Chicago, IL 

Project Manager, Illinois Institute of Technology College of Psychology

Represented: Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates

Sonya Ballentine was a patient co-investigator on a Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award on community-based participatory research (CBPR). The award focused on training and development to engage African-American patients with serious mental illness as research leaders. She now leads a team of patients and providers in designing an interactive CBPR training manual and implementing two CBPR projects in Chicago.

Her CBPR experience began in 2012 with her work on an National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities-funded peer navigator project. The patient research team, of which Ballentine was a member, designed a peer navigator training manual for homeless African Americans with serious mental illness in Chicago’s Edgewater-Uptown neighborhood. Ballentine currently resides in this neighborhood and receives mental health services from the participating mental health agency.

Ballentine graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and worked for several years in the business sector before being hospitalized and diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and PTSD in 2007. As her mental health has stabilized, she is proud to once again be a productive member of society.

Ballentine served as a member of the Advisory Panel on Patient Engagement from August 2017 to August 2020.

Conflicts of Interest

As of March 29, 2017

  • Illinois Institute of Technology, employee
  • Heartland Health Outreach, participant of mental health services


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