Christine Herman | WGLT

Christine Herman

Christine Herman spent nine years studying chemistry before she left the bench to report on issues at the intersection of science and society. She started in radio in 2014 as a journalism graduate student at the University of Illinois and a broadcast intern at Radio Health Journal. Christine has been working at WILL since 2015.

In Illinois, the quality of a child’s health, education, housing and economic situation often correlates with a child's race, ethnicity and geographic location, according to a new KIDS COUNT report from Voices For Illinois Children, an organization that advocates for state investments that benefit children across the state.

The federal Child and Adult Care Food Program reimburses child care providers for serving up nutritious foods to children in their care. It serves more than 4.2 million U.S. children each day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Allen Hall on the University of Illinois Urbana campus.
Courtesy of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois student Andrew Smith of Normal has been arrested in connection with a noose found in an elevator at Allen Hall in Urbana early Sunday morning.

Officials at the University of Illinois are investigating a report of a noose found in an elevator at Allen Hall, a student dorm in Urbana.

Illinois will soon require insurers to cover EpiPens and similar devices for children 18 and under. But questions remain about whether the law will really lower costs for consumers.

Lance Pittman arrived at the Danville Correctional Center on Jan. 10 with multiple boxes of books, and bound printouts of articles and book chapters. Pittman coordinates a college in prison program called the Education Justice Project, which offers University of Illinois classes to a select group of men at the Danville prison. 

A new Illinois law aims to ensure that parents of justice-involved youth who need costly mental health services don’t have to trade custody for treatment for their child.

In Illinois, election maps are drawn by the political party in power. Thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, that will continue to be the case — even after the 2020 census.

To cut down on unnecessary waste, food safety experts say people need to know what expiration dates on packaged foods really mean.

The Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to the food industry back in May suggesting they clarify the meaning of dates printed on packaged foods.

That’s because many people are confused by what they mean, according to Bob Brackett, a food scientist with the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Man hunched over, looking depressed
flickr/findrehabcenters (CC BY 2.0)

The new state budget awaiting Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature includes what advocates say is a much-needed $80 million increase in funding for mental health and addiction treatment.

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.


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.

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.

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.

Betsy and Rodney at their podiums
Cindy Le / WGLT

Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis and Democratic challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan debated Monday for the last time before Election Day, accusing one another of lying about who’s funding their campaigns, whether pre-existing conditions will be covered, and who really benefits from the tax cuts.

Betsy and Rodney at their podiums
Travis Stansel / Illinois Public Media

Health care, trade, and the tax overhaul are three of the biggest issues in the race for the 13th Congressional District between incumbent Rodney Davis and challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan.

617cf0d8-abd3-4ea8-a614-100205df9956
Photo by Alban Gonzalez is licensed under CC 2.0. https://www.flickr.com/photos/paingouin/2942937382/

When Matthew Timion needed to get his son treatment for mental illness, he did not anticipate it would be so hard to get the insurance company to pay for it.

oswaldoruiz/pixabay (CC0 1.0)

Adult Medicaid recipients in Illinois can now receive coverage for preventive dental services, which include regular exams and teeth cleanings.

Rich Saal / The State Journal-Register/Pool

The Illinois House has approved a $38.5 billion state budget for the year that begins July 1.

Bus in a parking lot
Suburban Express / Facebook

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has announced a lawsuit against the private bus company Suburban Express for alleged human rights violations.

It took several months and a team of half a dozen doctors, nurses and therapists to help Kim Brown taper off the opioid painkillers she’d been on for two years.

Brown had been taking the pills since an injury in 2014. It wasn’t until she met Dr. Dennis McManus, a neurologist who specializes in non-pharmacological approaches to pain management that she learned she had some control over her pain.

“That’s when life changed,” she said.