The Division of Ophthalmology at the Cook County Health offers medical and surgical ophthalmic care to adults and children with diseases and injuries of the eye, orbit and eyelids.
Common diseases that affect the eye include diabetes, glaucoma and cataracts but in addition, comprehensive care is offered to patients suffering from a broad spectrum of common and rare eye conditions ranging from eye disease due to premature birth to severe traumatic injury in adults.
Each year, the division treats 50,000 patients, performing over 2,300 major ocular surgeries, 10,000 intraocular injections and over 2,000 laser procedures. This is in addition to routine medical management of ophthalmic disease as well as countless numbers of minor procedures. The Division of Ophthalmology is the busiest unit under the Department of Surgery.
Clinic services include fluorescein angiograms, visual field testing, ultrasound imaging, ocular coherence tomography and nerve fiber layer analysis. The physicians utilize many methods of sophisticated care options and many eye diseases can be treated with medical, surgical or laser procedures.
The Ophthalmology clinic, located in the Professional Building, is a comprehensively equipped facility with specialists available in 7 subspecialties including: medical/surgical retina, oculoplastics, cornea, glaucoma, uveitis, pediatrics/strabismus and neuro-ophthalmology.
Minor surgery procedures can be performed within the clinic and the vast majority of major surgical procedures are performed on an out-patient basis using “same-day” surgery in the Hospital.
The ophthalmology residency training program at Cook County Health is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and approved by the American Board of Ophthalmology.
The goal of the residency is to develop skilled practicing comprehensive ophthalmologists and subspecialists by providing extensive clinical and surgical experience over a 3-year period.
The program accepts 4 residents per year and participates in the central application service (CAS) of the San Francisco Matching Program. Admission is contingent upon the successful completion of an ACGME accredited or Canadian approved internship.
All major subspecialties in ophthalmology are represented in the division with respect to clinical experience and faculty involvement. These include the following:
With the addition of a fourth resident and opening of the Provident Hospital Eye Clinic, the first-year ophthalmology resident now gains early operating room exposure for three months of the year. One day of the week, the first-year resident will assist with cataract and anterior segment surgeries with fellowship trained corneal sub-specialists. Justin Bloomberg DO/OD, was the first resident to rotate at Provident and remarked, the early surgical exposure was fantastic, and it will prove to be beneficial for the procedural learning curve next year. The resident continues the rest of the year as a comprehensive ophthalmologist in the Stroger Eye Clinic, which handles over 50,000 outpatient visits per year. The diverse patient population in the Eye Clinic provides an unparalleled amount of pathology and clinical experience in ophthalmology. Within a short period of time, residents learn to assume increasing responsibility in managing patients. First-year residents also perform anterior segment laser and retina laser procedures and intravitreal injections as proficiency allows. The year begins with three weeks of orientation in which subspecialty attendings give introductory lectures and provide hands-on instruction in use of ophthalmic equipment and refraction
The second-year resident (PGY-III) schedule is divided into four blocks. During the three months of the consult rotation, the resident is responsible for treating both outpatient and inpatient consults. The consult resident also gains exposure to pediatric ophthalmology and retinopathy of prematurity screening during this rotation block. The retina rotation comprises a second block, where residents are exposed to extensive retinal pathology. This block provides residents with an opportunity to gain proficiency in intravitreal injections and retinal laser procedures. A third block consists of three months at Oak Forest Hospital (OFH), a County affiliate, which is staffed by Stroger Hospital Ophthalmology faculty. During this rotation, a second-year resident is introduced to major intra-operative procedures, including cataract surgery. The resident performs 20 to 30 cataract surgeries as primary surgeon during the Oak Forest rotation. A fourth block is spent as chief of the comprehensive Eye Clinic. There is one morning per week devoted to ophthalmic pathology under the guidance of our ocular pathologist. With Dr. Bamba, second year residents gross in ophthalmic specimens and review previous slides at the microscope.
