Department of Family and Community Medicine and Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center

News and Events

A departmental internal funding award was made to Drs. Karl Kochendorfer, MD, FAAFP; Bhrandon Harris, MD; and Jai Nebhrajani, MD to foster scholarship and develop new programs. The UIC Primary Care Health Informatics Research Program (PCHIRP) is one such program that builds research capacity in informatics to serve more vulnerable patient populations and integrates into Midwest-based informatics, data science, and artificial intelligence center.

In a very positive review by HRSA, MATEC was awarded a grant for its AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC) program. During the grant period, $3 million will be invested between 9/1/2022 and 8/31/2027. Co-PIs: Dr. Ricardo Rivero, MD, MPH and Corina Wagner, MEd, MBA. Co-investigators include Dr. Sarah Henkle, MD, AAHIVS.

We are both happy and sad to announce the retirement of our Associate Director of Medical Student Education Dr. Maureen Gecht-Silver. Dr. Gecht-Silver came to UIC in 1994 with over 16 years of experience as an occupational therapist working with patients with chronic health conditions and physical disabilities. Throughout her career, she has maintained an interest in helping clients manage their own health conditions and teaching health professionals to gain increased satisfaction from their work by inspiring the patient’s active role. Congratulations on your retirement and your wonderful career!

Congratulation to Joe Ann Lonzo-Jackson on receiving the 2022 Excellence in Nursing Community Care Award . The CARE Award is for employees who demonstrate the core values of UI Health, display a job performance that goes above and beyond expected performance, exhibit a patient-first mentality, are motivated and strive for excellence, contribute to the positive culture in the department and organization, and have made a difference in the life of a patient, visitor, or peer.

Dr. Andrew Dykens, MD, was funded for his National Cancer Institute project: “Adaptation and implementation of a patient navigation program for cervical cancer screening across contexts in Senegal.” 2.5 million dollars fund the grant over five years.

Funded by: U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute
April 1, 2022 – March 30, 2027
Dykens, J.A. (P.I.) & Faye (Co-PI)

Congratulations to Dr. Adrienne Williams, Ph.D., for achieving “Provider” status for Cognitive Processing Therapy. Fewer than 60 clinicians in all of Illinois have reached Provider status for CPT. For more information on CPT

https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments/cognitive-processing-therapy

Please congratulate Dr. Evelyn Figueroa; the American Red Cross awarded M.D. and her husband, Dr. Alex Wu, MD, the 2022 Community Impact Heroes award. For the past 20 years, at the annual Heroes Breakfast, the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago has honored individuals and groups for acts of immense bravery, dedication, and service to the community. Incredible heroes walk among us, delivering kindness and making a difference every day.

https://www.redcross.org/local/illinois/about-us/news-and-events/events/heroes-breakfast.html

Let’s give a round of applause to Dr. Memoona Hasnain for completing the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Fellowship. The Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM®) program is a year-long part-time fellowship for women faculty in schools of medicine, dentistry, public health, and pharmacy. The program is dedicated to developing the professional and personal skills required to lead and manage today’s complex health care environment, with special attention to the unique challenges facing women in leadership positions.

https://drexel.edu/medicine/academics/womens-health-and-leadership/elam/about-elam/

Congratulations to Drs. Evelyn Figueroa and Ariel Leifer who were featured along with our OB colleagues in the top article in the latest newsletter about the increased role our institution will likely provide in abortion care.

https://www.flipsnack.com/7B775BBBDC9/cmonewsjune2022.html

We would like to introduce our new physician Dr. Hunter Holt, who practices in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at UI Health. Dr. Holt provides comprehensive primary care to patients of all ages. He has a special interest in research that focuses on cervical cancer prevention and on understanding the patient’s experience and implementing solutions that provide the most patient-centered care.

https://chicago.medicine.uic.edu/directory/name/hunter-holt-1/

We are both happy and sad to announce the retirement of our Clinical Assistant Professor Dr. Nancy Miranda. Dr. Miranda worked as site medical director at Mile Square Back of the Yards providing professional medical care to many in the BOTY community. With over 39 years of experience, we are going to truly miss Dr. Miranda’s expertise. Celebrating you today! Congratulations on your retirement!

