IN THE LOOP 04/21/2016

DR. ELBERT HUANG (pronounced “hwong”)

Dr. Elbert Huang is Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of the Center for Translational and Policy Research of Chronic Diseases, and Associate Director of the Chicago Center for Diabetes Translation Research at the University of Chicago.  From 2010-2011, he served as a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Huang is a primary care doctor who studies clinical and health care policy issues at the intersection of diabetes, aging, and health economics. He has performed seminal translational diabetes research studies applying methods from health economics. In 2008, Dr. Huang led a widely cited study that forecasted the growth in the diabetes population and related health care costs over the next 25 years.  He has also led economic evaluations of community-based diabetes initiatives, clinic quality improvement programs, new diabetes technologies (continuous glucose monitoring), and the application of basic scientific discoveries (genetic testing).

Dr. Huang’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Diabetes Association, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  He has received numerous honors including the Research Paper of the Year Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine and elected membership to the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Dr. Huang received his A.B., M.D., and M.P.H. from Harvard University and came to the University of Chicago in 2001.


(TWITTER: @StatehouseChick)

I started working at newspapers in college , back when actual human beings used razor blades to cut and paste stories onto pages. I worked the night shift, so I was around when the presses downstairs began to roll. The building rumbled.

I believe in newspapers. It sounds corny, but I think reading a daily paper is essential to being a good citizen. I grew up in a household where the local newspaper did — and still does — get stuffed into the mailbox every morning.

I joined the editorial board in March 2012 after working with outstanding journalists as state government reporter for the Chicago News Cooperative and WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio. Before that, I spent 12 years at the SouthtownStar covering politics and writing a column. I also wrote for the Peoria Journal Star and the Pantagraph in Bloomington-Normal.

People often ask which stories are the most memorable. They aren’t the political ones. I once got to drive a stick shift Dodge Viper 170 mph down a dusty country road for a feature story. Now that? Unforgettable.

I hope I bring a well-rounded, fair-minded perspective to the work I do here. The opinion pages are designed to give readers a daily dose of provocation.

We may not always agree. But let’s get into it.


LISA M. DIETLIN (pronounced deet-lynn)
(TWITTER:  @lisadietlin

Lisa M. Dietlin is an internationally recognized expert on philanthropy, charitable giving, and transformational change who, as a leading figure in the American nonprofit sector, is a highly coveted keynote speaker, media personality and philanthropic consultant.  She is the Founder of The Institute of Transformational Philanthropy (

Ms. Dietlin’s decades-long experience in the fundraising and nonprofit arenas, groundbreaking research on giving patterns, and influential ideas on transformational philanthropy have led her to become one of the most trusted philanthropic advisors in the nation. She is a frequent presence on several TV and radio programs, including NBC, CBS, Oprah & Friends Radio, WGN, The Weather Channel and WCIU in Chicago, FOX News and National Public Radio. She is frequently quoted in national publications such as USA Today, Marketwatch, Reuters andThe Chronicle of Philanthropy, Crain’s Chicago Business, CS Magazine and regularly contributes to The Huffington Post on her blog “Making a Difference®: The World of Giving.” In 2007, Lisa was named Charity Contributor to CBS 2 Chicago, and appeared regularly for two years to share ideas on how to get involved in charitable giving.

Ms. Dietlin is also the author of four books on the subjects of charitable giving and enacting positive change: Transformational Philanthropy: Entrepreneurs and Nonprofits,Making a Difference: 365 Tips, Ideas, and Stories to Change Your World, Making A Difference II: More Tips, Ideas and Stories to Change Your World, Making A Difference® III: Still More Tips, Ideas and Stories to Change Your World.

Her fifth book, The Power of Three: How to achieve your goals by simply doing three things a day was published in June 2014 and is available in 7 languages including English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Korean and Mandarin Chinese.  Her sixth book just released in September 2015 is titled, I Got Hit By A Taxi, But You Look Run Over: Life Lessons about Happiness and Joy based on her real life experience of being hit and run over by a taxi in the loop of Chicago.

All of her books are available for purchase on and on the Amazon Kindle.

Through her companies, Lisa provides her expert advice and structured counsel to entrepreneurial individuals and nonprofit organizations to develop strategies that facilitate transformational philanthropy and charitable giving. Ms. Dietlin has provided her services to over 140 organizations nationwide, including the Alzheimer’s Association, Kiwanis International, Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Junior League, Zonta and Feeding America.

Active in the development and fundraising arenas since 1982, Ms. Dietlin contributes her extensive experience in strategic planning for development and fundraising to many nonprofit organizations. She is a frequent and highly valued speaker on the subjects of entrepreneurial giving, major gifts fundraising, moves management and board development.

Ms. Dietlin is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). She holds a Master’s Degree in Philanthropy and Development from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.  She serves as an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences as well as DePaul University located in Chicago.  Previously, she served as an adjunct faculty member for the Nonprofit Degree and Certificate Program at North Park University in Chicago, Illinois, where she taught "Annual and Major Gifts Fundraising” and the self-designed course "Capital Campaigns for Nonprofit Organizations.”

Ms. Dietlin resides in Chicago.  She is originally from Alpena, Michigan.

(TWITTER: @Ra_Joy)

Ra Joy is executive director of CHANGE Illinois, a non-partisan coalition leading systemic political and government reform. CHANGE (the Coalition for Honest and New Government Ethics) includes a diverse network of civic, business, labor, professional, non-profit, and philanthropic organizations committed to strengthening our democracy and promoting a vibrant culture of civic participation. In this capacity, Ra sets and implements the organization’s strategic goals, manages its operations, and serves as a key spokesperson on issues of democracy reform.

A civic entrepreneur with a proven track record as a consensus and coalition builder, Ra has a decades-long commitment to advancing democracy and the arts. Prior to CHANGE Illinois, Ra served as executive director of Arts Alliance Illinois where he led statewide and citywide initiatives to elevate the role of culture and the arts in people’s lives, schools, and communities. Previously, Ra served as a senior aide to U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky where he advised the congresswoman on a range of issues including appropriations, and community and economic development initiatives.

Ra’s commitment to civic and social change has resulted in numerous awards including the 2015 Chicago Community Trust Fellowship, the 2015 Cultural Champion Award from the Chicago Cultural Alliance, and the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.  Ra is a Leadership Greater Chicago fellow (2005), a member of The Economic Club of Chicago, and a member of the City of Chicago’s Cultural Advisory Council.  He is a frequent speaker on democracy reform, citizenship, and the arts in America.

You can connect with Ra on Twitter at @Ra_Joy.

For More Information: Http://Www.Changeil.Org/Who-We-Are/