The major focus of the third-year resident (PGY-IV) is performing surgical procedures. More than 2,300 major operative eye cases are performed each year. The senior resident performs all surgical cases. All major surgery is supervised by attending physicians. Starting in 2017, a new rotation at Provident Hospital, another Cook County system affiliate, has been established. Stroger Hospital Ophthalmology faculty also staff Provident Hospital. This rotation will allow for 3 days weekly in the operating room, with further emphasis on expanding residents surgical skills Senior residents are also responsible for aiding in patient care, junior resident and medical student education in the general eye clinic. One senior resident is selected yearly to function as Chief Resident with administrative and educational responsibilities.
The Eye Clinic is in the Cook County Health Professional Building and opened in October 2018.
The Eye Clinic has 18 modern, fully equipped eye exam rooms and a minor surgery operating room with a floor-model operating microscope and video display. Each exam room contains an Apple flat screen visual acuity monitor and Haag Streit slit lamps.
The clinic also includes a laser treatment room with a new Iridex Micropulse Argon Laser and a photography suite with a new Zeiss Fundus Camera. Retina imaging (OCT and FANG) is performed with a Heidelberg Spectral Domain OCT. Other equipment includes: two Iridex diode lasers, a Iridex MicroPulse diode laser, Nd: YAG laser, SLT laser, PDT laser, Keeler Cryomaster, ophthalmic ultrasound unit, two Humphrey automated visual field analyzers, a manual Goldman perimeter, Marco Corneal Topographer, Zeiss autorefractor, and a Lenstar 900 optical biometer.
The eye operating room in the hospital is equipped with a floor-model Zeiss Lumera 700 operating microscope with video output and digital video recording capabilities. The operating room is also equipped with all three major phacoemulsification machines including the Alcon Centurion, AMO Whitestar, and Bausch and Lomb Stellaris. Vitrectomies are performed with the Alcon Constellation System. In addition, there is a fully equipped wet lab facility with an operating microscope and a phacoemulsification machine.
Subspecialty attendings conduct teaching conferences daily in which material in the Ophthalmology Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC), published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), is systematically covered.
The BCSC books are provided to each resident at the start of their first year. Monday mornings are devoted to Morning Report to review on-call issues and discuss cases or for invited guest speakers. Fluorescein Angiogram Conference or other retina lectures are held on Tuesday mornings. There are monthly Chairman’s Rounds held on Wednesday mornings. Since 2014, second-year residents review pathology slides and gross specimens with Dr. Bamba on Wednesday throughout the year. Thursday and Friday lectures rotate between neuro-ophthalmology, uveitis, cornea, pathology, and oculoplastics. Grand Rounds are held monthly. Formal Journal Club is held on a quarterly basis. Prior to the annual in-service examination (OKAPs) in March, a three-day comprehensive review of all BCSC topics is held at Stroger Hospital.
In addition to the comprehensive in-house academic program, residents can participate in citywide combined educational programs. The first of these is the Chicago Curriculum in Ophthalmology (CCO), which is a lecture series with faculty from all six Chicago area residency programs participating. Lectures are held from September through April on Saturday mornings. Stroger Hospital Ophthalmology residents also attend the Chicago Ophthalmological Society (COS) monthly meetings free of charge. These meetings are held monthly on Monday evenings at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center from September through April. Nationally known speakers from all ophthalmic specialties are invited to give talks at this excellent forum.
All Cook County Health Ophthalmology residents have full privileges at the Stroger Hospital Tice Library and the Rush University’s Medical Library.
All residents are required to participate in at least one research project during their residency. The research project should lead to completion of a structured abstract for paper or poster presentation or a manuscript suitable for submission
A full-time ophthalmic photographer performs and processes all photography and fluorescein angiograms.
Two full-time ophthalmic technicians perform and assist in obtaining glaucoma-related testing such as visual fields and nerve fiber analysis. The Eye Clinic has a complement of seven full-time nurses or medical assistants who help to facilitate and assist residents in seeing patients including checking visual acuities.
Cook County Health provides a comprehensive benefits package for housestaff physicians and their dependents.
The benefits include:
Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO or PPO health insurance, dental coverage, vision plan, disability, worker’s comp, life insurance, pension plan, and flexible spending accounts.
