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About Us


About the Center



The UIC Center for Healthy Work is comprised of faculty, students, and staff from the UIC School of Public Health and College of Medicine supported by a 5-year grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for a Center of Excellence for Total Worker Health®. More information can be found in our 2016-2017 Annual Report on the NIOSH Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health® webpage.

Our Staff

Lorraine Conroy, MS, ScD

Center Director, Greater Lawndale Healthy Work Project Co-Director


Lorraine Conroy, MS, ScD, is a Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and Interim Dean at the School of Public Health at UIC. Lorraine has more than 25 years of experience in research, curriculum development, and teaching in occupational and environmental health. Her expertise is in the evaluation and control of hazards in the workplace and community; work that has involved substantial fieldwork requiring outreach to employers, unions, and community-based organizations. Lorraine led the Illinois ERC for more than 15 years and serves as the program director for the occupational safety program.

Lisa M Brosseau, ScD, CIH

Emeritus Center Director


Dr. Lisa M Brosseau, ScD, CIH, is a certified industrial hygienist with more than 25 years’ experience as an academic researcher and educator. She has extensive research expertise in the development, testing and dissemination of workplace health and safety interventions. Dr. Brosseau also directs the Illinois Education and Research Center, which supports graduate level education of occupational health and safety professionals and supports outreach activities with Chicago worker centers offering employee health and safety curricula and training.

Christina Welter, MPH, DrPH

Center Co-Director; Outreach Co-Director


Christina Welter, MPH, DrPH, focuses on diagnosing and undertaking the change of complex social issues, using and translating theoretical concepts into action. She previously served as the Deputy Director of the Cook County Department of Public Health. As Deputy Directory, she secured over 25 million dollars in new funding to implement and evaluate policy, systems and environmental change initiatives in one of the most diverse, disparate regions in the country. As the current Director of the MidAmerica Center for Public Health Practice, she works on multiple workforce and community-based development projects to develop, implement, disseminate and evaluate academic-practice initiatives.

Joseph Zanoni, PhD, MILR

Outreach Co-Director


Joseph Zanoni, PhD, MILR, leads training and research projects as the Director of Continuing Education and Outreach for the Illinois Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety Education and Research Center, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. Joe also serves as a Research Assistant Professor in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Chair of the SPH Undergraduate Advisory Committee, Chair of the Occupational Health Section, APHA, is DrPH Core Faculty and serves as the Secretary of Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, a health equity practice organization.

Elizabeth Fisher, CHES

Center Coordinator


Elizabeth Fisher, CHES, has experience in the coordination and facilitation of public health education programs on a variety of topics from disaster response to enhancing physical education in schools. Elizabeth’s expertise is in the creation of visually appealing and educational health communications materials through the translation of relevant research. Elizabeth has served as a Project Coordinator for the MidAmerica Center for Public Health Practice since 2015 working to bridge academia and practice.

Marsha Love, MA, MA

Healthy Communities Through Healthy Work


Marsha Love, MA, MA, serves as the Program Development Manager for the Illinois Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety Education and Research Center. She assists labor organizations, community groups, and workforce development agencies in addressing workplace health and safety issues impacting their constituents in the low wage, contingent workforce. Marsha provides technical support to these organizations, connecting them to industrial hygiene, legal and medical resources for problem solving and aiding workers who have become injured or ill as a consequence of their work.

Guddi Kapadia, MS, MPH

Healthy Communities Through Healthy Work


Guddi Kapadia, MS, MPH, has been working in public health workforce education and development for over 10 years within the MidAmerica Center for Public Health Practice. Guddi brings years of experience planning, building, and delivering online/distance-based, blended, and in-person training. She believes that translation of research to practice is key in helping build the capacity of the workforce. Her experience throughout the state has led to strong partnerships and relationships with the community and local public health agencies.

Elizabeth Jarpe-Ratner, MST, MPH

Healthy Communities Through Healthy Work


Elizabeth Jarpe-Ratner, MST, MPH, is the Evaluation Director at the MidAmerica Center for Public Health Practice. She incorporates the use of mixed methods to investigate the implementation of policies and interventions across multiple fields to better understand and support frontline staff (teachers, caseworkers, home visitors, nurses, and public health professionals) in the adoption and implementation process. Ms. Jarpe-Ratner is completing doctoral studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. She is also a Cohort 5 Fellow with the Doris Duke Fellowships for the Promotion of Child Well-Being.

Jeni Hebert-Beirne, MPH, PhD

Greater Lawndale Healthy Work Project Co-Director


Dr. Jeni Hebert-Beirne, MPH, PhD, is a community health scientist with expertise in community-based participatory action research on social determinants of health and place-based health inequities with a focus on Chicago community areas. She is experienced in community-engaged research on broad community health topics – from women’s health to community health workers to immigration and identity to racism and discrimination. Jeni is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health. She teaches Community Health Assessment and Socio-Behavioral Science.

Preethi Pratap, PhD

Evaluation Co-Director


Preethi Pratap, PhD, has experience with developing and evaluating public health interventions in diverse public health settings. Dr. Pratap’s research specifically focuses on using data to impact the dissemination and translation of public health interventions to improve environmental and occupational health. Dr. Pratap played a lead role in conducting quantitative and qualitative assessments to evaluate the impact of the interventions for many local, state, national, and international projects.

Kee Chan, PhD

Evaluation Co-Director


Kee Chan, MS, PhD, is one of the Program Directors of the Master of Public Health (MPH) online programs, and a Faculty member in the Department of Health Policy and Administration and Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) at UIC School of Public Health. Her work focuses on financial analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis and evaluation of new scientific technology and public health programs.

Kathy Rospenda, PhD

Greater Lawndale Healthy Work Project


Kathleen Rospenda, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on how exposure to occupationally relevant stressors such as workplace harassment, discrimination, and work-family conflict impact workers’ mental health and substance use over time.

Linda Forst, MD, MPH

Greater Lawndale Healthy Work Project


Linda Forst, MD, MPH, is a professor in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences in the UIC SPH where she teaches about work related illnesses and injuries. She does research with community groups, Illinois state agencies, and the World Health Organization to prevent these injuries. Linda cares for injured workers in an urgent care center through the UIC Department of Emergency Medicine.

Jennifer Felner, MPH

Greater Lawndale Healthy Work Project


Jennifer Felner, MPH, is a doctoral candidate at the UIC School of Public Health in the Division of Community Health Sciences. Jennifer's research involves community-based and participatory action approaches to promote health equity among groups of people who have been marginalized within mainstream society. Jennifer is currently conducting a youth participatory action research dissertation project to assess the process of LGBTQ youth aging-out of social services in Chicago.

Yvette D. Castañeda, MPH, MBA

Greater Lawndale Healthy Work Project


Yvette D. Castañeda, MPH, MBA is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ms. Castañeda’s research involves physical activity, health, wellness and health inequities studied under action-based, community based participatory research. Within this, community assessment, and multidisciplinary methodologies utilizing qualitative approaches not traditionally used in health science research, are used to probe for a social justice focused assemblage of community narrative on health.

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