July Town Hall Meeting – SHIELD Illinois
Sponsored by Maxim Healthcare Staffing
Speakers: Beth Heller, Rebecca Lee Smith & Debbie Broadfield
Senior Director, External Relations
A veteran marketing executive and life-long Chicagoan, Beth Heller brings more than 25 years of experience and expertise to SHIELD Illinois, including strategic planning, executing high-profile events, leveraging influencer relations and implementing media-management and brand marketing.
At SHIELD Illinois, Beth oversees external relations for the University of Illinois’ non-profit COVID-19 saliva-based PCR test program. She began working with SHIELD as the company began offering testing to partners outside of the university system. Working in tandem with local state agencies including the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Gov. JB Pritzker’s education office, the State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), Heller is focused on bringing SHIELD’s screening testing to PK-12 schools throughout the state. Heller also onboards and engages with other external partners, including the U.S. District Court of Illinois, Rivian, an electric truck company with headquarters in Normal, IL and companies looking to utilize SHIELD testing as a way to provide an additional mitigation layer to keep people safe. In addition, Beth manages SHIELD’s marketing department, which includes the Public Relations and Social Media arms.
It is essential that Beth and her team are knowledgeable about the myriad issues and current news surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, including a clear understanding of the complexity of different attitudes and opinions surrounding the pandemic from a market perspective. That includes having tough conversations about controversial issues with many types of organizations — with a focus on education and government.
Beth’s role with SHIELD is another example of her lifelong passion for community involvement. She sits on the Board of Trustees at the Latin School of Chicago, where she is an alumnus. She also is an avid supporter of Chicago’s arts community, and works with many athletes’ charitable foundations, including former Chicago Cub Kerry Wood’s “Wood Family Foundation” and former Chicago Bear Charles “Peanut” Tillman’s “Cornerstone Foundation,” among others. She co-chairs some of the city’s most high-profile events, such as the Green Tie Ball, which raises money to clean and beautify Chicago.
Beth earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana. Prior to joining SHIELD, Beth founded BH Consulting, developing marketing strategies for select companies and partnerships, securing media exposure, and creating pathways to give back to the community. Prior to that, she was Executive Vice President and VP, Marketing for Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group for more than 20 years. She helped the company grow from a single restaurant into one of Chicago’s largest restaurant groups and iconic institutions. She remains a partner in the Group and in 2015 received the inaugural Hospitality Award given by the Chicago Hotel Concierge Association.
Rebecca Lee Smith DVM MS PhD
Associate Professor of Epidemiology
Dr. Rebecca L Smith is associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She earned a DVM and a PhD in epidemiology from Cornell University, as well as an MS in biosecurity and risk analysis from Kansas State University. Since joining UIUC in 2014, her work has focused on control of disease using mathematical and statistical modeling. In particular, she focuses on developing realistic disease control programs in collaboration with field-based partners.
The Covid-19 SHEILD Illinois test is a PCR saliva test that was developed for University of Illinois students to successfully return to campus last fall. The test is utilized as a diagnostic test and is approved by the FDA.
Just a few highlights of the test are:
- Funding from the State of Illinois comes from the Illinois Department of Public Health
- Highly accurate results within 24 hours, typically however, results are given 12 hours after the test
- For Tier 1 and 2 schools, the test is completely free, for Tier 3 and 4, some, but minimal fees involved
- Collection will be set up at the school and then taken to a collections SHEILD Illinois laboratory
- Current focus is for middle and high school, however it is believed that it will soon be extended to K-5
- Schools will choose the population to test
Join us on July 15th to learn more about the Covid-19 SHIELD Illinois test.
Registration is limited for this meeting!
Once you have registered, please read the confirmation page for further information regarding Zoom links.