Salaries are very competitive compared to other area programs.
House staff physicians are entitled to the following paid leaves per academic year: 21 vacation days, 12 sick days, 12 holidays, 5 conference days, and 3 days bereavement.
House staff physicians are provided with a generous daily meal plan of $19 per day. Onsite parking is available for $70 per month.
An educational allowance of $1000 per year is available for reimbursement of expenses for conferences, seminars, review courses, purchasing of lenses or books.
Also, 20- and 90- diopter lenses are available as loaners.
Meetings in Chicago
There are a large amounts of ophthalmology meetings in Chicago, open to residents:
AAO Academy Meeting every other year
Chicago Ophthalmological Society meetings every quarter
Rabb Retina Study Group meetings every quarter
Illinois Association of Ophthalmology meeting every year
Northwestern Phaco Course
Loyola Cataract & Glaucoma Symposium
CCO Lecture Series: 2 hours of lecture every Saturday for all residents in the Chicago area
Year 1 (PGY-2)
The first year is spent in the General Eye Clinic at Stroger Hospital and at the Provident Hospital Eye Clinic. Each resident is assigned two eye lanes. Morning lecture starts at 8 am followed by clinic which begins at 9 am.
|July – Sept||Oct – Dec||Jan – March||April – July|
|Provident Hospital (one day of the week is spent in the OR)||General Clinic||General Clinic||General Clinic|
Year 2 (PGY-3)
Year two is divided into 3 different blocks.
|July 1 – Oct 30||Nov 1 – Feb 28||March 1 – June 30|
|Specialties/Retina||Oak Forest Hospital||General Clinic Chief|
Cataract surgery (resident is the primary surgeon) is performed two days of the month while on the Oak Forest Rotation.
Pathology slide review and gross processing is held from 9-12 on Wednesdays throughout the year while on rotations at Cook County.
Minor procedures (pterygium excision with amniotic membrane graft, chalazion excision) and minor plastics procedures (chalazion excision, orbital fat prolapse correction, conjunctiva and eyelid biopsies) are performed on Tuesdays and Thursdays while on rotations at Stroger Hospital.
Year 3 (PGY-4), Major Surgery
Each resident spends 9 months completing major surgeries (2-3 days/week) and the 3 remaining months operating at Provident Hospital. Surgical volumes are some of the highest in the country.
2015 Senior Resident Surgery Total, Example Senior #1:
|Panretinal laser photocoagulation||20||435||108||543|
|Pterygium/ conj/ corneal||3||8||5||13|
|Oculoplastic and orbit||28||36||24||60|
Kevin Ferenchak: Inherited Retinal Disease Fellowship at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Olga German: Medical Retina Fellowship, Northwestern University
Jordan Hill: Cornea Fellowship, Devers Eye Institute
Shyam Patel: Cornea Fellowship, Eye Consultants of Atlanta
Justin Bloomberg: Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Des Moines Veterans Hospital
Sherif Dawood: Cornea/Refractive Fellowship, Cook County Health
Mina Farahani: Cornea Fellowship, UCI Health
Krishna Patel: Plastics and Reconstructive Fellowship ASOPRS, Atlanta, GA
Christie Cunningham: Medical Retina Fellowship, University of Iowa
Janelle Jackson: Oculoplastics Fellowship at Consultants in Ophthalmic and Facial
Plastic Surgery, Southfield, MI
Elizabeth Martin: Glaucoma Fellowship, Moran Eye Center, University of Utah
Erik Anderson: Cornea Fellowship, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NS
Timothy Ekhlassi: Oculofacial Plastic Surgery, Private Fellowship, Southfield, MI
Zachary Seagrave: Cornea Fellowship, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Fegan is a leading expert on healthcare policy and healthcare reform with extensive hands-on medical experience in the ever-changing arena of healthcare policy and, as a result, moves Cook County Health forward as an innovative and forward-thinking healthcare leader. She has testified before congressional committees and lectured extensively to both medical and public audiences on healthcare reform in the U.S. and Canada. Dr. Fegan serves as president of the board of directors for the Chicago-based Health & Medicine Policy Research Group. An internist, Dr. Fegan also sees patients at Cook County Health’s Woodlawn Health Center.