Congratulations to Dr. Bhrandon Harris who won the UIHealth HEPP Quality Shark Tank! His project was to build a UI Health Bar at Mile Square Main Clinic (to start), to allow patients to drop by and make sure that they can connect to MyChart and show them how to connect devices like Bluetooth BP cuffs and glucometers to automatically transfer data to Epic, to help reduce health disparities and close the digital divide.

https://twitter.com/UICCIFellowship/status/1538918392555503619

We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Memoona Hasnain has been chosen as a recipient of UIC’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (AET) for 2022-23. This year’s review committee, comprised of past AET recipients, selected Dr. Hasnain for this recognition based on her outstanding commitment to teaching and learning excellence in the College of Medicine. Dr. Hasnain joins a select group of faculty members who have been acknowledged as UIC’s most dedicated and outstanding teachers. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor.

https://faculty.uic.edu/awards/recognition/aet/announcing-2022-23-aet-recipients/

Congratulations to Dr. Nicky Gastala for receiving the 2 for Excellence in Scholarship. Dr. Gastala has developed innovative research projects and has received significant external funding. She has spearheaded the expansion of behavioral health and addiction services at UI Health and MSHC, through the support of funding from HRSA, SAHMSA, SUPR, and CDPH. She has been able to expand training for medical students, residents, and faculty in serious mental illness and addiction, as well as increase access for patients. Dr. Gastala is a very effective team builder that works with numerous individuals and teams throughout UI health to help advance the agenda in terms of scholarship, patient care, and innovation.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2005-10-24-0510240216-story.html

Congratulations to Dr. Paul Leo for receiving the 2022 Linda K. Gunzburger Resident Award for Excellence in Scholarship. Dr. Leo has demonstrated excellent skills in the area of scholarly work. He completed two scholarly projects as sole resident author: 1. “Post-Hospital Discharge Follow-Up Rates for Patients Hospitalized on the Family Medicine Service at UI Health” and 2. “Development of a Systematized Approach to the Management of First Trimester Bleeding in the Department of Family and Community Medicine.” Additionally, Dr. Leo is the first author of a manuscript published in Annals of Family Medicine entitled, “A Community Partnership to Improve Access to Buprenorphine in a Homeless Population.”

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2005-10-24-0510240216-story.html

Congratulations to Family Medicines FY 2022 Quarter 3 “Top Box Doctors.” Drs. Ariel Leifer, Ashish Ansal, Augustine Sohn, Brian Dudkiewicz, Christina Wells, Christine Neeb, Darcie Burton*, Evelyn Figueroa, Jai Nebhrajani, James Swakow, Jessica Richardson, Mark Potter, Nathan Stackhouse, Nicole Gastala, Nina Paroff all received 100% Top Box Doctor scores. This quarterly recognition is awarded to the physicians with the best ambulatory site patient experience scores as measured within the Press Ganey CGCAHPS database. Scoring at the 99th percentile rank in the following three CGCAHPS categories — Rate the Physician, Recommend the Physician, and Physician Communication — places them in the top 1% of his peers in the 29,000 ambulatory sites.

Please welcome our new faculty at our UV and Pilsen clinics. Drs. Kelsey Christensen, PhD starting 8/16/22, Michael Tarkey, MD starting 9/1/22 and Belsy Garcia Manrique, MD – 10/1/22.

We are delighted to share the good news that Kanwal Haque has been promoted to Senior Research Specialist, effective March 16, 2022.

Kanwal graduated with her Master’s in Public Health, Epidemiology from UIC School of Public Health in 2018. She has been with the Department of Family & Community Medicine since 2017, where she first started as a part-time Graduate Assistant and was subsequently hired full-time as a Research Associate in 2018. Kanwal is certified in Project Management with over seven years of research experience and has a passion for project management, data analysis, and collaborating with teams for research.

Dr. Andrew Dykens has received a $2.5 million, 5-year R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI).

This is a monumental achievement for Andrew as a researcher and a matter of great pride for our department. This grant is a culmination of Andrew’s consistent and meticulous work over many years, building relationships with institutional and global partners and persevering against the extremely competitive funding environment.

I would also add that this is the first R01 grant for our department! To get a sense of how competitive this type of funding is, from 2008 to 2017, the NIH awarded only 139 R01 grants to principal investigators (PIs) in family medicine. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31754582/

Dr. Karl Kochendorfer is one of the awardees for the UIH/OSF inaugural CHA grants for his project Social Determinants of Health Care Utilization: A Big Data Predictive Modeling Approach. UIC is partnering with Peoria, Illinois-based OSF HealthCare to award eight grants totaling more than $700,000 to support projects that remove barriers to care, particularly in low-income, under-resourced communities; enhance health and wellness education, and leverage technology to improve training and community outreach.

https://innovation.uic.edu/community-health-advocacy/cha-projects/

We are very excited to announce that Dr. Luis Rivera was offered and accepted the position of Medical Director for the Pilsen Clinic effective April 1, 2022.

