Executive Team and Staff
Suzette Oyeku, MD, MPH
Project Director/Physician Champion
Dr. Oyeku is a general pediatrician and health services researcher with expertise in sickle cell disease. At NICHQ, she serves as a Project Director on the Working to Improve Sickle Cell Healthcare (WISCH) project. Dr. Oyeku is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Yeshiva University and practices pediatric primary care in addition to providing specialized care for persons with sickle cell disease at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in NY.
Heather joined NICHQ as a Project Coordinator for the CHIPRA Massachusetts Medical Home and Collaborate for Healthy Weight projects. Prior to joining NICHQ, she was an Associate Producer at Powderhouse Productions where she worked on Animal Planet programming such as Dogs 101, Cats 101, Must Love Cats and others. She graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2009 with a major in Media & Communication and a minor in Fine Arts.
Avery supports the Working to Improve Sickle Cell Healthcare (WISCH) project. Prior to joining NICHQ, she served as an Operations Assistant and Executive Assistant to the founder and managing partner of PureTech Ventures. Avery has also worked as a Staff Assistant at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard. She received a BS in Mathematics from St. Lawrence University.
Sabrina is a Senior Analyst for the Infant Mortality Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN). Before joining NICHQ, Sabrina was doing research on financial well-being for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and as a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health. Sabrina has a doctorate and master’s degree in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington, where she majored in Psychology and Biology.
Jonathan Small, MBA
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications
Jonathan has over two decades of experience in healthcare communications. Prior to coming to NICHQ, he served as VP Communications for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and as Director of Corporate Communications for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. He received his MBA from the Yale School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in Government from Oberlin College.
Lauren A. Smith, MD, MPH
Senior Strategic Advisor
Dr. Smith is the Senior Strategic Advisor on the Infant Mortality Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) project. Prior to joining NICHQ, Dr. Smith worked at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health holding posts including Interim Commissioner, Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer. Before that, Dr. Smith was on the faculty at Boston University School of Medicine and served as a pediatric hospitalist for more than 10 years at Boston Medical Center. Lauren is a graduate of Harvard College, the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health.
Emma Smizik, MPH
Senior Project Manager
Emma is a Senior Project Manager on the CHIPRA Massachusetts Medical Home Initiative project. She joined the NICHQ team as a Project Manager with three years of project management experience at a Boston-area nonprofit, as well as experience working on children’s health care access issues in California. Emma received her Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Brandeis University and her MPH in Health Policy and Management from Boston University.
Karthika Parithivel Streb, MPH
Director of Programs
As the Director of Programs, Karthi is responsible for overseeing NICHQ's core programmatic areas including Perinatal Care, Children and Youth With Special Healthcare Needs, and Obesity. Over her first three years at NICHQ, Karthi served as a Senior Project Manager and then as Associate Project Director working on and leading several quality improvement projects. Karthi has a background in hospital based consulting including physician-hospital integration strategies. In addition she has spent several years working in clinical quality improvement including measurement and reporting. Karthi graduated from Hamilton College with a degree in Public Policy and has a Masters in Public Health from Boston University.
Nhan Trinh, MBA
Director of Finance
As the Director of Finance at NICHQ, Nhan is responsible for all fiscal financial management, including the annual budget and forecast, financial reporting, monthly close and annual audit. Nhan brings more than 16 years of financial management experience. He holds a BBA in Finance and Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MBA in Finance from Boston University.
Jennifer Ustianov, MS, RN, IBCLC
Jennifer Ustianov, MS, RN, IBCLC is NICHQ’s Director of Perinatal Content and the Project Director of the Best Fed Beginnings, Texas and New York state breastfeeding initiatives. Prior to joining NICHQ, she was the Project Director for the Vermont’s Perinatal Outreach Education and Perinatal Quality Improvement Initiatives within the University of Vermont’s Child Health Improvement Program. During the past 12 plus years, Ustianov has directed local and national projects focused on improving outcomes for pregnant women and their families, and she has also served as a lactation consultant and staff nurse at several institutions. Matching this experience with 32 years of maternal child clinical experience, Ustianov provides extensive knowledge in quality improvement methodology, teamwork models, patient safety and system re-design, guiding translation to frontline health professional in clinical and community settings.
Kate Vaughan, MSW
Associate Project Director and CYSHCN Operational Lead
Kate is an Associate Project Director for the Working to Improve Sickle Cell Healthcare (WISCH) project. She also serves as an Operational Lead for NICHQ's Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSCHN) focus area. Her professional background includes policy advocacy, strategic communications and campaigning for social change. Previous employers include FrameWorks Institute, Health Care For All (MA), and the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Kate received an MSW from Boston University.
Eleanor is a Project Coordinator for the Improving Care for Children with Autism and CHIPRA Massachusetts Medical Home projects. Prior to joining NICHQ, she served as an Analyst at Kobre & Kim LLP in New York City. Eleanor has a background in law and advocacy, and a passion for social policy and advocacy. Eleanor received her BA in History from Yale University.