Voices of Child Health in Chicago is a program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago that focuses on surveying Chicagoans to better understand the issues that impact child health in our city.
By asking Chicagoans directly about child health, we gain important perspectives and insights that sometimes can be overlooked in health research and policies. We are committed to bringing our research findings to the public to help foster an open dialogue about child health. By polling the public for its perspectives, we make sure that community views are part of our city’s conversation about child health. Rather than taking a position on issues, our position is that the public should be heard.
Meet the Team
Marie E. Heffernan, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics; Associate Director, Voices of Child Health in Chicago; Survey Science Lead, Smith Child Health Outcomes, Research, and Evaluation Center Catalyst program; Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Marie E. Heffernan, PhD, serves as the Associate Director for Voices of Child Health in Chicago. She is responsible for overseeing survey research and dissemination of research findings. She previously worked in research administration at Northwestern University and on an interdisciplinary social sciences research initiative at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also serves on the Metrics Working Group for West Side United, a collaboration among healthcare, non-profit, and government partners to address health inequity on Chicago’s West Side. Marie received her doctorate in social psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a focus on survey methods, human development, and relationship science.
Anne Bendelow, MPH
Senior Statistician, Data Analytics and Reporting, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Anne Bendelow, MPH, serves as a Senior Statistician in the department of Data Analytics and Reporting. Anne collaborates on a variety of research projects by supporting investigators’ data extraction and analysis needs. Before coming to Lurie Children’s two years ago, she worked with the Illinois Department of Public Health as an epidemiologist for the Refugee Health Program and the Center for Minority Health Services, and as a research assistant for the Chicago Epicenter at Cook County Health and Hospitals System. She received her undergraduate degree in Public Health from Tulane University and her Masters in Epidemiology from the University of Illinois Chicago.
Tracie Smith, MPH
Director, Population Health Analytics, Data Analytics and Reporting, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Tracie Smith, MPH, is the Director of Population Health Analytics in the department of Data Analytics and Reporting. Tracie has been with Lurie Children’s (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital) for twelve years. She started her career at Lurie working as an epidemiologist with the Child Health Data Lab, where she worked on injury prevention research. Over the years she has worked on various injury prevention research projects, including serving as the project coordinator for the Illinois Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. Before coming to Lurie, Tracie worked as the data manager for the Diabetes Registry at the University of Chicago.
Carly G. Menker, MS
Research Associate, Voices of Child Health in Chicago, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Carly G. Menker, MS, serves as the Research Associate for Voices of Child Health in Chicago. She primarily helps with the writing, editing and marketing of the monthly Voices reports, however, she also collaborates with the team on manuscripts and other projects. Carly previously worked at the American Academy of Pediatrics News and presently conducts radiation oncology research at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She received her Bachelor of Science in journalism from Northwestern University and recently earned her Master of Science in health, science and environmental journalism at Northwestern University.