Collaborative Team


Ann E.B. Borders, MD, MSc, MPH joined the NorthShore University Health System Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Evanston Hospital in August 2012 and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. Her research interests are primarily focused on investigating determinants of adverse pregnancy outcomes in vulnerable populations of women, with a specific focus on the relationship between chronic maternal stress and preterm birth. Dr. Borders worked with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control to lobby and pass legislation that implemented rapid HIV testing in the state’s birthing hospitals and helped lead the statewide implementation effort. In 2008, she began a breastfeeding peer counselor and prenatal education program at the prenatal clinic to serve low income patients affiliated with Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She currently serves on the IDPH State Perinatal Quality Council and provides leadership for the IL Department of Healthcare and Family Services CHIPRA perinatal workgroup E. She serves on the National Executive Committee for the March of Dimes Big 5 State Perinatal Collaborative and is the current Illinois Team lead. In 2011 she was awarded Loretta Lacey Maternal Child Health Advocacy Award for Maternal Child Health Research by the Illinois Maternal Child Health Coalition. Dr. Borders has received an MSc degree in health policy from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and an MD from Harvard Medical School in 1999. She completed a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship and a NRSA Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Health Services Research at Northwestern University in 2006. In 2007, she completed an MPH degree at Northwestern University. She became a Faculty Associate in the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) and Cells to Society (C2S): The Center on Social Disparities and Health, Northwestern University in 2009 and is an adjunct faculty member in the Center for Healthcare Studies and the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University.
William R. Scharf, MD practiced as a staff general surgeon with the OSF Medical Group at the OSF St. James – John W. Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac, Illinois until November 2007. While working clinically, Dr. Scharf also served as a member of the OSF Healthcare System Patient Safety Collaborative since its inception in August 2001. In 2007, he transitioned to the Corporate Office of OSF Healthcare Systems, where he serves as a Division of Clinical Excellence as a Physician Change Agent. In this role, Dr. Scharf is responsible for overseeing the Patient Safety activities in OSF Healthcare System. In 2010, Dr. Scharf serves as a team member on the OSF OB Collaborative, which set out to improve obstetrical care and eliminate Early Elective Deliveries. As a result of these activities, OSF won the IHA Quality Excellence Award in 2012. Since May 2013. Dr. Scharf has been responsible for overseeing the activities of the OSF OB Collaborative. In 2014, he began working with the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative (ILPQC) as part of the Data Advisory Workgroup. More recently he has participated on behalf of ILPQC on a panel at the Illinois Hospital Association’s Annual Quality Meeting. During that year, Dr. Scharf joined ILPQC’s Leadership Team.
Dr. Ittmann is an attending Neonatologist at Children’s Medical Center at Rockford Health System. She received Pediactric training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN and completed her fellowship in Neonatology at the University of Michigan. She has been involved in Quality Improvement through the Vermont Oxford Network’s NICQ Collaboratives since 1998. She was a member of the Vermont Oxford faculty for NICQ 2009. Dr. Ittmann is a founding member of the Perinatal Quality Collaborative of Illinois(PQCI) and a member of the executive board since 2008. As quality director for PQCI she has overseen all quality initiatives since 2008.

Marchelle Djordjevic, MBA, CPHQ, serves as Director, Quality, Safety and Health Policy in the Institute for Innovations in Care and Quality at the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA). She is a seasoned professional in national program management, with 15 years of experience in healthcare quality.  At IHA, Marchelle spearheads the annual IHA Quality Excellence Achievement Awards, develops physician engagement initiatives, and engages innovation teams that leverage data and technology to accelerate healthcare transformation in Illinois.  She also leads perinatal quality improvement efforts and helps align member hospitals with the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative, state and national improvement opportunities to reduce harm and improve patient care.  Marchelle has developed and directed a variety of collaboratives throughout her career, from pilot initiatives to national implementation programs on topics including hospital readmissions, surgical outcomes, hospital acquired infections and patient safety culture. Her work has helped advance the interests of several organizations, in addition to the IHA including the American Hospital Association (AHA) Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET), the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA), and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).  Marchelle earned her MBA from Northern Illinois University and is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ). 

