Meet Our Residents and Faculty!


Jeffrey Cohen, MD
Hometown: Laguna Niguel, CA
Medical School: Unversity of California, San Diego
Undergrad: University of California, Los Angeles
Career Plans: Nephrology or Primary Care
Who am I?: Born and raised in sunny Southern California, I am looking forward to spending the next chapter of my medical career in the Windy City! I am not entirely sure what I want to pursue in the future, but the options range from transplant nephrology to primary care. When I have free time outside of medicine, you can find me in a cafe reading a science fiction novel, keeping interest in the humanities alive by writing a short story, or spending time with friends, usually in a culinary setting.


Adriana Giuliani, MD
Hometown: West Lafayette, Indiana
Medical School: The Ohio State University
Undergrad: Indiana University
Career Plans: Currently planning to pursue a career with MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) aka Doctors Without Borders. I would like to begin MPH training at UIC and finish after residency. May do a fellowship, main interests in PICU or Heme/Onc. I would also like to be a part of academia, either in medical school or residency teaching.
Who am I?: I have been spiraling through the Midwest throughout my education and hope enough centripetal force will throw me into a career with MSF. I am excited about the extensive opportunities to speak Spanish and pursue an MPH at UIC. In my free time, I meter out cuddling time for my cats, greeting the tamale guy on my street, and exercising to maintain my Pillsbury physique. I bake to counteract any benefit from the gym. I also like soccer and backpacking and writing and stuff. I am not related to the other Giuliani.


Jessica (Jezli) Hsueh, MD
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Medical School: Northwestern University
Undergrad: University of California, San Diego
Career Plans: Too soon to be sure!
Who am I?: On days off, I can be found repotting my plants, napping with my two cats, taking a long bubble bath, pwning n00bs on Dota Underlords, or not using the Oxford comma. My kitchen contains at least 7 different types of spoons and at least 15 different hot sauces. My favorite things about UIC are my lovely, hyper-intelligent co-residents and the challenging-but-rewarding patient populations encountered at UIH and the VA.


Aisha Uraizee, MD
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Medical School: University of Missouri
Undergrad: Saint Louis University
Career Plans: Primary care, women’s health, global health, public health
Who am I?: Originally from the Land of Misery (Missouri), I enjoy spending my free time exploring as much of Chicago as possible. You can find me at the front of the line wherever there is free food. I also love to host friends and family at my apartment (even though I’m hardly home #internyear). I hope to pursue a (free!) MPH after residency, and work both in outpatient and inpatient MedPeds, following my passions in women’s and global health.


Paul Cooper, MD
Hometown: Needham, MA
Medical School: University of Pittsburgh
Undergrad: Emory University
Career Plans: Considering Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Critical Care, MedPeds Hospitalist
Who am I?: Hailing from the suburbs of Boston, I am an avid Boston sports fan and skier, and a mediocre beach volleyball and spikeball enthusiast. I am a good example of how to survive Chicago without a car. I am a fan of bad action movies, good horror movies, and Mexican seafood restaurants in West Town. I unfortunately admit to still working on my newborn swaddling technique.


Nathan Dalrymple, MD 
Hometown: Phillipsburg, NJ
Medical School: Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
Undergrad: Colgate University
Career Plans: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Who am I?: Hi! People call me Nate and I am from the dirty jersey. Transplanted from the east coast to the midwest, I am on a mission to heal and explore the world with some laughter sprinkled in between. I am currently living in Pilsen where I get to enjoy a tamale while on my bike ride to work, making the transition feel pretty seamless!


Meghan Hudak, MD
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Medical School: University of South Carolina
Undergrad: University of Notre Dame


Charles Swanson, MD
Hometown: South Lyon, MI
Medical School: Michigan State University
Undergrad: Michigan State University
Career Plans: Varied – interested in intensive care, allergy-immunology, and general outpatient practice
Who am I?: I hail from the great state of Michigan. I enjoy reading (classics, novels, non-fiction, horror), writing, and slowly working my way through all of Chicago’s restaurants. Charlie also enjoys talking about himself in the third-person.


John (Jack) Flores, MD
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Medical School: University of Texas – San Antonio
Undergrad: University of Notre Dame
Career Plans: MedPeds Infectious Diseases
Who am I?: Born and raised in Chicago, but spent some time in Pittsburgh.  I went on to Notre Dame and Texas for education. Love trivia nights at bars, biking, Star Wars, and have an unhealthy obsession with Notre Dame football. Goal is to do a combined ID fellowship and work in Urban Academic Center. 4-5 years of fellowship in the lowest-paid subspecialty? Sign me up! Go Irish!


