Board President | Chair
Crystal Stevenson, CHW
Crystal Stevenson first joined the CAC as a member of its Community Advisory Board while working on a multi-site pediatric asthma study. She was then invited to apply to be a board member by Dr. Valerie Press. Always furthering her awareness and understanding of how asthma impacts specific residents in Chicago, sometimes simply based on zip code, Crystal’s mission is to position CAC as a direct resource for those who need it most by building its Community Engagement efforts that may include participation in local health fairs, collaboration for community-based patient educational opportunities with neighborhood organizations, agencies and local businesses, and partnering with local and state political leaders. Crystal earned her BA from Chicago State University and is seeking her MPH in Community Health Sciences from UIC-School of Public Health.
Matt Siemer is the Executive Director of Mobile Care Chicago. For 20 years, Mobile Care has used Asthma Vans to provide allergy and asthma care to over 13,000 children at no cost. Through partnerships with local schools, the organization also surveys 15,000 children annually, attempting to identify children who have asthma but lack a diagnosis. For asthma patients who stay with their Asthma Van for one year or more, 95% will never go back to an ER for asthma. During Matt’s tenure, Mobile Care’s programs have won local and national distinctions including most recently the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago’s 2016 Impact Award, the 2017 Premier Cares Award, the 2018 CHEST Community Service Award, and the 2019 EPA National Environmental Leadership Award. Matt holds a BS in Philosophy & Literature from Truman State University and an MA in Philosophy from Duke University.
Anna Volerman, MD
University of Chicago Medicine
Anna Volerman, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at University of Chicago Medicine. She is a primary care physician for both children and adults, as well as an advocate for children and families in both the clinic and community settings. She received her Bachelors degree from Northwestern University and graduated summa cum laude from Boston University School of Medicine. She completed her Internal Medicine / Pediatrics residency training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Boston Children’s Hospital. Since joining University of Chicago, she has developed and led innovative programs in clinical and community settings to improve health care delivery and optimize care. Her work focuses on reducing health disparities for children, including in asthma and obesity, with a focus on examining and improving systems of care in collaboration with academic and community partners.
Felicia Fuller, DrPH
American Lung Association
Felicia Fuller, DrPH plays a central role in the development and coordination of ALA mission activities, including health promotion, lung health education, and advocacy. She works collaboratively with ALA staff to plan, manage, and implement activities in the following areas: adult and child lung disease services, environmental health programming, pediatric quality improvement services for health professionals, and overall Chicago market grant outcomes. Prior to this position Dr. Fuller managed a cooperative agreement between CDC’s Healthy Aging Program and the Alzheimer’s Association National Office. In that capacity she oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Healthy Brain Initiative which involved providing technical assistance to staff, and coordination of the research demonstration projects targeting at-risk communities. Along with these duties, Dr. Fuller assisted in the cognitive impairment surveillance opportunities with the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Dr. Fuller also worked at the Chicago Department of Public Health in the Epidemiology Program where she led a city-wide educational outreach program based on BRFSS data and assisted in bioterrorism efforts. Dr. Fuller holds her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, MPH from the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, and her doctoral degree from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior.
Gladys Aguirre DNP, RN
Amita Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center
Gladys Aguirre, DNP, RN is the nurse manager of the Community Education Department, Women’s Program and Volunteer Program of Amita Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, where she has worked for over 40 years. Gladys began as a LPN on a surgical floor. With encouragement and mentorship she began her professional journey working for the Family Residency Program as a staff nurse and later becoming as educator upon completing her RN. She obtained her BSN from Loyola University and became a certified diabetic educator until she was appointed manager of Community Education. She has since received her MSN and DNP at Resurrection University, where she also works as an adjunct faculty member. As a bilingual and bicultural nurse Gladys’s passion for serving underserved communities motivated her to develop several health programs for people of all ages. Through her personal experience of losing two sisters to breast cancer, she saw the need to bring awareness to underserved communities and initiated a program that women that focuses on breast cancer education and screenings. Her program, which serves more than 1,000 clients. As her DNP project she initiated a new program called the B-Breathe program (Breathing Better through Remediation of Environment, tools and Home Education), an in-home asthma program, where home educational visits are done through a nurse educator and home remediation is done for asthma triggers. Program was free to asthma patients. Gladys is committed to the belief that awareness saves lives, and she continues to expand programs so they can reach more people who need services.
