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.
Carrie Peltier, MS, MPH
Carrie is a Project Manager working on the Collaborate for Healthy Weight and Be Our Voice obesity projects. Carrie has a background working in nutrition research, managing laboratories, and developing and implementing public health initiatives. She holds an MPH with a concentration in Health Communication from Tufts University School of Medicine, an MS in Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition from Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and a BS in Nutritional Science from Michigan State University.
Adam is a Project Coordinator for the Collaborate for Healthy Weight project. Prior to joining NICHQ, he interned at the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics in Boston and Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, Connecticut. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University with majors in Economics and Health: Science, Society, and Policy and a minor in East Asian Studies.
Toni-Ann Saunders, MPH
Toni-Ann is Project Manager for the Working to Improve Sickle Cell Healthcare (WISCH) project. She previously served as a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator and Program Coordinator at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Toni-Ann received her MPH in Health Policy and Management from Boston University School of Public Health and her BS in Human Physiology from Boston University.
Senior Project Coordinator
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 is a Project Coordinator on 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.
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.
Emma Smizik, MPH
Project Manager II
Emma is a Project Manager II on the CHIPRA Massachusetts Medical Home and Collaborate for Healthy Weight projects. 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.
Maria is a Project Coordinator supporting the Best Fed Beginnings project. She graduated from Boston University in May 2012 with a BA in Environmental Science. During her undergraduate studies, Maria gained experience as a Research Assistant at Channing Laboratory, a Clinical Compliance Intern at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and a volunteer at Boston Medical Center.
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.
Project Director and Perinatal Content Lead
Jennifer is a Project Director on the Texas Breastfeeding initiative and the Abt Infant Mortality project. Prior to joining NICHQ, she was the Director of Vermont’s Perinatal Outreach Education and Perinatal Quality Improvement Initiatives within the University of Vermont’s Child Health Improvement Program. During the past 9 years, Jennifer 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 over the past 10+ years. Jennifer received a BSN from Canadore Nipissing University (North Bay, Ontario) and the University of Vermont. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Health Administration at the University of Vermont.
Rachel VanderKruik, MSc
Rachel is a an analyst in the Applied Research and Evaluation department. She is currently focused on evaluation for the Collaborate for Healthy Weight and Working to Improve Sickle Cell Healthcare (WISCH) projects. Prior to joining NICHQ, Rachel worked as Clinical Research Coordinator in the Perinatal and Reproductive Psychiatry Department at Massachusetts General Hospital. She holds a BA in Biology from Bowdoin College and an MSc in Maternal and Child Health/Obesity Epidemiology and Prevention from Harvard University School of Public Health.
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.
Jenna M. Williams, MPH
Jenna is a Project Manager on the Collaborate for Healthy Weight project. She previously worked with the Ohio Department of Health evaluating childhood obesity prevention programs and acquired behavioral health research experience at The Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. Jenna graduated from Wittenberg University with a BS in Biology and earned her MPH in Health Behavior and Promotion from The Ohio State University.
Isabel joined NICHQ as a Project Coordinator on the Best Fed Beginnings project as well as the Improving Hearing Screening and Intervention Systems (IHSIS) project. Prior to joining NICHQ, she worked as an Events Intern at both Faith Moore & Associates and Corinthian Events. Isabel received her BA in Sociology from Boston University.