Opened in 2016, The Pilsen Family Health Center Lower West provides families and individuals of all ages with comprehensive healthcare, including immunizations, physical exams, prenatal care, and complex medical care.

Dr. Rivera is the perfect ambassador as the Pilsen Clinic medical director. He grew up on the Southside of Chicago and lived in the Pilsen community during medical school and residency while working with various community organizations. Dr. Rivera also began his career professionally at UIC, including PMC. Through his work in Pilsen, Dr. Rivera has a great vision of how the clinic can further serve the community.

Dr. Keia Hobbs has been selected as one of two inaugural recipients of the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund Fellowship at the Simulation and Integrative Learning Institute.

The Alvin H. Baum Family Fund strives to better the lives of those who live and work predominantly in the Chicagoland area. Through innovative grants and collaborations, the Fund helps ignite new ideas and promote solutions to ensure healthier, more equitable, and peaceful communities. Together with its grantees and community partners, the Fund endeavors to better understand and address the causes rather than the symptoms of society’s most wicked challenges.  https://baumfund.org/about/

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Christina Wells and Dr. Luis Rivera as Assistant Directors of the Patient-centered Medicine (PCM) Scholars Program, effective March 16, 2022.

Dr. Christina Wells is a board-certified family medicine physician who provides patient-centered care for individuals of all ages at the Mile Square Health Center.

As Assistant Director of the PCM Scholars Program, Dr. Wells will have special emphasis on the PCM Phase 1 and ECMH curriculum, clinical learning experiences for scholars, and lead the M2 Service Learning Program Homelessness concentration.

Dr. Luis Rivera is a board-certified family medicine physician who sees patients at the UI Health Pilsen Family Health Center Lower West Side. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine in UIC’s College of Medicine.

As Assistant Director of PCM Scholars Program, Dr. Rivera will have special focus on the M2 Service Learning Program, including community-based learning experiences for scholars, developing sustainably community partnerships, and leading the M2 Service Learning Program Immigrant and Refugee Health concentration.

Another funding success for our faculty. WITH Foundation has grant awarded to DHD team including Dr. Maureen Gecht to provide training to self-advocates with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDD) from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds to serve as patient instructors in the academic program for medical and healthcare students.

https://ahs.uic.edu/inside-ahs/news/patient-instructor-training-program-with-foundation-grant-awarded-to-dhd/

Dr. Kochendorfer was recently quoted in a new article in Clinical Pain Advisor about telemedicine and pain.

https://www.clinicalpainadvisor.com/home/topics/chronic-pain/pros-and-cons-of-telehealth-technology-for-the-treatment-of-chronic-pain/

We’d like to share a new paper by Dr. Hunter Holt, adding to the evidence against race-based medicine and moving the field towards health equity. Many congratulations Dr. Holt on your important work!

Holt HK, Gildengorin G, Karliner L, Fontil V, Pramanik R, Potter MB. Differences in Hypertension Medication Prescribing for Black Americans and Their Association with Hypertension Outcomes. J Am Board Fam Med. 2022 Jan-Feb;35(1):26-34.

https://www.jabfm.org/content/35/1/26

USCF Press release about the paper: https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2022/01/422151/race-based-prescribing-black-people-high-blood-pressure-shows-no-benefit

The Pilsen Food Pantry is featured on CBS about healthy cooking

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Please join us in congratulating Dr. Evelyn Figueroa, featured on WTTW on September 4, regarding the Latinx community and COVID.

Click Here

The Pilsen Food Pantry is featured in Block Club Chicago about fund raising for a permanent location.

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Please join us in Congratulating Dr. Nicole Gastala on receiving the DFCM Rising Star Award. The Departmental Rising Star Award recipients are selected based on their strong potential to be future leaders in their chosen field. Awardees are at the rank of Assistant Professor or Associate Professor and have served on the UIC faculty for less than ten years.

Congratulations, Dr. Evelyn Figueroa, on receiving the DFCM Faculty of the Year Award. The Departmental Faculty of the Year Award recipients are selected from the mid-career and senior faculty based on a demonstrated record of excellence in teaching, research, or service.