Helen Hammond Redding, MBA
Christopher D. Redding Youth Asthma Foundation
Helen is an accomplished financial professional and community advocate. She spent 41 years in the banking industry, including 26 years at Citibank from which she retired in 2013 from her posi-tion as Senior Vice President of Community Development for the state of Illinois. Helen currently serves as Founder and Community Outreach Director of the Christopher D. Redding Youth Asthma Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 2014 in memory of her youngest son, Christopher, a 3-sport student athlete who died of an exercise-induced asthma attack at the age of 18. Through collaborative partnerships, the CDR Youth Asthma Foundation provides asthma screenings, access to asthma camps, and asthma management education through workshops, health fairs, and community events. Competitive college scholarships are also awarded annually to gradu-ating student-athletes with a medically- diagnosed case of asthma.
Helen has served as a Board member of the Chicago Public Schools Academy of Finance, Mercy Housing Lakefront, Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, and the AKArama Foundation of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Theta Omega Chapter. Helen has also served as a men-tor for students in the Citi Foundation/UNCF Mentoring Program. Helen currently serves as a mem-ber of the Chicago Asthma Consortium Community Advisory Board and Society of Mannequins Trophy Board. Helen is a member of the Hoffman Estates Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Chi Alpha Omega Chapter.
Helen holds an MBA in Finance from DePaul University, a BA in Business Administration from Elmhurst College, and a Certificate in Banking from the University Of Virginia Graduate School of Retail Bank Management.
Janice Henry, RN
The Loretto Hospital
Janice Henry is the Community Health Nurse at The Loretto Hospital. She is a compassionate, conscientious, dedicated professional registered nurse with 30 plus years of nursing service, with a background of providing optimal care in a variety of settings. Specializing in Community Health dedicated to providing and ensuring high standards of culturally competent care for a variety of patients with diverse needs. My goal is to advocate for access to care for everyone, especially persons in communities of color to eliminate health disparities. My community work includes providing health fairs and screenings I am dedicated to patient education. My work includes collaborating with other health care agencies, elected officials and community partners.
Rodney Johnson, MPH
Rodney Johnson, MPH, MA (Candidate, 2022), is the President of One Health Englewood, a community organization that focuses on health and social issues on the south side of Chicago. He earned his Masters in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is currently working on a Masters in Social Sector Leadership and Nonprofit Management at the University of Chicago. Rodney first learned about the disparities in asthma prevalence during a pre-matriculation program before starting his MPH. He later received a Schweitzer Fellowship to create an asthma awareness campaign in the Greater Englewood community. One Health Englewood uses healthy literacy, promotion, advocacy, and research to address the social determinants of health that have led to gaps in life expectancy in Chicago communities. His life experience living in West Englewood for over 50 years gives him a unique perspective on everyday life in communities of color.
Laura Juarez, CPA, MBA
Laura Juarez, CPA, MBA is an experienced strategic finance and accounting professional. In her current position, she oversees budgeting and financial analysis, strategic planning, and thought leadership as the CFO of a global professional services organization. In prior roles within public accounting, she has gained invaluable experience conducting audits of non profits including the preparation of IRS Form 990’s. She is the mother of two school aged boys with her oldest being an asthmatic. She and her husband have been strong advocates for asthmatics particularly within the local school community.
Juanita Mora, MD
The Chicago Allergy Center
Juanita Mora, MD, was born and raised in Chicago. She is the first of five children born to immigrant Mexican parents. She expressed an interest in preventative care and medicine at an early age and enjoys reaching out and mentoring in the Latino community. All her schooling was done in Chicago. She attended college at the University of Chicago, medical school at University of Illinois College of Medicine, residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Rush University Medical Center, and Allergy and Immunology fellowship also at Rush. Throughout her fellowship, she also completed a masters in clinical research.
Dr. Mora went on to pursue a career in private practice and after five years in private practice- opened her own private practice- The Chicago Allergy Center. She maintains her ties in academic medicine as a volunteer attending at Illinois Masonic Medical Center. She loves teaching medical students, residents, and fellows, and can often be found as an expert voice at a medicine or pediatric morning report conference.
