Hear it From Them

As a physician and scientist, it is very important to understand the concerns of community members and to take their point of view into account. What you’re saying and what the community is hearing is not always the same. I highly recommend that researchers working with the community consult with the CARC before starting their work.
Susan Cohn, MD, ITM Co-Director, Dean of Clinical Research

2016 – 2017

CARC Members

Eric Carlton
President, Banner Learning Corp.
Cherita Ellens
Vice President of Business Operations and Communications, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future
Victor Hugo Garibay
Management Analyst, Region V Office Field Services Team for the Social Security Administration
Mary Hoffman
President, Marython Associates, Inc.
Ramona E. James, EdD, MSW, ABD
Professor, Kaplan University
Sgt. Yvonne Terry
Community Police Officer, Chicago Police Department
Bonnie “Pete” Thomas, MD
Physician, Cook County Hospital
Jonathan Wilkins
Associate and Consultant, Jones Lang LaSalle

Everyone from religious leaders to educators to law enforcement come together through the Community Advisory and Review Council (CARC) to give University of Chicago faculty feedback on the best ways to do their research on the South Side – all while learning important health lessons from the research presented.

The ITM launched the CARC in 2007 to forge a partnership between South Side community leaders and UChicago researchers. The ten CARC members meet at least eight times each year to review faculty’s research proposals and give their feedback. Since the program began, about 30 local leaders have served on the CARC, which has given community input on more than 65 faculty research presentations.

Meetings are held eight times each year between January and May, rotating at locations within the community. Sessions are held from 6 to 8 p.m. on the 2nd Monday of these months.

Questions? Contact Chartay Robinson, Community Development Program Specialist, at crobins1*medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu, for answers and to secure your spot at the next meeting.

Meet the CARC

  • Eric Carlton
    President of Banner Learning Corp.
    Eric Carlton is certified in administration, special education and instructional leadership, with a Masters in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. He has worked as a special education teacher, assistant principal, principal, and a regional vice president of a national educational services company. In 2003, he founded Banner Learning Corp., which runs options, alternative, and therapeutic day programs in Chicago and Milwaukee. Carleton has worked with CARC for three years to improve the wellbeing of the students and families he serves.
  • Cherita Ellens
    Vice President of Business Operations and Communications, Skills for Chicagoland's Future
    Cherita Ellens oversees marketing, communications, and business operations at Skills. She has also served as the executive director at the South Side and Wabash YMCAs. Additionally, she spent seven years in client services in the marketing/advertising agency industry. In 2012, Ellens was honored in the third cohort of Chicago Defender's Women of Excellence. Ellens is currently an Executive MBA candidate at the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza School of Business, and holds a bachelor's of science in speech communications from Illinois State University.
  • Victor Garibay
    Management Analyst for Social Security Administration
    Victor Garibay is a management analyst for the Field Services Team in the Region V office of the Social Security Administration. For the past 15 years, he has also served as chair of La Causa Community Committee (LC3) of South Chicago, which focuses on delinquency prevention. Garibay has been a CARC member since 2012, where he has helped educate people about the importance of clinical research, the experience of participating in clinical trials, and advancing the ways that people can participate in clinical and translational research in their everyday lives.
  • Mary Hoffman
    President and Founder of Marython Associates, Inc.
    Mary Hoffman is a marketing and strategic planning professional with over 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry. She holds an MBA, has worked on the clinical side of healthcare in large academic medical centers, served as Donor Coordinator, and worked for Baxter Healthcare. She provides strategic/business planning, global market development, marketing and sales consulting services to Fortune 100 corporations, start-ups and not-for-profits on the provider as well as supply side of healthcare. Hoffman has been an active member of the CARC for four years.
  • Pete Thomas, MD
    Medical Director of Cook County Health and Hospital Systems
    Pete Thomas, MD is an internist at Cook County Health and Hospital Systems and Medical Director of the Woodlawn Health Center and Project Brotherhood, “A Black Man’s Clinic.” After receiving his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School, he completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at the Rush University/Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Thomas has been featured on CNN’s Blacks in America Part II, Project Brotherhood “The Solutions” as Today’s Pioneer in HealthCare, Black Creativity 2011, and is a recurring host on the radio show “Doctor in the House.”





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