Zoe Haemer, MD, MPH
Hometown: Boulder, CO
Medical School: Tulane University
Undergrad: Washington University in St. Louis


David Hodge, MD, MPH
Hometown: Belvidere, IL
Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine – Chicago
Undergrad: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Career Plans: Outpatient Peds and a Medicine Hospitalist
Who am I?: Embedded on assignment as part of a sloppy international spy ring to discover how UIC MedPeds got to be so cool. Learning medicine by osmosis in the meantime. Into trap, running, bougie food, Spanish slang, and the #12 bus. Uncle to two awesome kids in Logan Square. Aspiring lottery winner. When I’m not working, I’m watching The Office or browsing IG for memes from The Office… or going to the club. I grew up in a cornfield, and unexpectedly miss cornfields sometimes. Go Flames!


Ashley Zilberstein, MD
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Medical School: Sackler School of Medicine
Undergrad: University of California, Los Angeles
Career Plans: Academic MedPeds
Who am I?: Born and raised in California, I ventured out to Illinois to find a loving home among my UIC MedPeds family. I enjoy basking in Chicago’s summer sunshine, mastering new cuisines of my Mediterranean background, and strengthening my mind and body through pilates and barre. I am enthusiastic about teaching and learning, and I hope to master the art of teaching in order to one day join Papa Srivastava in the world of academics.


Melissa Brook, MD, MPH
Chief Resident
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Medical School: The Ohio State University
Undergrad: The Ohio State University
Career Plans: ???
Who am ?: I enjoy cooking, gardening, ballet, and free food. I spend my weekends walking around the city with my husband. In my last year of residency, I am working on perfecting my attending attestation in anticipation of graduation. I am eagerly awaiting my last recruitment season.


Trinh Khong, MD
Hometown: Garden Grove, CA
Medical School: University of California, Los Angeles
Undergrad: University of California, Los Angeles
Career Plans: MedPeds Combined Hospitalist


Ana Mauro, MD, MPH
Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina & Miami, FL
Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine – Chicago
Undergrad: ​Florida International University


Shuvani Sanyal, MD 
Chief Resident
Hometown: Palatine, IL
Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine – Chicago
Undergrad: ​University of Chicago
Career Plans: Academic Med-Peds Hospitalist
Who am I?: Hailing from the land of the Royal Bengal tiger, I now find myself co-parenting a rather small but no less majestic maltipoo puppy with my MedPeds co-resident (Trinh). A quintessential extrovert – Myers Briggs: ENFP, Zodiac Sign: Scorpio, Hogwarts House: Slytherin, I am most proud of the family, friends, and colleagues I am surrounded by in my favorite city Chicago. With a particular passion for puns, philosophical debates, palatable hole-in-the-wall culinary adventures, I am excited to make the most of my 4th year before starting a fellowship / real job (TBD) in MedPeds hospital medicine.


Pavan Srivastava, MD is the Program Director for the MedPeds residency program and an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Pediatrics. He has been at the University of Illinois at Chicago since the turn of the century: completing his undergraduate studies, medical school education, and residency training at the institution. He has also served as Chief Resident for the MedPeds and the Pediatrics residency programs at UIC. Dr. Srivastava has strong interests in medical education and quality improvement, as well as, primary and preventative health care for underserved adults and children. He supervises residents in clinic and on the medicine and pediatric wards. Dr. Srivastava has received teaching awards from both the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, as well as, a Golden Apple Award for excellence in medical education from the College of Medicine.  Other roles include being the Peds M4 Clerkship Director and Synthesis longitudinal course Co-Director for M1’s and M2’s at the College of Medicine.


Katie Mena, MD is an Associate Program Director and an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics. Dr. Mena is a former graduate and now Director of our MedPeds Global Health Track. She completed medical school at the University of Toledo College of Medicine in Toledo, Ohio where she is originally from and then moved to Chicago to complete her MedPeds residency training at UIC. She has served as Chief Resident for the MedPeds and Pediatrics residency programs at UIC. Dr. Mena has interests in medical education and global health. She supervises residents in the MedPeds, Peds, and Internal Medicine resident clinics as well as on the medicine wards and newborn nursery.