Janine H. Lewis, MPH, PhD(c) has served as the Executive Director of EverThrive Illinois (formerly known as the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition) since September 2010. Her passion for improving health outcomes for mothers, children, and families, coupled with her extensive academic and practice-based knowledge, has been a common theme throughout her 10+ year career in MCH. Previously, she worked as the Associate Director of Programs at the March of Dimes Illinois Chapter, and as a consultant for various maternal and child health programs nationwide. Janine received her MPH at Boston University in international health, and is a current PhD candidate in MCH programs, methods, and policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. In addition to being an author and lecturer, Janine serves as a Committee co-chair in the Maternal and Child Health Section of the American Public Health Association, and on Boards of the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition and Family Focus Evanston.
In June 216, Nital Patel joined the March of Dimes Illinois Chapter as the Maternal and Child Health Program Director. She received her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Louisville with a focus in Epidemiology and Community Health Sciences. Additionally, she received her Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her previous work experiences is impacting community health from other non-profit agencies.
Dr. Akihiko Noguchi came from Tokyo to U.S. to experience residency training in Pediatrics. The original plan of returning to Japan after 2 years altered. He became more interested in the NICU impact on the community health as a neonatologist. While working in the National Children’s Study at the St. Louis Gateway Site as Co-Investigator, he started coordinating Perinatal Quality Collaborative of Illinois since 2008. Dr. Noguchi thanks talented and knowledgeable colleagues for the steady progress we made despite little funding. Planning with CHIPRA toward the statewide collaborative involving all the perinatal healthcare professionals and stakeholders in the past 2 years has been very exciting.
Andrea Palmer, for thirty years Andrea Palmer has served Illinois’ most vulnerable families in a myriad of roles from direct services as a caseworker and supervisor to program implementation as a program manager to program administration as a statewide program coordinator and the Acting Chief of the Illinois Department of Human Services Bureau of Early Childhood Development. Andrea was integrally involved in the development, implementation and administration of Illinois’ Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program. Andrea is currently the Division Chief of the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Maternal, Child and Family Health Services Division. Andrea has a Bachelor of Arts from Bradley University; a Graduate Certificate of Health Service Management, Master of Public Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees from Keller Graduate School of Management. Andrea is a member of the Illinois Early Learning Council and has actively participated on the Prevent Child Abuse America Healthy Families America National Advisory; Research to Practice and Accreditation councils. Andrea was also the 2012 recipient of the national Prevent Child Abuse America Service Excellence Award.
Deborah Rosenberg, PhD, MPH is Research Associate Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC-SPH). Dr. Rosenberg is nationally recognized for her efforts to enhance epidemiologic capacity in state and local health agencies. For more than 20 years, Dr. Rosenberg has led CDC and HRSA/MCHB sponsored courses on a wide variety of data-related topics, including trend analysis, performance measurement, and other multivariable methods. Dr. Rosenberg also led a CDC sponsored national assessment of MCH epidemiology functioning in all 50 states.. In Illinois, Dr. Rosenberg works closely with the state's Maternal and Child Health Program, providing epidemiologic assistance for surveillance and monitoring, program evaluation, and performance monitoring as well as facilitating intra and inter-agency data sharing. She led an evaluation of the state’s birth defects registry, contributed to improvements in maternal mortality surveillance, and was a member of the team that studied the content and quality of prenatal care as part of the Closing the Gap project. Dr. Rosenberg led the data analysis portion of the IL Breastfeeding Blueprint as well as the recent analysis of early elective deliveries using IL birth certificate data. She is a member of the Statewide Quality Council, the data subcommittee of the state's Perinatal Advisory Committee, is the IL CoIIN team Data Lead, and serves on the Leadership Team and the Data Team for the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative.
Linda Wheal is the Maternal Health Program Manager for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), the Medicaid/CHIP agency, within the Bureau of Quality Management (BQM). Her background and current responsibilities are focused on reproductive health and family planning, and maternal health, specifically improving birth outcomes for women enrolled in the Medicaid program. Ms. Wheal’s experience and responsibilities as a state policy maker and program manager are firmly rooted in evidence-based practice, education, and quality improvement, which is the foundation for the ILPQC and its work. The State of Illinois is legislatively mandated to improve birth outcomes and reduce costs. These mandates directly align with the ILPQC’s mission and the projects proposed under the grant application. The legislation requires HFS to reduce non-medically indicated cesarean sections, which directly correlates to the ILPQC’s quality improvement initiative to reduce early elective deliveries. She is also responsible for the legislatively-mandated semi-annual Perinatal Report, which relies heavily on birth certificate information. The ILPQC’s project to improve the accuracy of birth certificate information will greatly benefit HFS. Based on the success seen in other state perinatal quality collaboratives, Ms. Wheal fully expects that ILPQC quality improvement initiatives will result in improved birth outcomes and reduced costs. She has participated on the leadership team since its inception, providing support and leadership, participating in planning and development, and am committed to continuing these activities. One of the key factors for success of other state perinatal quality collaborative, as noted by Dr. Ed Donovan from the Ohio collaborative, is the involvement of the state Medicaid agency.
Patricia Lee King is the State Project Director for the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative at the Center for Healthcare Studies at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. Dr. Lee King has a Ph.D. in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a M.A. in social service administration from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in mathematics from Northwestern University. For over 10 years, Dr. Lee King has managed community based evaluation, performance monitoring, and research in women’s health at the federal (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and local (City of Milwaukee Health Department) government level and in academic settings (University of Southern California, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). She has expertise in managing contracts and subcontracts, large multi-year budgets, and ongoing reporting to government funding agencies including progress towards improving health outcomes for women and children. Dr. Lee King successfully developed partnerships with community and government agencies and individual stakeholders around perinatal health improvement at the local level with the City of Milwaukee Health Department to address racial/ethnic disparities in maternal, birth, and child development outcomes.
Cindy Mitchell is a Registered Professional Nurse with 19 years’ experience. Since the beginning of 2007 she has held the position of Administrator for the entire South Central Illinois Perinatal Network. She is a member of the Statewide Quality Council, Chair of the Facilities Designation Subcommittee and also a member of the Perinatal Advisory Council. Ms. Mitchell is an active member in the Illinois Perinatal Collaborative.
Dan Weiss is the Project Coordinator for the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, IL. Dan has a MPH in Community Health Sciences with a concentration in Maternal & Child Health and a B.S. in biological sciences both from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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