MEET DR. GUPTA


Dr. Ruchi Gupta, MD MPH is the director of SOAAR (Science and Outcomes of Asthma and food Allergy Research) at Northwestern Medicine and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. She is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine (FAAP, FAAAAI) and an interdisciplinary child health researcher for both the Smith Child Health Research Program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and the Institute of Public Health and Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. 

 Dr. Gupta is nationally recognized for her groundbreaking research in the area of food allergy and asthma epidemiology; specifically her research on childhood food allergy prevalence. She has also significantly contributed to academic research surrounding economic costs, pediatric management of food allergy and asthma, ED visits and hospitalizations, quality of life and community interventions especially in schools.  She is also the author of the book The Food Allergy Experience. Dr. Gupta has authored or co-authored over 70 peer-reviewed publications and continues to work to make meaningful improvements in population health outcomes. 

 


MEET THE TEAM


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Jesse Blumenstock is a Research Project Coordinator and currently coordinates a variety of research projects from epidemiological, clinical, and community-based perspectives focused on asthma, food allergy, and clinical health systems. Through this position, he enjoys working on multiple levels of public health research and practice. He supervises a Student Media-Based Asthma Research Team Program to empower Chicago 7th and 8th grade students to better manage their asthma, creates maps and spatially analyzes chronic disease data across Chicago, and analyzes international survey data on opinions about food allergy labeling and thresholds from countries around the world. Jesse previously studied infectious disease epidemiology at UIC’s School of Public Health and conducted research on HIV linkage to care with the Chicago Department of Public Health. Jesse also works with CHIRP Radio as a productions, promotions, and events volunteer. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling, cooking, seeing live music, and cycling.


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Ashley Dyer, MPH is Dr. Gupta's Research Project Manager and manages a variety of research projects from epidemiological, clinical, and community-based perspectives.  Her work is primarily focused on investigating childhood asthma and food allergy, and improving school health systems. Within this position, she is able to work on multiple levels in public health—from delivering a Student Media-Based Asthma Research Team Program to help students better manage their asthma to partnering with the CPS Office of School Health and Wellness to streamline districtwide chronic disease reporting systems. Ashley chairs the Chicago Asthma Consortium’s School Health Work Group. Outside of her day job, she dedicates time to global health projects including a community-based disaster risk reduction program in Haiti and is involved in child health advocacy efforts in Indonesia and Washington D.C. with Save the Children. Ashley completed her Masters in Public Health in Community Health Sciences, Program in Maternal and Child Health with a concentration in Global Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Sasha Mitts is a research assistant. He graduated from Oberlin in 2015 with a double major in Neuroscience and Philosophy. When he found out about the scope and impact of the research done by Team Gupta, he decided that he wanted to be a part of understanding food allergy. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, reading, and discussing odd hypotheticals.


Dr. Alana Otto, MD is a fellow in Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. She earned her medical doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2012 and completed Pediatrics training at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University/Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago in 2015. Alana has a particular interest in the primary care of adolescents and young adults. She is also interested in the use of clinical decision support systems in the primary care setting. Her work on Team Gupta focuses on the use of such a tool by primary care pediatricians caring for patients with new diagnoses of food allergy.


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Madeleine Kanaley recently graduated from Marquette University in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Health Studies. She has recently taken on her role as a Senior Behavioral Research Associate for Dr. Gupta in CCH and has loved working with the team so far! She is working primarily on the iTRACC study, which focuses on improving asthma management strategies, education, and adherence to medication, but she is open and motivated to take on roles in a variety of other projects throughout the Center. In her free time, Madeleine loves to take dance classes, listen to music, spend time with family and friends, and play with her dog, Jack. :)


Diane Houdek is coming to CCH from the University of Chicago where she worked for 20+ years in various departments including 18 years at Chapin Hall Center for Children. Her area of expertise is in database and data management and she will be working on several of Dr. Gupta’s including Mylan and Natural History. She along with her husband have two flat-coated retrievers, three cats and a very furry household. Favorite free time activities include reading, watching hockey and Masterpiece Mystery.


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Dr. Bridget Smith, PhD received her doctorate from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington in 2004, and is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.