Chief Nursing Officer
Beena Peters joined Cook County Health after nearly three decades at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System in Chicago, where she has served in various nursing roles since 1991. She was most recently the associate chief nursing officer, with administrative responsibility for Women, Children and Psychiatric Services. Ms. Peters earned her master’s degree in nursing and a doctorate of nursing practice. At Cook County Health she leads the nursing staff of with a focus on three key goals: nursing quality, patient experience and staff engagement. Ms. Peters is committed to building an effective and efficient workforce to deliver high-quality, patient centered care to improve the health of the people and the community through collaboration and partnership.
Division Chair, Anesthesiology and Pain Management
Dr. Torres is an anesthesiologist with additional expertise in the field of pain medicine. Dr. Torres has practiced at Cook County Health for more than 27 years and is responsible for the development and implementation of Cook County Health’s multidisciplinary Pain Management Center. Cook County Health has tracked a 36% decrease in opioid prescription volumes since 2017. Dr. Torres currently serves as system chair for Pain Management Services and leads a very successful multidisciplinary pain center which provides the latest interventional, psychologic and complementary modalities and services to our patients.
Attending Physician, Oncology Director, Hematology/Oncology FellowshipDr. Gupta specializes in cancer care with a specific expertise in treating lung, gynecological and gastrointestinal tumors. Her clinical interests include health care IT and hospital quality improvement. She helped study the concept of “Quick Diagnosis Units,” a model to safely work up patients on an outpatient basis rather than admitting them to a hospital, improve patient care and coordination and potentially significantly reduce health care costs.
Division Chair, Breast Oncology
Dr. Marcus is an expert in oncology who specializes in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. She is the chair of the division of breast oncology at Cook County Health. A practiced and meticulous surgeon, Dr. Marcus has expertise in treating locally advanced breast cancer and conducting research to improve multidisciplinary treatment. She is particularly focused on underserved populations and serves as a subject matter expert on improving care delivery to minority communities as a member of the National Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Steering Committee.
Division Chair, Otolaryngology
Chair, Cook County Health Cancer Committee
As a lifelong Chicagoan, Dr. Patel’s passion for medicine dates back to childhood, when his father was a physician at Cook County Hospital. He serves patients as an expert in head and neck cancers and oncologic surgery. He is the chair of Cook County Health’s otolaryngology division and chair of the System’s Cancer Committee. Dr. Patel leads Cook County Health’s certification process from the Commission on Cancer as well as the system’s participation in national clinical trials for cancer treatment. He also holds several committee roles with the Academy of Otolaryngology and the American Head and Neck Society.
Department Chair, Correctional HealthDr. Mennella serves at the chair and medical director for Cook County correctional health. Under her leadership, the Department of Correctional Health has been able to develop detoxification protocols and treatment plans in a centralized housing area and has increased the use of all Food and Drug Administration-approved medications for opioid use disorder. Dr. Mennella has worked with Cook County Health in furthering linkage agreements with community providers both within the ambulatory Cook County Health network and with other community partners. She was also instrumental in working with the Cook County Sherriff’s office to make naloxone training available to patients with opioid use disorder and providing these patients with a naloxone kit to prevent overdose upon release. She has lobbied for funding for mental health programs as a way to reduce crime and campaigned against the closure of Cook County mental health facilities.
Chief Operating Officer, Correctional Health
Linda Follenweider serves as the chief operating officer of correctional health, with extensive expertise in both clinical and administrative settings. She began her career as a nurse practitioner, working at clinics, hospitals and health systems across Chicagoland with dual practitioner and leadership roles at many of these locations. She also served as a healthcare consultant for nearly 10 years, working primarily with safety net hospitals and correctional facilities. Ms. Follenweider was instrumental in the dissolution of the U.S. Department of Justice consent decree through instituting best practices in the areas of physical and mental health at Cermak Correctional Health Services. She has served on the boards of the Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing, the Multi-State Reimbursement Alliance, and the ALA Chicago Thoracic Society Nursing Assembly as the chair for the APN Committee.