Kelsie Avants, DO is an Associate Program Director and an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics.  She completed her residency training at UIC and then served as Chief Resident for the Pediatrics residency program.  She supervises residents in the pediatrics and internal medicine clinics, general pediatrics wards, internal medicine wards, and newborn nursery. Dr. Avants has interests in preventative health and chronic disease management for underserved populations, community public health and advocacy, medical education, and global health.


Rachel Caskey, MD, MPP is the former Program Director for the MedPeds residency program, and is now Chief of the Section of Academic Internal Medicine, an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, and a health services researcher. Dr. Caskey attended Jefferson Medical College for medical school and University of Michigan for residency and served as the MedPeds Chief Resident. Dr. Caskey completed a health services research fellowship at University of Chicago, where she also got a Master of Arts in Public Policy. Dr. Caskey holds an affiliate appointment at UIC’s School of Public Health. She precepts residents in MedPeds clinic and serves as an attending on the both medicine and pediatric wards. Her research interests include improving national vaccination efforts through examining barriers to vaccine adoption by both patients and practitioners.


Leslie Jabine, MD has had a long and successful history here at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She attended medical school and completed her MedPeds residency at UIC and has been a beloved MedPeds attending here for over two decades, now practicing primarily outpatient Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. She has received awards for her teaching skills and patient care. Her clinical interest lies in the transition of care for children with chronic illnesses into adulthood. She currently runs the Adults with Childhood Cancer Survivor Clinic. Being a child who lived outside the U.S. has provided her with cross-cultural perspectives on medicine and health, while being a mother of three has given her daily perspective on pediatrics and parenting.


Amanda Osta, MD is the pediatric residency Program Director. She is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Pediatrics. Dr. Osta attended medical school at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, and did her MedPeds residency at the University of Michigan Health Center in Ann Arbor. She was MedPeds Chief Resident during her fourth year of residency, and then went on to serve as an Internal Medicine Chief Resident at the University of Michigan. Her clinical interests include the care of urban underserved populations and adolescent health. Dr. Osta often precepts residents in the peds clinic and is a supervising attending on both the medicine and pediatric wards. She is extremely committed to teaching residents and medical students. She has won awards of excellence in clinical teaching from the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. In addition, Dr. Osta is one of the authors of a national curriculum sponsored by the AAP entitled Resilience in the Face of Grief and Loss.


Michelle Barnes, MD is the Associate Program Director for the pediatrics residency program and an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Pediatrics at UIC. Dr Barnes attended medical school at Loyola University, Stritch School of Medicine, followed by MedPeds residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She then did a Chief Resident year in the Department of Pediatrics at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. Dr. Barnes works as a supervising attending on both the pediatric and medicine wards, the Peds clinic, and the newborn nursery.  Her interests lie in community outreach and medical education. She is the Director for the Community Health and Advocacy Track. Dr. Barnes has received honors for clinical teaching from the Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine.


Sara Smith, MD is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Pediatrics.  She attended the University of Notre Dame as an undergraduate, where she studied anthropology and Spanish. She returned to Chicago to attend the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She then matched into and completed a combined MedPeds residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. After finishing residency, she remained on the faculty at the University of Michigan, then returned to Chicago and joined the faculty at the University of Illinois. At UIC she currently serves as a hospitalist, caring for inpatients in both the departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. She also serves on the physician advisor team for the hospital, helping to optimize hospital throughput and appropriate utilization management. Dr. Smith is also a lead faculty for the M1/M2 curriculum for the sub-theme Healthcare Systems.  Her interests include medical education, patient safety, and quality improvement, as well as, caring for underserved populations.


Benjamin Van Voorhees, MD, MPH is the Interim Department Head of Pediatrics and an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics. He received his BA in History from Dartmouth College, his Doctor of Medicine from Vanderbilt University, and his Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins. He completed a Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency at Vanderbilt University Hospital and a General Internal Medicine Fellowship at Johns Hopkins. During fellowship, Dr. Van Voorhees completed four studies examining the managed care, practice level, and patient determinants of treatment outcomes for depression. He has received a NARSAD (National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) Young Investigator Award, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Depression in Primary Care Value Grant, and a NIMH (K-08) Career Development Award to fund a phase 2 clinical trial of a primary care/Internet-based depression prevention intervention (CATCH-IT). The RWJ Foundation Finding Answers and NIMH RO-1 has now funded follow-up phase 3 clinical trials for the CATCH-IT intervention to begin in 2011. Dr. Van Voorhees has made more than 50 presentations at national and international scientific meetings.