Dr. Mora volunteers her time going into the Latino community and giving empowering talks to underserved grammar school and high school students about pursuing their dreams. She also enjoys teaching parents and children about asthma and food allergies.
Dr. Mora serves as Volunteer National Spokesperson for the American Lung Association and serves as a voice of education and science for those that have no voice. She has done multiple national interviews throughout the COVID-19 pandemic including NPR, NBC news, WGN, Univision, Telemundo and most recently was recognized as a health hero by US News and World Report for her work with the Latino community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Mora is also a clinic partner with the American Lung Association where her clinic completed an 18 month quality improvement program in Pediatric Asthma. She has also given multiple Asthma and COPD lectures on behalf of the American Lung Association in an effort to break down barriers to access and care in underprivileged communities.
Dr. Mora continues to be involved as a member of the Illinois Society of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology, the College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, and the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology.
Sharmilee Nyenhuis, MD FAAAAI
University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr. Nyenhuis is committed to address disparities in unique and minority population with asthma. Her research portfolio has included working to understand reasons for increased asthma severity in older adults, to working with urban populations with recurrent emergency room visits for asthma to her current work in identifying barriers to physical activity among African American women with asthma. Her overall goal is to expand our knowledge of lifestyle behavior change in asthma to improve to lives of minority asthma populations. She has served on the Chicago Asthma Consortium Board since 2010 and has also served as secretary and chair of the board.
Andrea Pappalardo, MD, FAAAAI
University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr. Andrea Pappalardo is a Board-Certified Allergist-Immunologist, Internist, and Pediatrician working at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Medicine and UI Health. She completed her undergraduate education at Washington University in St. Louis and her doctorate at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. She completed a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency at the University of Chicago Medical Center and her fellowship in Allergy & Immunology at Rush University Medical Center. She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, the Medical Director of the CHECK Care Coordination program which serves as an Illinois Integrated Health Home, and additionally works as a provider on the Mobile Care Chicago Asthma Van throughout the Chicagoland area in front of Chicago schools. She provides expert allergy care to both adults and children, and the focus of her research is community-based implementation science approaches to improving asthma and allergic disease management for children. She actively works to improve access to sub-specialty care and promote health equity in allergic disease. Dr. Pappalardo is delighted to serve on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Asthma Consortium.
Erica Salem, MPH
Respiratory Health Association
Erica is a public health professional with over 30 years of experience, including 25 years at the Chicago Department of Public Health where she most recently served as Deputy Commissioner. Much of her work there focused on collaborative planning and partnerships, including the creation of the award-winning Chicago Center for Community Partnerships and the Healthy Chicago Hospital Collaborative, a collaborative of 27 hospitals working together to address population health priorities. For the past three years, Erica has served as Senior Director, Strategy, Programs and Policy at Respiratory Health Association. She has led numerous organizational, public health systems, issue-specific strategic planning processes. Erica earned her Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Laura Shreffler, MSN, RN, AE-C
Ann and Robert H. Lurie Childrens Hospital
Laura is a pediatric nurse working at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Childrens hospital for 27 years. Laura is a certified Asthma educator, with 13 years of experience coordinating the inpatient asthma program using an integrated care model. She oversees patient/family asthma education, asthma research, and clinician education. She has been instrumental in the development of an Asthma Clinical Care Guideline and with creating a pediatric asthma bronchodilator weaning tool, Lurie Children s Asthma Score (LCAS). She promotes use of interactive educational resources to engage patients and stimulate care management and preventive health measures. She supports asthma community outreach through involvement with Lurie Children s Healthy Communities team, Chicago Asthma Consortium, and Respiratory Health Association, providing professional development workshops, collaboration with school working group, and lung health advocacy with state legislators. Laura holds a Masters of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain University.
Derek Scott is a Student Advisor in the Office of Student Support at Concord Law School at Purdue University Global. "I am so excited to serve on the CAC Board," Derek said. "I cannot think of a more worthwhile community project to serve on as a lifetime person living with asthma. This organization is vital to helping people plan both directly or indirectly for the things under their control regarding safeguarding their health. It is so important to get out in front of the available information and strategies to reduce the impact, as much as possible, of any factor that may shorten one's breath."