Contributors

Zach Baliva

Zach Baliva

Multimedia Consultant
Memorial Health System

Zach conceptualizes and creates videos that showcase dynamic patient stories and the vast services available at Memorial. Prior to joining the team in 2015, he spent five years at Warner Brothers Television working on NBC’s ER, produced a motion picture—My Name is Jerry—and was a freelance writer. He’s a lifetime Chicago Cubs fan, speaks Italian and enjoys spending time with his wife and son.

Amelia Benner

Amelia Benner

Creative Consultant
Memorial Health System

Amelia draws on her background as a small-town newspaper editor to give a personal touch to the stories that make Memorial unique. When she’s not writing, she also enjoys reading, knitting and spending time outdoors.

Jessie Decker, MA

Jessie Decker, MA

PR & Communications Editor
Memorial Health System

Jessie coordinates and edits print and digital messaging for Memorial employees, patients and the community. Prior to joining Memorial, she worked in various communication roles for eight years in for- and not-for-profit healthcare organizations. She’s a proud University of Missouri journalism alum and Celts Rugby club member, enjoys traveling with her two sisters, and spending time working in her yard and with her two dogs.

Ginny Evans, MBA

Ginny Evans, MBA

Communications Consultant
Memorial Health System

Ginny’s background in organization development and business shapes her expertise in creating efficient and streamlined communication plans, internal communication tactics, patient materials and event planning. She enjoys gardening and spending time with her husband and son, four rescue kitties and cattle dog.

Julie Kaiser, MFA

Julie Kaiser, MFA

Communications Consultant
Memorial Health System

Julie enjoys uncovering stories that showcase Memorial as a great place to work and receive care, a true testament to her experience as a freelance writer for news and feature publications. She is an avid baseball fan (Go, Cards!) and enjoys following her kids’ activities as well as traveling with her husband.

Stephanie Lahnum, MA

Stephanie Lahnum, MA

Communications Consultant
Memorial Health System

Stephanie’s broadcast journalism experience–including reporting at the Illinois State Capitol– informs her style of storytelling. Her favorite things are her kids, Avery, Chase and Ellie, chai lattes from Starbucks and discovering old TV series via Netflix.

Michael Leathers

Michael Leathers

Media Relations Consultant
Memorial Health System

Michael connects news media with Memorial’s patient stories, services and events and showcases Memorial’s impact on the community. Prior to joining Memorial in 2003, he spent 10 years working in print journalism and has worked in various corporate communication roles. In his free time, Michael pens plays for national competitions and enjoys supporting the Springfield, Illinois, theater scene.

Carrie Willis

Carrie Willis

Marketing & Training Specialist
Memorial Behavioral Health

A marketer, mom and runner — Carrie is beginning the real marathon of her first son’s journey through the teenage years with another son not far behind in that race to adulthood. Born, raised and educated in Central Illinois with a long time background in communications and marketing. She feels blessed to have landed at Memorial Behavioral Health to use her talents for an important mission.

Mary Beth Williams

Mary Beth Williams

Manager of Marketing, Training and Community Outreach
Memorial Behavioral Health

Mary Beth manages all marketing, internal communication and trainings at Memorial Behavioral Health. She earned a bachelor’s in corporate communication from Eastern Illinois University and is pursuing a master’s in communication from the University of Illinois Springfield. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, walking her dogs and working on DIY house projects.