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Faculty, Students, and Staff

Faculty

Meet the Feinberg School of Medicine faculty affiliated with Center for Health Information Partnerships (CHIP).

Abel Kho, MD, MS, FACMI headshot

Abel Kho, MD, MS, FACMI

Director of CHIP
Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine

Abel is Director of CHIP and Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics Division) and Preventive Medicine (Health and Biomedical Informatics Division) in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. He develops relationships and tools to bring together health data at the local, regional, and national level to improve care. Abel is the principal investigator and/or informatics lead within several national networks funded by AHRQ, CDC, PCORI, and CMS. He has an active primary care practice, which helps inform the clinical relevance of his research.

View Abel’s NU Faculty Profile for publications, news, and more.

Twitter: @AbelKho

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Abel Kho, MD, MS, FACMI headshot
Abel Kho, MD, MS, FACMI

Director of CHIP
Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine

Abel Kho, MD, MS, FACMI, is Tenured Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and Director of the Center for Health Information Partnerships (CHIP) within the Institute for Public Health and Medicine. His work focuses on bringing people and data together for population, translational, and quality improvement research.

Abel is the Principal Investigator (PI) for several multi-institutional collaborative projects. He helped found and serves as Principal Investigator of the Chicago Area Patient Centered Outcomes Research Network (CAPriCORN), one of the PCORI-funded Clinical (Data) Research Networks. He is the PI along with Patricia Franklin for the AHRQ/PCORI funded K12 training award, A Chicago Center of Excellence in Learning Health Systems Research Training (ACCELERAT), which builds upon CAPriCORN to train the next generation of leaders in learning health systems research. Abel is PI with Bernard Black for a Natural Experiment for Translation in Diabetes, which aims to determine the effects of Medicaid expansion on diabetes diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes across eight states in a partnership between CAPriCORN and the Greater Plains Collaborative.

Abel is Principal Investigator for the AHRQ-funded Healthy Hearts in the Heartland consortium, which aims to test the capacity of primary care practices in the Midwest to improve the ABCS of cardiovascular disease prevention: Aspirin in high-risk individuals, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation. Along with Theresa Walunas, he is Principal Investigator for the AHRQ-funded INSPIRE (Intervention in Small Primary Care Practices to Implement Reduction in Unhealthy Alcohol Use) project, which supports and evaluates the implementation of screening and treatment interventions for patients with unhealthy alcohol use. He also serves as the site lead for Illinois’ involvement in the CMS-sponsored Great Lakes Practice Transformation Network.  As a member of the All of Us Research Program Data and Research Center, Abel is focused on ensuring the highest completeness and quality of EHR data for all participants with a focus on use of record linkage methods.

Twitter: @AbelKho

View Abel’s NU Faculty Profile for publications, news, and more.

Theresa Walunas, PHD headshot

Theresa Walunas, PHD

Associate Director of CHIP, Director of Chicago Health IT Regional Extension Center (CHITREC), and Assistant Professor of Medicine, General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics Division, Feinberg School of Medicine

Theresa’s background is in immunology and computer science with an interest in bridging the gap between the bedside and the bench. She has interests in translational immunology and precision medicine with the goal of using health record data to improve health for people with autoimmune disease. Given the importance of having high-quality information and improving health care for people with immunological conditions, she has also focused on developing teams and projects that help providers more effectively use electronic health record systems and support data-driven care and quality improvement.

Key Projects: IMMUNE, IRAE-ID, Lupus R21INSPIRE, H3GLPTN, QPP-SURS, Illinois Medicaid PI Help Desk. Twitter: @TheresaWalunas

View Theresa’s NU Faculty Profile for publications, news, and more.

Check back shortly for more information on Theresa Walunas, PHD.

Faraz Ahmad, MD, MS headshot

Faraz Ahmad, MD, MS

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cardiology Division, Feinberg School of Medicine, and Northwestern Medicine Site Principal Investigator for Chicago Area Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Network (CAPriCORN)

Faraz is a cardiologist and heart failure specialist with advanced research training in biomedical informatics, epidemiology, and clinical trial methodology. His research interests are in the development of methods, tools, and technologies to collect, store, analyze, and apply diverse electronic health data—including patient-reported outcomes measures. Results can then be used to improve clinical care, conduct pragmatic clinical trials, and generate real-world evidence.

Key Projects: CAPriCORN, ADAPTABLE, H3. Twitter: @FarazA_MD

View Faraz’s NU Faculty Profile for publications, news, and more.

