Christine Herman

Reporter, Illinois Newsroom

Christine Herman is a Ph.D. chemist turned audio journalist who covers health for the Illinois Newsroom and Side Effects Public Media. Her work has aired on national broadcasts including Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Here & Now and has received awards from the Public Media Journalists Association, the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the Radio Television Digital News Association.Christine is part of a national reporting partnership with NPR and Kaiser Health News and was a 2018-19 Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism fellow. She started at WILL in 2015. Prior to her reporting role, she was a founding producer of WILL’s statewide talk show, The 21st.

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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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An Illinois Senate bill aims to help children who are at risk of entering state custody because of issues caused by untreated mental illness. The measure comes as states grapple with ways to help parents who face a heartbreaking choice: giving up custody to obtain expensive treatment for a child.


Courtesy of Jessica Barnes

Measles is a potentially deadly illness that is spreading in many parts of the world. Thanks to vaccines, the disease was eliminated from the U.S. almost two decades ago.

But measles outbreaks have sprung up ever since.


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Research shows African-Americans are less likely to access treatment for mental illness.

Cultural norms and the stigma associated with having a mental illness are partly to blame, according to Shardé Smith, assistant professor of human development and family studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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Ashoor Rasho has spent more than half of his life alone in a prison cell—22 to 24 hours a day. The cell was so narrow he could reach his arms out and touch both walls at once.

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A law professor in Illinois wants to put a stop to a medical practice that she says treats women’s bodies like cadavers. 

Across most of the U.S., teaching hospitals allow medical students to conduct pelvic exams on female patients without their knowledge or explicit consent. 


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Stress is a normal part of life. And there’s even such thing as a “good” level of stress that keeps us going, according to psychology researchers Sanda and Florin Dolcos at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

But severe stress can interfere with day-to-day living, and this can be particularly challenging during the holiday season, they say.

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The Illinois Department of Corrections continues to flounder in its efforts to care for inmates with mental illness, according to a new report authored by Dr. Pablo Stewart, a psychiatrist and court-appointed monitor on a 2016 settlement agreement on a class-action lawsuit.

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Health care was a big campaign issue across the Midwest, and Tuesday's election results were mixed. Among the winners: medical marijuana.

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Across the Midwest, health care has emerged as one of the year’s biggest campaign flash points — in races from U.S. Senate to state attorney general.

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