My work

I’m passionate about uncovering stories in unexpected places and amplifying quiet voices. Since 2013, I have worked in communications for nonprofit hospitals in Chicago. Currently, I gather compelling stories to share with the public at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. You may see some of my work in the news or ad campaigns, publications, social channels, at events and on our blog. In my spare time, I write reviews, news features and human interest stories for the South Side Weekly.

Previously, I worked at La Rabida Children’s Hospital as the in-house writer and editor for the safety net pediatric hospital. I have also worked at Sinai Health System on the public affairs team, supporting community initiatives in underserved neighborhoods. I double-majored in writing-intensive English and women’s and gender studies at Marquette University, graduating in 2012.

 
 
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Writing

Away from the hospital, I keep an ear to the ground for stories that need telling. I love spending time with unique people and seeing how they work, cope and celebrate in their communities. I’m a big fan of Studs Terkel-style interviews, and I’m always interested in writing about art and food.

State Hospital
My short story won the Chicago Reader’s Fiction Contest.

Sharing the Wisdom of Time
My interview appears in Pope Francis’ collection of elder wisdom. The unabridged version was also the cover story for the South Side Weekly.

A New Home for Home Movies
I wrote about an initiative to immortalize family film footage known as the South Side Movie Project.

How to Gamble and Win: Al Klinger celebrates his 90th with all of Hyde Park
I documented the 90th birthday of a physician, activist and writer.

Saving a Black Aesthetic
I wrote about the future lives of the Johnson Publishing Building’s iconic interiors.

Not Forgotten
I wrote about a Day of the Dead art exhibit featuring works of legendary Chicago artists.

Holiday Histories
I interviewed South Siders about their favorite holiday traditions.

Exploring Empathy and Entitlement in Ecology
I reviewed a man-versus-nature art installation at the Hyde Park Art Center.

Farewell, Obama
I wrote about how Hyde Park celebrated President Obama’s last night in the oval office.

Best of Little Village and South Lawndale
I was a neighborhood editor for the South Side Weekly’s annual Best of the South Side issue and profiled a few special spots.

Working It Out: Talking income inequality at the Uri-Eichen Gallery
I interviewed a co-owner of a Pilsen gallery where art and activism intersect.

Italian Done Right
I asked the owner of Gio’s about what sets his Bridgeport gem apart.

How a West Side rehabilitation hospital gave a talented playwright a second chance
I interviewed a playwright about her life-saving rehabilitation experience.

Thank you for listening
I signed off from my post as a columnist at my college newspaper before graduation.

 
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Media

I'm a firm believer in the public service that results from solid partnerships between PR teams and the media. When it comes to storytelling in this capacity, my strengths include building relationships with reporters to generate press leads, managing stories from pitch through publication and collaborating as part of a cross-functional team to deliver a consistent, effective message.

On Girl’s First Birthday, Her Family Gives Back to Other Sick Children
CBS 2 featured a story on the launch of a new care coordination program for families with medically complex newborns at Lurie Children’s, a story I managed from pitch to publication.

Real Chicagoans
I placed two features for a new series on WCIU’s “The Jam.” Elijah Powell was featured for his advocacy work for patients with sickle cell, and the Blackmon twins were featured for raising money for charity with a lemonade stand.

Volunteers at Children's Hospital Give One-on-One Care to Kids
I worked with NBC 5 to create a segment that highlighted a new volunteer program in July 2017, resulting in a surge of volunteer applications. 

Former La Rabida Patient Donates First Paycheck To Hospital's Kids
I pitched this story about a former La Rabida patient who donated his first-ever paycheck to the hospital during the holiday season.

Chefs Serve Thanksgiving Dinner at La Rabida Children's Hospital
Since 1960, professional chefs have donated their food, time and talents to serve Thanksgiving dinner for families at La Rabida. I coordinated on-site coverage for the Chicago Tribune, NBC, CBS and WBBM.

Gun Violence Survivors and Witnesses Could Face Lifetime of Trauma and Bad Health
As Chicago closed out a year of unprecedented gun violence in 2016, Modern Healthcare spoke to La Rabida Chief Medical Officer David S. Soglin, MD, for a cover story about survivor’s long-term challenges.

Mount Sinai Medical Center Eyeing New Way to Treat Trauma
Bound by the shared prevalence of violence in their communities, a Chicago hospital and an Israel trauma center partnered to launch the Chicago Trauma and Resiliency Center. I pitched this program and managed publicity at the launch event.

Mount Sinai Hospital Resumes Normal Operations After Lockdown
After Mount Sinai Hospital received a threatening phone call in July 2014, I served on the crisis communications team that disseminated information internally and externally.

 
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Events

At the heart of every celebration is a story. I gather compelling stories to highlight at major events, write speeches, and manage pre- and post-event publicity.

Lurie Children’s Ball
I researched and wrote the patient stories that were the focus of the Lurie Children’s Ball in 2018, a signature event that raises critical funds for pediatric research.

Day of Joy
When Starlight Children's Foundation and the Joy in Childhood Foundation partnered to fund an accessible kitchen renovation at La Rabida Children's Hospital, I organized a check presentation, scripted the program, arranged the attendance of patient families, supported media relations, coordinated an on-site video shoot, led tours, and coordinated social media coverage among participating organizations.

Historic bill signing
Governor Pat Quinn visited Sinai Community Institute to sign a bill expanding health and wellness services in communities throughout Illinois in July 2014. I served on the team that coordinated this high-profile event with the Office of the Governor and supported media relations.

Christmas morning
It is tradition for staff, donors and community members go to great lengths to make Christmas extra special for children who are hospitalized at La Rabida. For decades, Santa has arrived on an Engine 63 fire truck to hand-deliver gifts to every child while families, donors and the media look on. From planning to execution, I organized this event with several groups of stakeholders and managed media relations.

On the Table
Amid news of exciting developments in the spring of 2017, including the announcement of the Barack Obama Presidential Center's home in Jackson Park, La Rabida hosted a breakfast for South Side leaders and community members as part of The Chicago Community Trust’s On The Table initiative. I served on the team that planned, executed and promoted the event.

Annual meeting
I identified and coached former La Rabida patient speakers and prepared the remarks that they delivered to an audience that included the Board of Trustees and hospital executives.

 
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Creatives

I enjoy contributing writing, design and photography to creative projects that require a variety of elements.

Annual reports
I have strategized, written, edited and provided photography for annual reports. Clips available upon request.

Multimedia
I have served on production teams to create pieces such as such as this video, which was at the core of multiple major fundraising events and anchored successful digital giving campaigns.

Newsletters
I launched a physician newsletter at Sinai Health System, and was responsible for writing, editing, designing and providing photography for monthly newsletters from July 2015 through October 2017 at La Rabida (linked above).

Illustrations by Lucy Hawblitzel