Attending Physician, Emergency Medicine
As a second-generation physician at Stroger Hospital, Dr. Hedayati has devoted her career to working on the front lines of patient care, taking pride in treating all patients regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. With extensive knowledge in all areas of emergency medicine, she has a particular interest in cardiac emergencies and resuscitation, including diagnosis and management of cardiac arrest, heart attacks, abnormal cardiac rhythms, pacemakers and heart failure. She is also committed to medical education and training future generations of medical providers. Dr. Hedayati’s research projects involve emergency care, focusing on how to improve everyday practices and how physicians interface with patients.
Attending Physician, Emergency Medicine
Dr. Lu is a full-time emergency medicine attending physician at Cook County Health and a medical toxicologist with the Illinois Poison Center Toxikon Consortium. Dr. Lu’s main interests are in critical care medicine and resident and student education. She organizes the toxicology conferences for the emergency medicine residency program and has lectured nationally and internationally on various poisoning topics such as aspirin, opioids and other drugs of abuse.
Department Chair, Family and Community Medicine
Dr. Loafman, Cook County Health chair of family and community medicine, is an authority on community medicine and maternal and child health, and leads a team of 60 physicians providing comprehensive, compassionate primary and preventive care. He has dedicated much of his career to reducing health disparities in care and improving health outcomes in primary and obstetric care practices.
Senior Director, HIV ServicesDr. Adeyemi is actively involved with HIV/AIDS research, including common health problems such as co-infections, co-morbidities with HIV and hepatitis C, bone disease and long-term therapy. She was instrumental in the opening of a hepatitis C clinic at Cook County Health’s Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, where she has been a practicing physician for nearly two decades. Dr. Adeyemi is a member of the steering committee and co-chair of the Health Care Availability and Access Committee of Getting to Zero Illinois, a statewide initiative to end the HIV epidemic by 2030.
System Director of Healthcare Epidemiology and Infection ControlDr. Welbel is the director of hospital epidemiology and infection control and has extensive expertise in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. Before joining Cook County Health in 1994, she served as a medical epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) division of tuberculosis elimination and an officer for epidemic intelligence services for the CDC’s Hospital Infection Program. Dr. Welbel is at the forefront of infectious diseases including influenza, Hepatitis C and tuberculosis. She is an expert on hospital infection control and preparedness and sees patients at Stroger Hospital and the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center.
Division Chair, Infectious DiseasesDr. Schwartz has served as Cook County Health’s chair of infectious diseases since 2010. He has maintained the division’s excellence of caring for infections among hospitalized patients by teaching clinical infectious diseases to trainees at all levels, performing infection-related research and promoting patient safety across Cook County Health through the oversight of infection control and antimicrobial stewardship programs. Dr. Schwartz has also overseen consolidation and expansion of Cook County Health’s programs for the multidisciplinary care of Cook County residents living with HIV/AIDS.
Attending Physician, Infectious DiseasesDr. Huhn serves as the associate director for the joint Rush University/Stroger Hospital infectious diseases fellowship program. Also, he is a medical advisor for a national HIV continuing medical education series and is a frequent teacher and lecturer across the country. His research activities include: HIV and viral hepatitis, outbreak investigations, infectious disease surveillance, and risk analysis. Dr. Huhn has published over 50 articles in peer-reviewed literature.
Chair, Department of Medicine
Dr. Mathew serves as chair of the department of medicine and directs the internal medicine services throughout Cook County Health hospitals and ambulatory sites. She also oversees the training of hundreds of residents, fellows and medical students. Dr. Mathew serves as the governor for the American College of Physicians Illinois Northern chapter as well as a member of the ACP National Board of Governors. She has a passion for the under-served and particular interest in the areas of social determinants of health and professional satisfaction. She is an awarded teacher and leader and a recognized humanitarian.
