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March 2020
Women's History Month: The Women of CHET
Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society and has been observed annually in the month of March in the United States since 1987. In honor of this month we will be highlighting the Women of the Center for Health Equity Transformation (CHET). We asked the women in our team the following question and here are their responses.
What is a piece of advice you would like to give to the next generation of women leaders?
Pictured: Ivy Leung, Magdalena Nava, Melissa Simon, Samantha Alonis, Catherine O'Brian, Araceli Estrada Not Pictured: Laura Tom, Sankirtana Danner
Lift everyone. I mean it.
When life gives you lemons.
You DON'T just make lemonade.  
You TRANSFORM those lemons and make anything and everything you need to not only LIFT yourself but others WITH YOU.

– Founder/Director, Melissa Simon, MD, MPH
The path from point A to point B is rarely a straight line. If you have a goal, and it takes some detours to get there, or if your goals change, that is okay! Honor your own path and whatever turns you need or want to take along the way.
– Sankirtana Danner

Make things for yourself and make life for yourself. Dream big and go for it because nobody is going to stop you, but yourself.
– Ivy Leung

Always remember that challenges and adversity may present opportunities for envisioning and realizing transformative goals.
– Catherine O’Brian 

Both listen and learn from each other, even those with differing views or circumstances, in order to better understand what challenges we collectively face and where there is room for collaboration. There is room for us all to be empowered.
– Araceli Estrada

Start creating and telling your story early on in your career because that is what will guide you to your success. 
You can add chapters as you grow but never forget to talk about the first chapter…your beginning.          

– Magdalena Nava

Make time for yourself.
– Laura Tom

You are enough. Do not ever let anyone—including yourself—convince you otherwise.
– Samantha Alonis
I have seen and experienced how Melissa’s mentorship has made her mentees skilled and productive scientists and thoughtful scholars and practitioners. Energetically vibrant and intelligent, Melissa's talents are evident to her many advisees, from graduate students through early career faculty. It has been my personal experience that more than teaching her mentees to achieve excellence, Melissa invigorates the work of her mentees. She expertly navigates mentees through pivotal times of their careers and cultivates her mentees by encouraging curiosity and challenging them to ask refined, critical questions while offering knowledge and support.  
- Betina Yanez, Ph.D. 
Our Founder/Director Melissa Simon, MD, MPH was chosen as a 2020 Faculty Mentor of the Year. The official Mentor of the Year award ceremony will be a brief part of the 2020 Lewis Landsberg Research Day activities, which has been rescheduled to Tuesday, September 29, 2020. Read the full nomination from Dr. Betina Yanez here.
UPCOMING CHETchat featuring Dr. Inger Burnett-Zeigler
The CHETchat Spotlight Series highlights the equity work of our invited speakers and fosters a dialogue about ways that attendees can engage in work that promotes health equity. 
Date/TIme: Monday, April 20, 2020 at 12pm - 1pm
Location: Online Webinar
More details coming soon! RSVP here!
CHET is immensely proud of Ana Reyes, a current second-year medical student at Northwestern University, that is being acknowledged at the MOLA's Anniversary and Scholarship Awards this month! Ms. Reyes is active in many student groups to lift health for all, and ultimately, she hopes to utilize her degree from Northwestern to help improve healthcare delivery for vulnerable populations.
POSTPONED: Imposter Syndrome: Is everyone else on to me yet? (And if not, how long until they are?)
Stay tuned for more details regarding rescheduling
Youth Leadership Conference: Honoring a Health Equity Champion
To honor Dr. Virginia "Gini" Bishop’s legacy of supporting young people and advocating for diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts, the Center for Health Equity Transformation (CHET) is planning to establish an annual health equity youth leadership conference in her name. This conference aims to launch this fall and will be organized by and for youth with support from allies and hosted at a different Chicago Public School each year. CHET will partner with community organizations that serve youth and involve high school students throughout the planning and execution process. Dr. Bishop’s education, service, and life was guided by the mantra, “La riqueza de los pobres son sus hijos/The riches of the poor are their children.” Stay tuned to learn more soon!

Northwestern Uterine Leiomyoma Research Center Lab Immersion Program

The Northwestern University Uterine Leiomyoma Research Center Lab Immersion Program provides paid laboratory internship experiences for students interested in conducting uterine leiomyoma (fibroids) research. More information here.
Applications are due March 18th for Summer 2020 Internships.

Apply here!
New Podcast Episode: “Community Health Equity: A Chicago Reader" with Raj Sah, MD & Fernando De Maio, PhD
In this episode we sit with Dr. Fernando De Maio and Dr. Raj Shah. Together they are co-directors of the Center for Community Health Equity — a collaboration between DePaul and Rush University — founded in 2015. They are also co-editors of “Community Health Equity: A Chicago Reader” — released in April 2019. We discuss the book as a framework to understand the arc of the public health story in Chicago. We also cover topics such as structural violence, racism, and how to conduct more useful and accessible research for underserved communities here in Chicago

Listen here!

The Center for Health Equity Transformation (CHET) is now hiring!

We are seeking diverse candidates who thrive in fast-paced environments and are interested in gaining research skills to join our multicultural team. Check the listings below and apply as soon as possible, or forward them to your networks!


(NOTE: Please reach out to the event organizer for any event you are interested in attending as there might be upcoming changes in scheduling due to COVID-19 precautions)
CHET is on social media!
You can now stay up to date with the Center for Health Equity Transformation online. 
Please email us at if you have any updates, news or events you think we should include in an upcoming newsletter.

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The Center for Health Equity Transformation is a joint center between the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and
the Institute for Public Health and Medicine.

633 North Saint Clair Street, Suite 1800
Chicago, IL  60611

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Center for Health Equity Transformation · 633 N Saint Clair St Ste 1800 · Chicago, IL 60611-3234 · USA

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