Pamela Newmark is a Research Study Assistant who is currently working on both The Natural History of Food Allergy Study and the iTRACC Asthma Study recruiting patients and extracting data. Pamela received a BA in Communications from University of Wisconsin and subsequently spent many years working in the retail sector. After working part time while raising two children, she was drawn to her current position in public health and its focus on helping families live healthier, more fulfilling lives. In her free time, Pamela enjoys cooking, reading, watching movies and spending time with her family.

 

 


Christopher Warren is a part-time research coordinator. He is also a doctoral student of health behavior research at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Before moving to CA, he worked with Dr. Gupta to coordinate a sub-study of the National Children’s Study, using videovoice methods to enhance community outreach. He also oversaw the development, and implementation, of a media-based asthma intervention for communities with high asthma burden as well as the refinement and evaluation of a new, pictographic asthma action plan for low-literacy populations. He is now working to evaluate this asthma intervention, investigate the etiology of pediatric asthma disparities and improve food allergy quality of life. When not working/studying, Chris is likely out exploring his new home by boot, board or bike.


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Kathy Boon, MPH is a Research Project Manager for SOAAR. She has worked in the field of public health since 2008, and received her Master of Public Health with a focus in Health Policy and Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014. Her diverse professional background includes work with asthma, violence prevention, teen pregnancy prevention, nutrition and fitness, and various other public health topics. Kathy has been a public health advocate throughout her career, especially with under-served communities of Chicago. In addition to managing the team and various research projects, Kathy's main responsibility is managing SOAAR's asthma research study, iTRACC. In her free time, Kathy enjoys spending time with her husband and 2-year old son.


MEET OUR COLLABORATORS


Dr. Aaron Donnell, MD is board-certified in Allergy/Immunology and Pediatrics and is on staff at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.  He sees patients of all ages with food allergies regularly at Chicago Family Asthma & Allergy and also serves as the Illinois state representative for the American Academy of Pediatrics Medical Home Chapter Champion Program on Asthma, Allergy and Anaphylaxis.

 

 


Dr. Satyender Goel, PhD is a research assistant professor in the Department of General Internal Medicine and faculty at Center of Health Information Partnerships, Northwestern Medicine.  As an expert in informatics and specifically integration of electronic medical record data for healthcare quality improvement, he will be responsible for overseeing the development of the registry and will be involved in other aspects of the project including design of the system and the presentation of findings. He is also the co-investigator and informatics lead for the Hep C Community Alliance to Test and Treat consortium, building city wide registry and technical platform for improving HepC treatment in Chicago. He will advise REDCap expert and technical consultant for the build and the execution of technical platform. He will monitor the translation of the projections for delivering accurate querying results and will help implement failsafe measures by performing adequate load testing. This will help in timely delivery of the project goals, elimination of any potential downtime, and higher user satisfaction. He will similarly facilitate communications with the technology development group as well as the project PI.


Dr. Steve Handoyo, MD is board-certified in Pediatrics and Allergy/Immunology. He graduated from St. Louis University School of Medicine, and completed training at Loyola University Medical Center for Pediatrics and Children's Mercy Hospital for Allergy/Immunology. He has been in private practice since 2009, and has specialized in treatment and prevention of food allergy

 


Dr. Kelly Newhall, MD is board-certified in Allergy/Immunology and Pediatrics and is the co-founder of Chicago Family Asthma & Allergy, a private practice in Chicago where she sees patients with food allergies regularly.


Dr. Sai Nimmagadda, MD has been on the faculty of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine for the past 20 years. He is board certified in Allergy/Immunology. He currently practices Allergy/Immunology with Associated Allergists and Asthma Specialists. He completed both fellowships in Pediatric Allergy/Immunology and Clinical Laboratory Immunology at National Jewish Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. His special interests include children with multiple food allergies and severe asthma. 


Amy O’Keefe, MS is the associate director of Segal's Master of Science in Engineering Design and Innovation (EDI) program, where she teaches DSGN 401-3 Human-Centered Service Design with Liz Gerber. O’Keefe has consulted on service, experience, and integrated multi-channel initiatives for Fortune 50 retail and global Am Law 100 clients. Her professional background includes a decade of leading multi-disciplinary service, design, and development at Hubbard One, a Chicago tech startup acquired by Thomson Reuters.