role: Site Director
Organization: University of Illinois Cancer Center
Title: Site Director, ChicagoCHEC

Ifeanyi “Beverly” Chukwudozie, MBA, MPH is the ChicagoCHEC Site Director for the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is currently a Senior Research Specialist with the University of Illinois Cancer Center’s Office of Community Engaged Research and Implementation Science (OCERIS). She has extensive experience in designing and leading clinical and translational research projects, STEM pipeline development programs and centers grants funded through multiple federal agencies. The majority of the research projects/programs she managed were focused on cancer, environment and health disparities. She also has experience working with multiple community-based and non-profit organizations that cater to a wide range of public health issues, both nationally and internationally. Her research interests are in spatial epidemiology, health disparities and chronic disease management. Beverly holds two graduate degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Masters in Public Health (2010) and Masters in Business Administration (2018).


« Back to Team Page

Rabih Dahdouh


ChicagoCHEC Role: Site Director
Organization: Northwestern University
Title: Clinical Research Associate

Rabih Dahdouh has an extensive background in behavioral health, technology and preventive medicine. Most recently he worked with over 40 clinical partners delivering mental health services with an integrated digital platform to underserved populations across the country. Previously he’s worked in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine as research project manager for the Keep Your Heart Healthy (KYHH) program. He also served as Director of Communications & Engagement with the All of Us Research Program at Northwestern with a mission to enroll 1M people to speed up health research breakthroughs to advance precision medicine. Rabih completed his BS in Child Learning & Development and MS in Psychological Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas. He will be working on multiple projects at the Simon Lab under the Center for Health Equity Transformation, including serving as Core Manager on the Planning and Evaluation Core for ChicagoCHEC.


« Back to Team Page

Maggie Nava


ChicagoCHEC Role: Community Health Educator
Organization: Northwestern University

Maggie has an extensive background in community health within the realms of domestic violence, AIDS/HIV, diabetes education, cardiovascular disease and most currently cancer. She obtained her Master’s in Public Health from DePaul University and before joining the Simon Lab she was a Project Coordinator at the Ruth M. Rothstein Core Center. She has dedicated the last 25 years of her career working on making a tiny difference in the health of individuals living in underserved and underrepresented communities. Maggie serves as the Site Director for ChicagoCHEC at Northwestern University.


« Back to Team Page