Dr. Mark Potter recognized as a Top Doctor in Chicago (Castle Connolly Magazine) – https://www.castleconnolly.com/family-medicine-chicago-mag

Congrats to Dr.  Jess Richardson who was elected as a Medical Staff Executive Committee Delegate Alternate! The Executive Committee is the major advisory body to the Dean in the conduct of College business, in the formulation and execution of College policies. It has the responsibility to act on academic issues delegated to it by the faculty, including student admission, appraisal and promotion, faculty appointments and promotions, educational policy, and research policy.

Dr. Augustine Sohn received acknowledgement as the member of the Aquifer Consortium and associate editor for the course Aquifer Family Medicine.  Aquifer is a unique mission-driven non-profit organization dedicated to delivering the best health care education through collaborative development and research into innovative, high-impact virtual teaching and learning methods.  Aquifer’s courses are evidence-based, peer-reviewed, and continuously updated by the Educators Consortium, to support best practices in clinical teaching and learning.

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Teresa Haro was selected as an honorable recipient of the 2021 Janice Watkins Award for Distinguished Civil Service. The award is to civil service employees whom: Exhibit genuine care for their fellow human being. Exhibit a pleasant, warm demeanor, are very cooperative; are well-informed, provide willing assistance to others, perform their required duties completely with diligence and dedication, provide excellent customer service and extend themselves beyond the performance of their regular duties and participate in campus and community activities or organizations that are beneficial to the well-being of the UIC campus.

https://sac.uic.edu/janice-watkins-award/

JoeAnn Lonzo-Jackson, Administrative RN, received her Doctorate of Nursing in Nursing Practice in October 2021.

Yvette Kimble MSN, APN, FNP-C received her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree this August 2021.

https://hospital.uillinois.edu/find-a-doctor/yvette-kimble

We are pleased to announce that Memoona Hasnain, MD, MPHE, PhD, has been appointed Associate Dean for Faculty Development in the College of Medicine Office of Faculty Affairs. Dr. Hasnain also serves as Professor and Associate Department Head for Faculty Development and Research in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She holds adjunct faculty appointments in the UIC School of Public Health, Department of Medical Education and College of Nursing, and is an Honors College Faculty.

Please join in congratulating Dr. Hasnain!

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Evelyn Figueroa MD, who has been selected as a recipient of the AAFP’s 2021 Humanitarian Award. This award was developed to acknowledge extraordinary and enduring humanitarian efforts, both within and beyond the borders of the United States. AAFP hopes the award will encourage AAFP members, their families, and their colleagues to assume a sense of global responsibility and will motivate service to others. Dr. Figueroa’s relentless work in health equity, social justice, homelessness, and food insecurity is an inspiration to her colleagues and community. Putting others first is truly in your DNA.

Congratulations on a monumental achievement!

Congratulations to Dr. Karl Kochendorfer on his research discovery entitled, “1-CDS (1-Click Decision Support)”. 1-CDS provides a patented clinical decision support system for healthcare providers and is designed from the clinician’s perspective, with specific attention to their needs and workflow. 1-CDS automatically connects busy, practicing clinicians to the best available evidence-based information. 1-CDS helps to improve healthcare decisions, enhance efficiency, decrease healthcare costs, decrease errors and improve patient outcomes. The Office of Technology Management has received disclosure and is excited to begin working with Dr. Kochendorfer.

Congratulations Dr. Brittani James who is featured in the NY Times for her work regarding race and racism in prominent medical journals leading to disparities in healthcare and medical education.

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Please join us in congratulating Dr. Sean McClellan for receiving the 2021 Linda K. Gunzburger Award for Excellence in Scholarship Resident Award.

The Linda K. Gunzburger Award for Excellence in Scholarship Resident Award is given to a graduating Family and Community Medicine resident who has demonstrated consistent excellence in scholarship across the continuum of their residency training.

Congratulations to the entire University Village and Pilsen clinic staff who are recognized in the CMO Leadership Newsletter for providing continuous primary care since the start of the Covid pandemic as well as caring for our patients with signs and symptoms of Covid!

“Truly a brave and notable accomplishment on the part of everyone at UV and Pilsen.” – A. Leifer

Link to the Newsletter CMO Newsletter May 2021 by UI Health

Dr. Glenda Rios was acknowledged by the Office of Community Engagement and Health Equity Office of the UI Cancer Center for her valuable insight and contribution to the Virtual Town Hall meeting with Univision.

