Christine Herman

Reporter, WILL

Christine Herman is a Ph.D. chemist turned audio journalist. Her reporting has received awards from the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association and has aired on national programs including All Things Considered and Here & Now. Christine is a mother of three and aspiring aerial artist. She's a recipient of the 2018-2019 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism and has been working at Illinois Public Media since 2015. 

Ways to Connect

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UPDATE: As the case count continues to rise, information on this story is moving quickly and may be out-of-date. We recommend checking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for ways to stay safe and this John Hopkins tool for the most recent data

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to tick up nationwide, local public health workers are faced with the challenging task of ensuring those at risk take proper precautions. 

Public Health Administrators Julie Pryde and Monica Hendrickson joined Illinois Public Media’s statewide talk show, “The 21st,” to discuss the impact on local public health departments -- and concerns about "inadequate" testing.


Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ Alissa Eckert, MS

Coronavirus is spreading across the Midwest, and health officials are scrambling to stem the disease -- or prepare for a potential epidemic. Side Effects will keep you updated on this evolving story and share reports from partner stations across the Midwest -- including news of a school closing in Indiana and the first case in Missouri. 

Christine Herman/Illinois Public Media

After Rebecca and Bruce Austin gave birth to their daughter, they struggled to get pregnant again. So they signed up to become foster parents.

“I wouldn’t change it for anything,” says Rebecca, reflecting on the past nine years. 


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Americans are divided on lots of issues. But a new national survey finds that people across the political spectrum agree on at least one thing: Our health care system needs fixing.

Courtesy of Dr. Marty Makary

The United States spends more than $3 trillion on health care every year. That comes out to about double the spending per person than other wealthy nations—yet with worse health outcomes in comparison.


Nothing Jenn and Jason learned in parenting class prepared them for the challenges they've faced raising a child prone to violent outbursts.

The couple are parents to two siblings whom they first fostered as toddlers and later adopted. (NPR has agreed not to use the children's names or the couple's last names because of the sensitive nature of the family's story.)

Illustration by Tamara Cubrilo

When José moved his family to the U.S. from Mexico nearly two decades ago, he had hopes of giving his children a better life.

But now he worries about the future of his 21-year-old-son, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder last year.


Christine Herman/Illinois Public Media

Losing a loved one to gun violence can cause anxiety, stress and other mental health symptoms. So can simply living in an environment where violence is common.

But experts say early intervention and support can help prevent some of those negative, long-term consequences.


Photo courtesy of Carrie Vickery.

A small but growing number of U.S. women are choosing to have their babies at home. In more than 30 states, including most of the Midwest, it’s legal for certified professional midwives – trained specifically in home birth – to assist them.

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Across much of the Midwest, maternal and infant death rates are high—especially among African-Americans. So doctors, public health agencies and non-profit organizations are searching for solutions.

Among them is Sistering CU in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. It offers free home visits from trained volunteers to families with babies up to six months in age. It also recently launched a support group for new parents.


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