Check back shortly for more information on Faraz Ahmad, MD, MS.

Al'ona Furmanchuk, PhD headshot

Al'ona Furmanchuk, PhD

Research Assistant Professor of Medicine, General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics Division, Feinberg School of Medicine

Al'ona specializes in the evaluation of health care policies, artificial intelligence methods, alignment of clinical ontologies, linking health information to external data sources. She applies her interdisciplinary expertise to successful monitoring and understanding of population health. Her ongoing research interests are focused on the prediction of health outcomes and assessing aspects of patient care in the primary care and trauma centers.

Key Projects: Next-D, All of UsIRAE-ID, STS

View Al’ona’s NU Faculty Profile for publications, news, and more.

Check back shortly for more information on Al'ona Furmanchuk, PhD.

David Liebovitz, MD, FAMIA, FACP headshot

David Liebovitz, MD, FAMIA, FACP

Associate Vice-chair, Department of Medicine, and Associate Professor of Medicine, General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics Division, Feinberg School of Medicine

David is an associate professor and associate vice chair for the Department of Medicine in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. His work includes application of informatics principles across specialty divisions to optimize clinical efficiency, enhance patient safety, and support research and education.  David also conducts research on informatics topics and teaches on a variety of informatics topics. He has an active internal medicine practice and he enjoys running by the lake, weather permitting.

Twitter: @david126

View David’s NU Faculty Profile for publications, news, and more.

Check back shortly for more information on David Liebovitz, MD, FAMIA, FACP.

Yuan Luo, PhD headshot

Yuan Luo, PhD

Chief AI Scientist at Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, and Associate Professor, Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine

Yuan's research interests include machine learning, natural language processing, time series analysis, computational phenotyping and integrative genomics, with a focus on medical applications. His PhD Thesis was awarded the inaugural Doctoral Dissertation Award Honorable Mention by American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) in 2017. He won the first prize at NLP Doctoral Consortium in 2013 AMIA Annual Symposium. He is currently associate editor with JHIR, an editor with JBI, Plos One and JAMIA Open and was on the Student Editorial Board for JAMIA. He co-chairs eMERGE NLP WG, serves on AMIA Membership and Outreach Committee, and Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute Research/Innovation and Education Committee. He is a Fellow of AMIA.

Key Projects: PhEMA, eMERGE, CTSA. Twitter: @yuanhypnosluo

View Yuan’s NU Faculty Profile for publications, news, and more.

Check back shortly for more information on Yuan Luo, PhD.

Students and Post Docs

Click on the names below to get to know our student research assistants.

Yu Deng headshot
Yu Deng

PhD Student, Doctoral Research Assistant

Check back shortly for more information on Yu Deng.

Noah Forrest headshot
Noah Forrest

MD-PhD Student, Doctoral Research Assistant

Check back shortly for more information on Noah Forrest.

Steven Tran headshot
Steven Tran

MD-PhD Student, Doctoral Research Assistant

Check back shortly for more information on Steven Tran.

Jiancheng Ye headshot
Jiancheng Ye

PhD Student, Doctoral Research Assistant

Jiancheng Ye

PhD Student, Doctoral Research Assistant

Jiancheng received biomedical engineering training from Tsinghua University in China and Health Informatics training from Johns Hopkins University. He has experience in the design and implementation of medical devices, as well as industry and data analysis. His PhD research focuses on the intersection of informatics, health quality, and patient safety. He enjoys interdisciplinary research for the opportunity to use technology to combine engineering and medicine, thereby improving people’s health and quality of life.

Lindsay Zimmerman headshot
Lindsay Zimmerman

PhD Student, Doctoral Research Assistant

Lindsay Zimmerman headshot
Lindsay Zimmerman

PhD Student, Doctoral Research Assistant

Lindsay Zimmerman, MPH, is a PhD Candidate and Doctoral Research Assistant. At CHIP, she works on a variety of projects related to social determinants of health and informatics. Her dissertation research aims to better understand the relationship between social determinants of health and cardiovascular health, using sequential pattern mining and machine learning techniques. Prior to joining Northwestern, Lindsay was the Director of Research for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Division of Family Planning at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago’s primary safety-net hospital. She received her bachelor of science in Biological Sciences at DePaul University and, later, a master of public health in Epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Lindsay is committed to promoting greater health equity and social justice in healthcare outside of the classroom and is actively involved with two Chicago-based non-profits, the Cook County Health Foundation and The Night Ministry.