Associate Medical Director
Chairman, Department of Professional Education
Serving as the chairman of the department of professional education for Cook County Health, Dr. O’Brien is an expert in training and education programs and has been consistently recognized for his teaching abilities. He serves as a fellow of the American College of Physicians, where he oversees 25 residency and fellowship programs with more than 400 trainees. Dr. O’Brien also oversees the training of hundreds of outside rotating residents and fellows at Cook county Health. He is board certified in internal medicine and works with the American Board of Internal Medicine as a diplomat.
Regional Medical Director, Provident Hospital
and Sengstacke Health Center
Dr. Arnold Turner is medical director at Provident Hospital. He has practiced internal medicine for 35 years, primarily to underserved populations. Dr. Turner has an interest in chronic disease management. He’s previously done clinical trials on hypertension and diabetes. Dr. Turner attended Harvard Medical School.
Chief Executive Officer, CountyCare
James Kiamos is the CEO of CountyCare health plan, owned and operated by Cook County Health that serves more than 300,000 individuals in Cook County. He has more than 25 years of experience in the managed care industry and extensive experience leading hospitals and physician-hospital organizations with their managed care risk strategies and operations. He has spent considerable time in Washington, D.C. advocating for healthcare access in Cook County and Illinois.
Chief Operating Officer, Integrated Care Services
Mary Sajdak started her career with Cook County Health in 1992, when she served as the associate administrator of ambulatory care for three years and managed the day-to-day operations of Fantus Health Center. After spending nearly two decades in the private health care sector, Ms. Sajdak returned to Cook County Health, assuming the role of chief operating officer of integrated care services in 2016. Ms. Sajdak is responsible for the health system’s patient support center, inpatient and outpatient care coordination and managed care for Cook County Health.
Attending Physician, Urology
Dr. Wille is the director of kidney and stone disease for Cook County Health’s division of urology. He is the director of the Interdisciplinary Stone Clinic, a clinic with urology, nephrology and dietary resources to help prevent the forming of stones in the kidney, bladder and/or urinary tract. Dr. Wille works to help men reach their optimal health and wellness. He is dedicated to helping his patients with innovative, individualized, modern medical solutions for a variety of health concerns.
Executive Director, Behavioral Health
Diane Washington serves as the executive director of behavioral health for Cook County Health. She trained at University of Chicago Medical Center in general psychiatry and completed a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at Rush Medical Center in Chicago. She has extensive international corporate experience in the areas of psychiatric research and development and co-morbid conditions impacting the behavioral health populations. She believes in the power of collaborative internal and external partnerships to improve access to care for all behavioral health patients.
Medical Social Worker
As a social worker at Stroger Hospital’s Trauma & Burn Department, Andrew Wheeler has helped countless patients and family member cope with the stress of traumatic incidents. He supplements the care provided by doctors and nurses to aid patients’ emotional recovery through counseling and other techniques, like meditation. He also provides support to employees after critical incidents and promotes a traumainformed workplace. A founding member of Healing Hurt People-Chicago, he coordinates connecting violently injured patients with outpatient intensive case management services to reduce re-injury and retaliation while improving overall well-being. Mr. Wheeler also advocates for awareness of post-traumatic stress in patients who have suffered severe injuries and has helped form partnerships with community organizations to address violence as a public health issue.
Division Chair, Neurology
As Cook County Health’s medical director of stroke, Dr. Warrior is an expert in treating patients with neurologic conditions including stroke, dementia, HIV-associated neurologic disease, epilepsy and headache. She leads a hospital-wide collaboration of specialists involved with the care of stroke patients. Dr. Warrior was instrumental in the creation of the Cook County Health Stroke Clinic, a once-a-week, multidisciplinary clinic with the goal of providing comprehensive care to stroke patients.
Division Chair, Ophthalmology
Ophthalmology Division Chair Dr. Thomas Patrianakos epitomizes community medicine. Born and raised in Chicago, he has been a mainstay at Cook County Health since completing his residency at Stroger Hospital in 2006 and fellowship at Harvard Medical School. He is a clinical leader in glaucoma care (including micro invasive surgery), optic nerve imaging and ophthalmology education. Dr. Patrianakos and his
team provide cutting-edge care to patients with severe eye conditions.