“Dr. Rios dedication and passion for our community was evident. We are honored to count on your support in our goal to educate and inform our communities about the importance of screening”

– OCEHEO of UI Cancer Center.  The link to the recorded town hall can be found at https://go.uic.edu/OCEHEOofUICancerCenterVirtualTownHall

Congratulations and thank you to Dr. Jessica Richardson for representing UI Health Mile Square and the Department of Family and Community Medicine on the 4pm NBC news May 20th regarding the recent changes in colorectal cancer screening by the USPSTF.

Dr. Memoona Hasnain and her team have been awarded the inaugural I-Team award for the Interprofessional Approaches to Health Disparities Course that was developed and implemented for her Josiah Macy Faculty Scholar Award and is part of the Patient-centered Medicine Scholars Program.

“Despite our many challenges this year, our faculty have been making major strides in clinical innovation, education, and scholarship, and recognized as such.” Dr. Masahito Jimbo

Dr. Brittani James was named the recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism Award.

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards recognize graduating students and faculty members who demonstrate both clinical excellence and outstanding compassion in the delivery of care and who show respect for patients, their families, and healthcare colleagues.

We previously celebrated Dr. James winning the 2021 M3 Golden Apple Award and the Gold Humanism Honor Society Faculty Award from the College of Medicine. So, this will be a hat trick for her. Congratulations, Dr. James!

The UIC Department of Family Medicine has been awarded a Primary Care Training Enhancement – Residency Training in Primary Care grant through HRSA

Dr. Memoona Hasnain has been selected to fellowship in Hedwig van Ameringen’s Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) women’s leadership program

Dr. James was interviewed by STAT about the ongoing problem of medical journal leadership’s resistance to recognizing racism

Dr. Brittani James is one of three Chicagoans honored in celebration of Martin Luther King Day

Dementia Guide Expert App Review by SilverScience2020

Dr. Brittani James was interviewed by CNN about vaccine hesitancy in the Black community.

Dr. Brittani James discussing racism in health care on WTTW PBS-TV Chicago on November 16, 2020

Dr. Evelyn Figueroa interviewed by Illinois Academy of Family Physicians

Dr. Brittani James interviewed by the AAMC about choosing a career in medicine

Dr. Brittani James is interviewed by Vox: Black kids are watching videos of this moment. What will it teach them?

Dr. Brittani James interviewed about Coronavirus testing

COVID-19 survivor portraits at Pacific Garden Mission

Pilsen Food Pantry sponsors a large baby supply (12 pallets and counting!) drive for the Auburn Gresham neighborhood

Pilsen Food Pantry on CBS Morning News April 2020

Pilsen Food Pantry on CBS Nightly News April 2020

UIC COVID medical response at the Pacific Garden Mission April 2020

Dr. Figueroa talking about the different kinds of masks for Southside Weekly

Fall 2019 Newsletter

Professor Evelyn Figueroa was interviewed by Telemundo tonight regarding the legalization of Marijuana and is potential health effects.

Article by Dr. Adrienne Williams published in the Chicago Tribune highlights the need for Primary Mental Health Care.

Department of Family Medicine faculty member Dr. Audrey Stillerman was named in the list of “Notable Women in Health Care” in Crain’s Chicago Business

MATEC was featured in UIC News about new funding to support training programs aimed at improving HIV/AIDS care, prevention and education.

Dr. Richard Stringham was interviewed by UIC Today about his Award for Excellence in Teaching (AET). 

Dr. Evelyn Figueroa was featured in a Windy City Live segment on one of the UI Health Pilsen Food Pantry’s partner organizations, the Chicago Period Project

UIC DFM residency graduate Kameron Matthews was featured in The Lancet.

Dr. Samuel Grief was interviewed by WBEZ Chicago Public Radio about how to stay cool in the extreme heat.

The UI Health Pilsen Food Pantry and Dr. Evelyn Figueroa were featured on Chicago Tonight.

Dr. Ariel Leifer is quoted in the NYT in an article about abortion care as part of student health services.

Family Medicine Chief Resident featured on the Ellen Show

UIC Street Medicine group formed to do outreach to decrease complications of homelessness and substance use disorders.

UIC identical twin Chief Residents featured on NBC Nightly News

Spring & Summer 2018 Newsletter

New book spotlights health disparities for South Asian Americans

New Mobile App Helps Families, Individuals Cope with Dementia

Don’t Call Me a Provider – JFP John Hickner, MD, MSc

Global Health Work in Senegal has been highlighted in the inaugural issue of Illinois Health Magazine – (page 6)

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