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Staff

Health & Medicine maintains a small staff with broad policy and organizational development expertise (including part-time consultants working on our long-term care projects) as well as a group of diverse, highly qualified graduate students and committed volunteers – allowing us to remain focused and on mission while successfully stewarding operational resources.

Staff

Margie Schaps , MPH, Executive Director

Margie has been Health & Medicine Policy Research Group’s Executive Director since 1993. Prior to taking the position, she was a Health & Medicine board member and served as the organization’s vice president. While maintaining overall responsibility of all of Health & Medicine’s activities, her specific policy expertise is in public health systems development and women’s health.

Prior to joining Health & Medicine, Margie, who holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of Illinois and a Bachelors Degree from Washington University in St. Louis, served for eight years as the Director of the Women’s Health Resource Center at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, the nation’s first hospital-based comprehensive primary care center for women. She is passionate about creating a just health system that will improve the health of the public; speaks nationally and locally on a variety of health systems issues, and has published articles on women’s health issues, heath care safety net issues, health system reform, and public health policies.

Margie teaches Public Health Policy and Advocacy at Northwestern University’s School of Public Health. She currently sits on several boards and committees including the Advisory Committee to the Northwestern University School of Public Health, the Policy committee of the Illinois Public Health Association, the Illinois Budgeting for Results Commission, and the Advisory Committee to the Chicago Department of Public Health’s Managed Care Program.


Contact Margie Schaps
Renae Alvarez , Director, Center for Long-term Care

Renae started at Health & Medicine in August 2015 as Policy Analyst for the Center of Long-Term Care Reform. Renae was previously the Illinois LEND Project Coordinator at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Institute on Disability and Human Development. She earned a MPH from the UIC School of Public Health in Community Health Sciences and a BA in Psychology and Human Development from the State University of New York at Geneseo. Her interest has been promoting positive development for individuals from racial/ethnic minority backgrounds in low-income communities, specifically with disabilities. In her free time, Renae enjoys cooking, biking, yoga, traveling, and exploring Chicago’s music and food scenes.


Contact Renae Alvarez
Maya Bauer , Schweitzer Fellows Program Coordinator

Maya joined Health & Medicine in January 2017 as the Schweitzer Fellowship Program Coordinator. She has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from Hampshire College in Western Massachusetts. Previously, Maya worked on community educational programming and food justice as the Educational Outreach Coordinator at Common Ground Food Co-op in Urbana, Illinois. She is passionate about her work with public arts, social justice, and community organizing. In her free time she writes letters, spends time with loved ones, makes art, cooks, and dances.


Contact Maya Bauer
Ann Duffy , Director of Finance and Operations

Ann, who joined Health & Medicine in December 2010, holds a Bachelors Degree in English from The University of Georgia. Prior to Health & Medicine, Ann worked for several years at a non-profit animal shelter in Colorado. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her daughter.

Contact Ann Duffy
Wesley Epplin , Director, Health Equity

Wesley's work focuses on advancing health equity and public health, health reform and safety net research, and health workforce policy reform.  Since joining Health & Medicine in July 2013, Wesley has been involved with several health policy efforts at the state and local levels, including reform in the areas of Affordable Care Act implementation, Medicaid, health workforce, and public health.  He helped develop The Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy and the Quentin D. Young Equity Project, both of which seek cross-sector collaboration to advance equity.  Locally, Wesley was a contributing author to Healthy Chicago 2.0, the City of Chicago’s community health improvement plan, for which he co-leads implementation for the Root Causes section. He is also on the steering committee for the Collaborative for Health Equity Cook County.

Wesley earned a Master of Public Health degree in Community Health Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health (SPH) and a BA in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  In 2016, Wesley was selected for the inaugural cohort of the Culture of Health Leaders, a national leadership program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to create collaborative solutions that address health inequities and move communities and organizations toward a Culture of Health.

Outside of his work at Health & Medicine, he is a co-founder of and facilitator for Radical Public Health, a group at the UIC SPH that works to expand the role of the field in identifying and eliminating the many forms of oppression, violence, and injustice that contribute to health inequities. In his spare time, Wesley enjoys gardening and cooking, writing, and travel.



Contact Wesley Epplin
Tiffany Ford , Policy Analyst

Tiffany joined the Health & Medicine team in May 2016 after graduating with her Master of Public Health in Community Health Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Through policy and advocacy, she works to address the social and structural determinants of health in Illinois, with an ultimate goal of equal opportunities for positive health and well-being for all.