CHIP Project: H3
Twitter: @lpzimmerman

Staff

Click on the names below to get to know our center’s staff.

Jennifer Bannon headshot
Jennifer Bannon

Practice Facilitation Lead

Jennifer Bannon headshot
Jennifer Bannon

Practice Facilitation Lead

Jennifer Bannon got her start in Nursing Informatics in the hospital setting where she acted as the Nursing Team Lead on an electronic health record (EHR) implementation at a small community hospital in 2002. Her education includes a B.S. in Nursing and an M.S. in Health Informatics. Prior to working in informatics, Jennifer worked in nursing in multiple settings including, inpatient, outpatient and home health. Other healthcare experiences include quality improvement, education and case management.

Jennifer has provided Practice Facilitation expertise in the AHRQ Evidence Now study, Healthy Hearts in the Heartland (H3), which focused on improving cardiac health outcomes in the Midwest region, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative study, Great Lakes Practice Transformation Network (GLPTN). Her facilitation talents include skills in workflow assessment, team-based care, change management, and learning collaboration.

Projects: INSPIRE

Talia Canter headshot
Talia Canter

Research Study Coordinator

Talia Canter headshot
Talia Canter

Research Study Coordinator

Talia has a background in Clinical Research from working in the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Department of Dermatology for two and a half years. Prior to this position, she attended Beloit College and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. Talia’s main focus at CHIP will be on the Chicago Area Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Network (CAPriCORN).

Georgina Cardona headshot
Georgina Cardona

Research Study Coordinator

Georgina Cardona

Research Study Coordinator

Georgina has worked in research for 2 years, focusing on pre-clinical trials. Prior to joining CHIP, she worked at the Center for Comparative Medicine in Quality and Training, assisting principal investigators and other researchers with obtaining surgical technique training. She has worked in healthcare for over six years, with experience as a coordinator for clinics and hospital systems across Chicago.
Georgina holds a Bachelors in Healthcare Administration with a focus on Management and has completed post-secondary training in Clinical Research.
Rick Chagnon headshot
Rick Chagnon

Database Manager

Check back shortly for more information on Rick Chagnon.

Anh Hien Chung headshot
Anh Hien Chung

Data Analyst, CAPriCORN

Anh Hien Chung

Data Analyst, CAPriCORN

Anh Hien Chung is a data analyst for CAPriCORN. In addition to working on the CAPriCORN Data Team, Anh Hien is a Database Systems Engineer at Feinberg in the Rheumatology Division. She has been with the Division for more than 20 years and has aided numerous investigators in creating and maintaining ongoing registry and research databases. Anh lives in Chicago with her husband and three sons.

Lauren Echols headshot
Lauren Echols

Senior Project Manager

Lauren Echols headshot
Lauren Echols

Senior Project Manager

Lauren is currently a Senior Project Manager at the Center for Health Information Partnerships. As a true public health advocate, she has a background in community health.  Prior to working at CHIP, she worked at a Chicagoland Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Northern Illinois University and a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Projects: INSPIRE, GLPTN

Lacey Gleason headshot
Lacey Gleason

Project Manager

Lacey Gleason headshot
Lacey Gleason

Project Manager

Lacey Gleason, MSPH, is a Project Manager at CHIP with experience in health services research, health care quality, and practice improvement. Prior to joining CHIP, Lacey earned a Master of Science in Public Health in Health Policy and Health Services Research from Emory University and a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Columbia University. Lacey has previously worked on research, quality improvement, and strategic planning projects at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Penn Medicine. She is also an AmeriCorps alumna who served in the Community HealthCorps.

Projects: IL Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program, Quality Payment Program of IL, Pew

Mara Jacobucci headshot
Mara Jacobucci

Senior Communications Coordinator

Mara Jacobucci headshot
Mara Jacobucci

Senior Communications Coordinator

Mara works on a variety of communications and outreach initiatives for CHIP projects and the Center as a whole. She is currently working to complete a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. Prior to joining CHIP, she coordinated communications, marketing, recruitment, and events at the Master of Science in Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University.

Projects: CHITRECCAPriCORNINSPIRE,  IL Medicaid Promoting Interoperability ProgramQuality Payment Program of IL

Katya Klyachko headshot
Katya Klyachko

Research Development Lead

Check back shortly for more information on Katya Klyachko.

