The Bridge Clinic at Cook County Health is your entry point into recovery.

We act as an urgent care clinic for those struggling with opioid and/or alcohol use. The Bridge Clinic provides rapid access to treatment without judgement.

Common examples of opioids include heroin and prescription pills like oxycodone (Percocet, OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, fentanyl, and morphine.

Call 911 if you are experiencing an overdose or a medical emergency.

Ways to Get Help

Contact us today if you or a loved one need quick access to addiction treatment services. The Bridge Clinic is here for you, regardless of your ability to pay or your stage in recovery.

Need a ride?

If you are a CountyCare member or have health coverage through Medicare and you need a ride to your appointment, call 312-864-RIDE (7433) to schedule a ride. 24-hour notice is required. Many Medicaid health plans offer free rides. If you have coverage through another health plan, call your insurer to see if you qualify.

About the Bridge Clinic
The Bridge Clinic at Cook County Health offers rapid evaluation and treatment for patients struggling with addiction.

We provide rapid access to medication for addiction treatment (MAT) through in-person visits or telemedicine. Our team can also connect you with a primary care doctor or specialist and other substance use treatment and support services you may need. After starting MAT, our team will support you to connect to ongoing care closer to home at one of our 12 health center locations throughout Cook County.

What services are offered at the Bridge Clinic?
Integrated addiction treatment with a prescriber and recovery coach


Commonly prescribed medications:
• Buprenorphine [Suboxone™, Brixadi™, Sublocade™, Zubsolv™] for opioid use disorder
• Naltrexone [Vivitrol™] for opioid and alcohol use disorder
• Naloxone [Narcan™] for opioid overdose
• We do not offer methadone treatment but will make a referral when appropriate.

Linkage to other substance use treatment and support services including residential, intensive outpatient, peer support, methadone clinics and recovery homes

Primary and specialty care services:

Primary care
Psychiatry and behavioral health care, including counselling
Maternity care
Dental Care
• Hepatitis treatments

Screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s)
Birth Control
HIV prevention with PrEP
Lab Tests
Pharmacy access for low or no cost medications
Financial counseling
Our Team
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Andrew Birkhead MD, FAAFP, FASAM
Bridge Clinic Medical Director & Family Medicine Physician
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Monica Puente CADC
Recovery Coach Coordinator
Diane Rosales - Selected
Diane Rosales CADC
Recovery Coach
Frances Norlock, DO
Frances Norlock DO, MPH, FACP
Primary Care Internist
Alexandra Albanese, MD
Family Medicine Physician
Michael Nelson, MD
Addiction Medicine Specialist, Toxicologist & Emergency Medicine Physician
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Janet Towns
Community Health Worker
How to get to
the Bridge Clinic?
Hours of
Operations

The Bridge Clinic is your fast entry point into care. Most visits are offered via telehealth, and we can also offer in-person visits at a CCH location convenient to you.

Other
Resources
Andrew G. Birkhead, MD, FAAFP, FASAM

Andrew Birkhead serves as an attending physician in the Department of Family & Community Medicine and holds the position of Medical Director at the Bridge Clinic.

Dr. Birkhead completed his residency in family medicine as Chief Resident at UIC, following his medical school graduation from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. Certified in Family Medicine. Dr. Birkhead also holds fellowship distinctions in both Family and Addiction Medicine.

Based primarily at Cook County Health Englewood Health Center, Dr. Birkhead operates an outpatient primary care practice. Additionally, Dr. Birkhead provides inpatient medical care and obstetrics services at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

Monica Puente, LSW CADC

Recovery Coach Coordinator, Monica Puente is a seasoned bilingual and bicultural social worker with over a decade of experience specializing in HIV and substance use disorders (SUD). With a rich background in providing support to diverse communities, Puente has demonstrated a keen understanding of the intersecting challenges faced by individuals navigating these complex health issues.

Having worked at Cook County Jail in the OTP clinic, Puente has firsthand experience addressing the unique needs of incarcerated individuals grappling with SUD. This experience has underscored Puente’s commitment to delivering compassionate and culturally competent care within challenging environments.

Puente is deeply committed to advocating for equitable access to immediate treatment for vulnerable populations. Puente recognizes the urgency of addressing these issues and remains steadfast in her mission to empower individuals to lead healthier lives.

Diane Rosales, CADC

Recovery Coach, Diane Rosales, a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, embarked on her journey in the field of substance abuse in 1968. However, Rosales’ exposure to substance use and alcoholism began much earlier in life. 

As a former substance user, Rosales’ breakthrough in treatment led her to achieve sustained sobriety. From there, she pursued education relentlessly, earning a GED and eventually a master’s degree.

Rosales champions accessible and low-barrier treatment for patients, acknowledging its potential to save lives. Rosales has committed her career to making a positive impact on individuals’ lives and advocating for alternative paths to living.

Frances Norlock, DO MPH FACP

Dr. Frances Norlock earned her Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, followed by a Master’s degree in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan and a Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her residency training in internal medicine was completed at Rush University, after which she joined John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County in 1998.

As a primary care internist, Dr. Norlock provides care to patients at Cook County Health’s Austin Health Center and offers specialized services for individuals with substance use disorders at the General Medicine Clinic at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital campus.

For over a decade, Dr. Norlock facilitated educational initiatives for residents and faculty, supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Primary Care Training and Enhancement grant. This included training faculty and staff to obtain licenses for prescribing medications to treat opioid use disorder.

Since 2008, Dr. Norlock has served as the Section Head of Medical Education for the Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care. Currently, she supervises the Addiction Medicine resident rotation, guiding internal medicine residents in evaluating and managing substance use disorders in their patients. Additionally, she co-authored and co-edited the book “Breast Health and Common Breast Problems: A Practical Approach” as part of the American College of Physicians Women’s Health book series. Dr. Norlock’s contributions extend to publications in esteemed journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Alexandra Albanese, MD FAAFP

Dr. Albanese serves as an attending physician in the Department of Family & Community Medicine and holds the role of Associate Program Director at the Cook County Family Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Albanese attended Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine for her medical education and completed her residency training at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Beyond addiction medicine, Dr. Albanese’s clinical interests encompass women’s health and chronic disease management.

Michael Nelson, MD

Dr. Michael Nelson, is a versatile medical professional specializing in emergency medicine, medical toxicology, and addiction medicine at John H. Stroger Jr., Hospital of Cook County. Dr. Nelson earned his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University and completed his emergency medicine residency at Cook County Emergency Medicine Residency. Dr. Nelson furthered his expertise with a fellowship in medical toxicology at the Toxikon Consortium/Cook County Hospital/University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center.

Dr. Nelson is actively involved in professional endeavors related to emerging drugs of abuse, substance use disorders, and the utilization of athletic performance-enhancing substances. Holding influential positions as the Chair of the Prescribing Practices Committee for the Illinois Opioid Advisory Council and as a member of the HOPE Taskforce for DuPage County and serves as a consultant for the Illinois Poison Control Center.

Janet Towns

Janet Towns serves as a community health worker, actively engaging with and assisting the community by facilitating access to resources, providing referrals, and offering support for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), drawing from her own lived experiences.