Tiffany earned her Bachelor of Science in Human and Social Development and Economics from the University of Miami and is an avid Hurricanes fan. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, dancing, traveling, and playing flag football.

Contact Tiffany Ford
Morven Higgins , Development and Communications Manager

Morven joined Health & Medicine in 2014. Most recently, she worked in development and education at a non-profit theatre company in Evanston. She also has past experience in corporate communications and non-profit administration. She holds a BA in English from the University of Chicago.

Contact Morven Higgins
Maggie Litgen , Manager, ACEs Program

Maggie Litgen has served the nonprofit community for 20 years in a variety of roles. As a direct services social worker, Maggie utilized a trauma-focused model in her interventions with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Maggie worked with larger systems, such as the Chicago Police Department, the State’s Attorney’s Office, the foundation community, and the medical field to improve service delivery to vulnerable and disempowered populations. She convened providers and powerful stakeholders to create systems change in each position and also helped create the Westside Coalition for Homeless Youth and the Prostitution Alternatives Roundtable. Maggie created new innovations within United Way of Metropolitan Chicago as the Director of Community Investment. Most recently, shew was the Head of Assessment at Graettinger Cole Impact Consulting.

She received a master’s degree in Social Work from University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration with a post-graduate certificate in Social Work with Older Adults and received a BA from Loyola University Chicago. Maggie studied human rights in El Salvador and Guatemala, and has lived with families in these countries, Costa Rica, and Paraguay.




Contact Maggie Litgen
Karen Loda , Administrative Assistant/ACEs Program Coordinator

Karen joined Health & Medicine in June 2016 as the Administrative Assistant and Event Coordinator.  She has a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In her free time, Karen volunteers for Sarah’s Inn, a domestic violence agency committed to ending the cycle of violence and helping those who have been affected by it.  She also enjoys improv, comedy, music, and exploring new foods and places.  


Contact Karen Loda
Sharon Powell , Director, Chicago AHEC Program

Sharon Powell joined  Health & Medicine in 2013 as Director of the Chicago AHEC Program.  She brings over 20 years of experience with community affairs, training, and grassroots organizing to her health education and outreach work in the Chicago Public Schools, at Columbia College Chicago, and in communities across the Chicago area. She is a former Director of Outreach and Education at Chicago Women’s Health Center.  As a consultant (S L Powell Public Affairs Services), her clients included  Illinois Literacy Resource Development Center, City of Chicago, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, and New City YMCA. Sharon holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Drake University and MA in Religious Studies from Chicago Theological Seminary. With an interest in the field of reproductive health and alternative conversations about the body, Sharon is a current member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.


Contact Sharon Powell
Magdalena Slowik , Director of Development and Communications


Magda joined Health & Medicine in 2013. She has fifteen years of experience in institutional advancement, working predominantly in graduate schools and policy think tanks. She holds a BA in Public Policy Studies from the University of Chicago and an MBA from Loyola University Chicago.


Contact Magdalena Slowik
Jada G. Hoskins , Consultant, Court-Involved Youth Program

Jada joined Health & Medicine in 2017 as a Consultant for the organization's Criminal-Involved Youth Program. Jada has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Illinois University and a Master of Arts degree from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. She has worked in the areas of youth-based educational services within community and juvenile justice settings, program development, and grant administration.


Contact Jada G. Hoskins
Ray Wang , Policy Analyst; Program Director, Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program

Ray has been the director of the Schweitzer Fellowship Program since 2005. Like the fellows he works with, he has a passion for service. Community work has been a theme throughout his life; from teaching English to immigrants, to working with food pantries. Ray, who has had a longstanding interest in health but “got distracted by the arts,” holds a BA from Columbia College and an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. In his “previous life” he was an accomplished film maker and taught film and video for ten years. Prior to joining Health & Medicine, Ray worked for the Chicago-Cook County Community Health Council, where he coordinated community outreach events and advocacy efforts for the uninsured and underserved throughout the city. He is committed to developing new models for working with underserved communities and fosters this goal within the fellows he works with.

Contact Ray Wang

Consultants

* Martha Holstein, PhD; Long -Term Care Contact Martha Holstein
* Phyllis Mitzen, MSW; Long -Term Care Contact Phyllis Mitzen

Interns

Rachel Lackland, AHEC Administrative Assistant
Jose Juarez, AHEC Apprentice
Lynn Kannout
Elizabeth Mengyan
Jacob Pierce
Ayesha Quraishi
Paula Satariano
Interested in becoming an HMPRG Intern? Send us your inquiry and a resume.