Jalene Shoener, MD is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics. She completed medical school and MedPeds residency training at UIC. She served as Chief Resident for the MedPeds and Pediatrics residency programs. Dr. Shoener has interests in legislative advocacy, transitional care, and medical education. She supervises residents in the MedPeds and Peds resident clinics and off-site at a Federal Job Corp Training Center caring for adolescents and young adults. She is also a supervising hospitalist in the Clinical Decision Unit, a observation unit for patients who need care beyond the emergency room.   Dr. Shoener is the assistant medical director for the Child and Youth Center (pediatrics clinic) which involves both quality improvement and patient education projects.


Michael Charles, MD is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics. As an undergraduate, he studied Human Nutrition and Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He went on to complete both medical school and MedPeds residency training at UIC. As a graduate of the MedPeds Global Health Track, he continues to pursue in his interest in health systems strengthening and capacity building through various projects in Senegal. He speaks English, French, Haitian Creole, and Spanish. Dr. Charles precepts residents in the Internal Medicine and Pediatric clinics as well as on the medicine wards.


Sarah Messmer, MD is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics.  As an undergraduate, she studied engineering physics at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and then went on to medical school at Harvard Medical School.  She completed her MedPeds residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.  She then returned to her home state of Illinois and joined UIC as faculty.  She supervises residents in pediatrics and internal medicine clinics, as well as on inpatient medicine and pediatrics.  She has been involved in UIC efforts to address opioid use disorder, and provides primary care for adults at a syringe exchange on the west side of Chicago in partnership with the UIC School of Public Health.  Her additional interests include LGBTQ+ health, gender affirming care,  global health, and immigrant and refugee health.  Dr. Messmer has also spent several years working in Guatemala and speaks Spanish.


Andrea A. Pappalardo, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is board certified in three specialties: internal medicine, pediatrics and allergy/immunology. Dr. Pappalardo serves as the Medical Director in the Coordinated Healthcare for Complex Kids or CHECK program where she oversees a large care coordination program recently chosen by the state of Illinois to service much of Chicagoland’s highest risk patient population. Her research focuses on school and community-based interventions to reduce health disparities in asthma and other allergic diseases. She believes strongly in increasing sub-specialty access in vulnerable populations and provides school-based allergy and asthma specialty care through Mobile Care Chicago’s Asthma Van one day a week in addition to her clinics at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Saul Weiner, MD is Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Medical Education, and Director of the Clinical Leaders and Academic Scholars (CLASS) fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and deputy director of the Center of Innovation for Complex Chronic Health Care, Veterans Health Administration. He has served as medical education dean, university vice provost and currently is senior advisor to the provost. He arrived at UIC in 1997 after completing a MedPeds residency at the University of Chicago and, from 1998-2009 served as director of the UIC MedPeds Program. From 2004-2009 he was Head, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Dr. Weiner has pursued an extensive program of research at UIC and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. His research focuses on identifying and preventing contextual errors in clinical decision making and care planning. He has developed strategies for identifying contextual errors, measuring their impact on health outcomes and costs, and on preventing them.  His research extensively employs unannounced standardized patients, patients who audio record their visits, and clinical decision support tools enhanced with contextual information in the electronic medical record.  He leads studies funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Weiner is the University of Illinois at Chicago 2013 Distinguished Researcher of the Year in the Clinical Sciences.  His recent book Listening for What Matters: Avoiding Contextual Errors in Health Care (Oxford University Press) received the 2017 American Publishers Award for Professional & Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) in the life sciences from the American Association of Publishers.  His forthcoming book, On Becoming a Healer: The Journey from Patient Care to Caring About Your Patients, will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press.


Kruti Acharya, MD is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Disability and Human Development. Dr. Acharya attended medical school at Boston University. She then completed a MedPeds residency, a Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics fellowship and a Medical Ethics fellowship, all at the University of Chicago. Her research interests include the role of childhood adversity in the health disparities experienced by individuals with disabilities. Her clinical interests include supporting adolescents and young adults with developmental disabilities as they transition to adult-systems of care. Dr. Acharya is also the Director of the Illinois Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and other related Disabilities (LEND) Program at UIC, a state-wide interdisciplinary training program to develop leaders to care for and advocate for individuals with disability.