Dr. Adkins specializes in the practice of comprehensive optometry. With more than 25 years of experience, her clinical expertise includes the treatment of refractive conditions, medical diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, infections, inflammation and post op surgical care. Dr. Adkins is passionate about encouraging teenage girls to pursue optometry careers through education and mentoring. She also works with multiple organizations to help girls pursue careers in optometry and other STEM related professions.
Division Chair, Emergency Medicine & Toxicology
Dr. Aks is a national expert in medical toxicology and has overseen the training of more than 1,400 residents and 700 students in Cook County Health’s medical toxicology rotation since 1990. He directs the Illinois Poison Center Toxikon Consortium, a partnership between Cook County Health, the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Illinois Poison Center that offers one of the nation’s few toxicology fellowships and trains all emergency medicine residents in the city of Chicago in toxicology. Toxikon also supports the Illinois Poison Center with additional clinical expertise on the most challenging cases of poisoning. Additionally, Dr. Aks has served as Cook County’s Representative to the Cook County/City of Chicago Opioid Task Force and co-wrote the expanding naloxone position statement for toxicology speciality societies (ACMT and AACT).
Attending Physician, Emergency Medicine & Toxicology
Dr. Mycyk, emergency medicine physician and toxicologist, is an international toxicology expert, specializing in environmental toxins like lead poisoning and novel drugs of abuse. His research focuses on using older, often forgotten medicines such as haloperidol for cyclic vomiting from drug abuse and drugs as antidotes for new medical problems, as these remedies are typically inexpensive and readily available.
Attending Physician, Family Medicine
Dr. Nowinski Konchak is a physician lead for the medication assisted treatment (MAT) collaborative at Cook County Health, where she works across departments to implement access to high quality, team-based substance use disorder care within CCH’s numerous care settings including 14 community health centers, Stroger hospital and emergency department, and with correctional health at Cook County Jail. She is also core faculty for the Preventive Medicine Residency Program at Cook County Health.
Department Chair, Oral HealthDr. Alexander serves as Cook County Health chair of oral health. She has particular interest in hospital dentistry, HIV/AIDS care, oral oncology and oral surgery. Dr. Alexander has spearheaded the development and delivery of quality oral health care and clinical and operational programs, as well as improvement activities. She works on educating patients on the connection between good oral health and improvement in overall well-being, such as the link between an increased risk of heart disease in patients with poor oral health. Dr. Alexander focuses on quality direct patient care, developing programs to meet the needs of the community and coordinating teams to deliver programs, services and access to quality oral health care. She has committed much of her career to dental education and training future generations of dental providers.
Attending Physician, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program Director, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Dr. Qaisi is the residency program director of the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Program at Cook County Health. He completes the “fibula jaw in a day” procedure, making Cook County Health one of only a handful of medical centers around the country able to perform this reconstructive technique. The technique allows patients to have a tumor removed, a new jaw constructed, and teeth implanted in the same operation. Dr. Qaisi’s clinical and research interests include the treatment of oral cavity cancers, head & neck benign and malignant pathology, salivary gland tumors, orthognathic (jaw) surgery, and microvascular free flap reconstruction (harvesting a patient’s own tissue for reconstruction). Dr. Qaisi serves on the executive council of the Illinois Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Division Chair, Neonatology
Interim Department Chair, Pediatrics
Dr. Akintorin is the neonatology chair at Stroger Hospital’s Level III perinatal center. In addition to her duties as an attending physician, she also serves as the medical co-director of the Perinatal Center and interim chair of pediatrics. She has clinical expertise in the care of preterm and sick newborns. Dr. Akintorin received the Department of Pediatrics Teacher of the Year Award in 2016 as well as Excellence in Teaching Awards in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Chief Operating Officer, Cook County Department of Public Health
Dr. Mason serves as the chief operating officer for the Cook County Department of Public Health, which protects the health of the more than 2.3 million residents of suburban Cook County across 125 different municipalities. A practicing urologist for more than 25 years, he is a leading authority on men’s health who champions holistic approaches to health management.