Vesna Mitrovic headshot
Vesna Mitrovic

Data Group Lead

Check back shortly for more information on Vesna Mitrovic.

Tracy Mrowczynski headshot
Tracy Mrowczynski

Center Administrator

Tracy Mrowczynski headshot
Tracy Mrowczynski

Center Administrator

As Center Administrator Tracy is responsible for the effective operations of CHIP’s research and administrative functions. These areas include budget and financials, human resources, facilities, space, IT, strategic planning, and faculty support. Prior to joining CHIP Tracy worked in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, IPHAM, Basic Science Administration, and the McCormick School of Engineering.

Mercedes Nodal headshot
Mercedes Nodal

Senior Research Study Coordinator

Mercedes Nodal headshot
Mercedes Nodal

Senior Research Study Coordinator

Mercedes Nodal is a Sr. Research Study Coordinator at CHIP. She currently works on the ADAPTABLE Study, INSPIRE, and the Quality Payment Program of Illinois. She has been working at Northwestern University since 2016. Before joining NU, Mercedes worked at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) on several research studies as a bilingual research assistant. With more than 10 years of experience as a community outreach coordinator, Mercedes collaborated with several nonprofit organizations, political and religious groups, hospitals, and schools to raise health awareness and outreach in the Latino community.

Projects: ADAPTABLE, INSPIRE, Quality Payment Program

Maddison Peterson headshot
Maddison Peterson

Program Assistant III

Maddison Peterson headshot
Maddison Peterson

Program Assistant III

Maddison Peterson supports the faculty and staff at CHIP. Her responsibilities include financial processing, event planning, travel coordinating, and assisting with office management. Prior to joining CHIP, she attended the University of Maine at Farmington, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

Jennifer Potempa headshot
Jennifer Potempa

Health Informatics Facilitator

Jennifer Potempa headshot
Jennifer Potempa

Health Informatics Facilitator

Jennifer Potempa, MHA, is a Health Informatics Facilitator at CHIP. She currently works as a practice facilitator for the federally funded research program INSPIRE and provides assistance and outreach for the Illinois Medicaid and Medicare quality incentive payment programs. Prior to joining CHIP, she worked on projects including the CMS Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPi), Healthy Hearts in the Heartland (H3) research program, and the telementoring program Project ECHO at Telligen, a CMS Quality Innovation Network (QIN). She earned a Master of Health Administration degree from Governors State University.

Projects: INSPIRE, PI Help Desk, Quality Payment Program

Sam Ross headshot
Sam Ross

Health Informatics Facilitator

Sam Ross headshot
Sam Ross

Health Informatics Facilitator

As a Project Manager and Health Informatics Facilitator, Sam Ross offers the CHIP community expertise in Health IT policy and practice improvement. He is responsible for liaison with state and federal partners, service line development, educational content creation, and direct technical assistance through the Illinois Medicaid Promoting Interoperability and Quality Payment Program of Illinois Help Desk projects. He also facilitates practice transformation and quality improvement projects that guide healthcare organizations, clinicians, and staff on the path to efficient, evidence-based approaches to achieving positive health outcomes. Sam developed his broad skill set by learning on the job as an intern for the original Chicago Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (CHITREC), making him one of the longest tenured members of the team.

Projects: CHITREC, IL Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program, Quality Payment Program of IL, INSPIRE

Andrea VanderLaan headshot
Andrea VanderLaan

Program Assistant III

Andrea VanderLaan

Program Assistant III

Andrea VanderLaan currently supports the faculty and staff at CHIP. Her main responsibilities include financial processing, project management, and assisting with administrative tasks with a focus on CAPriCORN and the Recharge Center. Andrea also provides administrative support for the Institute for Augmented Intelligence in Medicine (I.AIM). 

Prior to joining CHIP, she attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

Eva Winckler headshot
Eva Winckler

Outreach Manager

Eva Winckler headshot
Eva Winckler

Outreach Manager

Eva Winckler, MPH, has a background in marketing, communications and public health. In her role as Outreach Manager for CHIP, she oversees communications strategy for the center and several of its programs. Eva originally joined the team as part of the Chicago Health IT Regional Extension Center (CHITREC) before CHIP was established. Prior to joining CHITREC, Eva gained experience building capacity for community-academic research teams and also managing communications for a non-profit breast cancer support organization. She earned a Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago and holds an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University.

Projects: CAPriCORNINSPIRE,  IL Medicaid Promoting Interoperability ProgramQuality Payment Program of IL

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