Alex Arges –> Medicine Chief Resident, UIC
David Leone –> Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship, Yale University
Xixi Luo –> MedPeds Hospitalist, University of Chicago & AMITA Health St. Alexius Medical Center
Sarah Sefcovic –> MedPeds Hospitalist & Primary Care, St. Anthony Hospital, Chicago, IL

Michael Charles –> Academic MedPeds, UIC
Nishi Dedania –> Academic MedPeds, Brown University
Jorge Ramallo –> MedPeds Primary Care, 16th St Community Health Center, Milwaukee, WI
Lily Rotman –> MedPeds Hospitalist, Massachusetts General Hospital and Cape Cod Hospital, MA

Kelsie Avants –> Pediatric Chief Resident, UIC; Academic MedPeds, UIC
Justin Choi –> Medicine Hospitalist, Torrance, CA
Adriana Herrera –> MedPeds Hospitalist/Global Health Fellow, University of Florida and Innovating Health International
Nili Seleski –> Pediatric Hospitalist, Silver Cross Hospital; Medicine Hospitalist, UIC

​Isabel Angulo​ –> MedPeds Primary Care, UIC Miles Square Health Center
​Nancy Choi​ –> Medicine Chief Resident, UIC; Academic MedPeds, UCSF
​Hannah Nam​ –> Adult Infectious Disease Fellowship, Northwestern University
​Pamela Stamegna​ –> MedPeds Primary Care, NH

Sae-Rom Chae –> Epidemic Intelligence Service, CDC
Lauren Greene​​ –> ​MedPeds Hospitalist, Geisinger Medical Center, PA
​Jalene Shoener​ –> Pediatric Chief Resident, UIC; Academic MedPeds, UIC
​Jennifer Vu​ –> Pediatric Chief Resident, UIC; MedPeds Community Practice, NC

Olabunmi Agboola –> Allergy-Immunology Fellowship, Duke Unversity
Katie Mena –> Pediatric Chief Resident, UIC; Academic MedPeds, UIC
Caroline Skolnik –> MedPeds Hospitalist, Chicago, IL
Clemence Sullivan –> MedPeds Primary Care, Minneapolis, MN

Amber Brown –> Pediatric Chief Resident, UIC; MedPeds Community Practice, Nebraska
Denise Dewald –> Adult Infectious Disease Fellowship, UIC
Gina Mathew  –> MedPeds Primary Care, Elk Grove, IL
Joseph Poterucha –> Pediatric Cardiology/Congenital Heart Disease Fellowship, Mayo Clinic
Lauren Williams –> MedPeds Primary Care, Washington, DC

Nathan Bolden –> MedPeds Hospitalist, DuPage Medical Group, IL
Daina Roberson –> Primary Care, MacNeal Hospital, Berwyn, IL
Linda Steeb –> MedPeds Primary Care, Chinatown Practice, Chicago, IL

Shanna Butts –> Medical Genetics Fellowship, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, NY
Sarah Joseph –> MedPeds Primary Care, Peoria, IL
Pavan Srivastava –> Pediatric Chief Resident, UIC; Academic MedPeds, UIC
Aziz Valika –> Adult Nephrology Fellowship, Yale University

Alyssa Cook –> Pediatric Chief Resident, UIC; Medical Education Fellowship,
University of Chicago; MedPeds Faculty, Johns Hopkins University
Amy Huang –> Pediatric Chief Resident, UIC; Academic MedPeds, UCSD
Yazen Joudeh –> Primary Care and Weight Management Clinic, Suburban Chicago
Orhan Sancaktar –> Adult Cardiology Fellowship, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

Kelly Riggs –> MedPeds Primary Care, Anderson, IL
Yasser Said –> MedPeds Hospitalist, DuPage Medical Group
Tasin Shuaipaj –> MedPeds Hospitalist, Hinsdale, IL
Garret Yam –> MedPeds Primary Care, Redmond, WA

Jessica Diethelm –> General Internal Medicine, Rush Medical Center, Chicago, IL
Ashish Goyal –> MedPeds Primary Care, Honolulu, HI; Founder of Pediatrics Board Review
Julien Pham –> Adult Nephrology Fellowship, Harvard/Mass General Hospital, Boston, MA

Thomas Chweh –> MedPeds Hospitalist, Melrose Park, IL
Alicia Fernandez –> MedPeds Primary Care, Ripon, WI
Anjum Hussaini –> MedPeds Primary Care, Mt. Vernon, IL
Anna Mathew –> Adult and Pediatric Nephrology, University of California San Diego

Naina Bhalla –> International Emergency Medicine and Global Health Fellowship, UIC;
Doctors’ Without Borders
Sejal Dave –> Adult Heme-Onc, Arlington Heights, IL
Richard Fernandez –> Combined Pediatric Critical Care and Cardiology Fellowship,
Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL