2020 Patient & Professional Symposium Faculty

Anita Afzali, MD, MPH, FACG

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Dr. Afzali is an Associate Professor of clinical medicine and a gastroenterologist that specializes in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Dr Afzali is the Medical Director of the OSU Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center and holds the Abercrombie & Fitch Endowed Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Clark Anderson, PA-C

Illinois Gastroenterology Institute of Peoria

Clark Anderson started in medicine as an Army medic for 22 years. Clark Attended Physician Assistant school at Southern Illinois University. Clark started as a Physician Assistant at Illinois Gastroenterology Institute of Peoria, and started the IBD Clinic there in 2014.

Emanuelle A. Bellaguarda, MD

Northwestern Medicine

Dr. Bellaguarda is Gastroenterologist at Northwestern Medicine. She specializes in the evaluation and treatment of Crohn's disease, Ulcerative colitis and Immune-checkpoint inhibitor colitis. Her research focus is on new biomarkers which measure intestinal inflammation as well as therapeutic drug monitoring. 

Colleen Blackshear, PharmD

The University of Chicago Medicine

Colleen completed her PGY1 Pharmacy residency training at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in 2013 and continued to work there as a clinical pharmacist in the areas of Solid Organ Transplant and Hepatitis C. In 2017, Colleen joined the University of Chicago Medicine team in Hepatology and launched her Pharmacist-led Hepatitis C clinic in 2019. Colleen continues to manage patients with various disease states in Hepatology and also participates in the public health initiative of ECHO- Hepatitis C to train primary care providers to treat and cure Hepatitis C in various difficult to reach communities in Chicago.

Jonathan Cordova, DO

NorthShore University HealthSystem

Jonathan Cordova, DO is a pediatric gastroenterologist with NorthShore University HealthSystem. Dr. Cordova completed his training at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital where he completed his fellowship in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. Dr. Cordova has a special interest in Inflammatory Bowel Disease –Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and Indeterminate Colitis. As part of the Chicagoland Children’s Health Alliance (partnership between Advocate Health and NorthShore), Dr. Cordova has implemented a state of the art infusion center for children receiving IV biologic medications.

Ranjana Gokhale, MD

Comer Children's Hospital

Dr Ranjana Gokhale, is an Associate Professor at the University of Chicago, and Director of the Pediatric IBD Program at the University of Chicago. Her main areas of interest include growth and bone health in pediatric IBD.

Stephen B. Hanauer, MD, FACG

Northwestern Medicine

Dr. Hanauer is a board certified internist and gastroenterologist, and is the Clifford Joseph Barborka Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of the Digestive Health Center at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. 

Neil H. Hyman, MD

The University of Chicago Medicine

Dr. Hyman is Professor of Surgery, Chief of the Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery and Co-director of the Center for Digestive Diseases at the University of Chicago Medicine. He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed original articles or textbook chapters.

Kimberly Kearns, MS, APRN, ANP-BC

DuPage Medical Group

Kimberly Kearns is an Adult Nurse Practitioner that specializes in adult Gastroenterology for DuPage Medical Group in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Her experience in Gastroenterology spans over 18 years; beginning her career in Gastroenterology as a Registered Nurse, then transitioning to the role of an Adult Nurse Practitioner in 2007. For the past 12 years, she has been providing both inpatient and outpatient healthcare specializing in adult Gastroenterology. Her healthcare philosophy focuses on education, disease prevention and health promotion. Her passion for education is not only directed towards her patients but also her peers; she has been an invited speaker on several topics in Gastroenterology at both regional and national meetings. In 2019 and 2020 Ms. Kearns served as the co-chair for the Advanced Practice Provider and Nurses workshop at the Crohn’s and Colitis Congress. She is also a member of the Crohn's & Colitis, Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Judith Kelsen, MD

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Dr. Kelsen is the Program Director of the Very Early Onset Inflammatory Bowel Disease (VEO-IBD) Clinic and an Attending Physician in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Nehrin Khamo, PharmD

University of Illinois at Chicago Health

Dr. Nehrin Khamo earned her BA degree from North Park University, followed by Pharm D. degree from University of IL college of Pharmacy; in 2001 she started working as a clinical staff pharmacist at UI Health Ambulatory Care Pharmacy. In 2007 she was assigned to work in the Digestive Disease Center at UI Health as a hybrid pharmacist. In 2011 she joined Specialty Pharmacy Services team at UI Health. She is currently the Operation Coordinator for specialty pharmacy services at UI health 

Sarah Kinsinger, PhD

Loyola University Medical Center

Dr. Kinsinger is a board-certified health psychologist specializing in the treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. She is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Loyola University Medical Center and provides consultation and treatment to patients with a variety of digestive disorders, 

including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Bernice Man, PharmD, BCPS, CSP

Northwestern Medicine

Bernice Man, PharmD, BCPS, CSP is a Practice Coordinator at Northwestern Medicine Specialty Pharmacy where she currently oversees oncology, accreditation and quality. She is part of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Section of Specialty Pharmacy Practitioners Section Advisory Group on Workforce Development and is the immediate-past Director of Marketing Affairs within the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists.

Abigail Meyers, PA

Mayo Clinic

Abigail Meyers has been a physician assistant with Mayo Clinic Rochester since 2011. She joined with the Colon and Rectal Surgery department as a hospitalist implementing Enhanced Recovery for post operative patients. She transitioned to Gastroenterology and Hepatology within the Inflammatory Bowel Disease clinic in 2016. Abigail Meyers enjoys education both on a professional level as well as with her patients. She is a member of the NPPA Grand Rounds committee within the institution. She has helped create educational materials for students and new APPs to GI. She is an active member of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, specifically with involvement in the professional membership committee as well as the Advanced Practice Provider committee. With the Foundation, she has updated Adult Best Practices for APPs and continues to work on achieving Foundation initiatives for APP members. She is a preceptor host site for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation APP Preceptorship program. She has spoken at Advances in IBD 2019 regarding Extraintestinal Manifestations of IBD.


Amar Naik, MD

Loyola Medicine

Dr. Naik is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program and Regional Medical Director for Clinical Nutrition for Loyola University Health System in Chicago. He is devoted to the multifaceted long-term care of IBD patients by improving health related quality of life.


Sarah O'Rourke, BSN, RN

The University of Chicago Medicine

Sarah O’Rourke is a nurse at the University of Chicago Medicine Digestive Diseases Center and a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Given her interest in health maintenance, prevention, and improving patient outcomes in IBD, her DNP project is focused on increasing pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations in IBD patients.

John Park, MD

Advocate Aurora Health

Dr. John Park is Chief, Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery and Vice-Chairman, Department of Surgery at Lutheran General Hospital in Illinois. Dr. Park completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago and his medical degree at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He remained at the University of Illinois Medical Center for his general surgery training before completing his colon and rectal surgery fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Dr. Park is currently Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.  

Veranika Sasnovskaya, PharmD

Veranika Sasnovskaya, Pharm.D. is a clinical pharmacist for Specialty Pharmacy Services at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System (UI Health). She received her Doctor or Pharmacy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy in 2018. Dr. Sasnovskaya completed an ASHP-accredited postgraduate year 1 Community Pharmacy Practice Residency in Specialty Pharmacy in 2019. 

Courtney Schuchmann, MS, LD, RDN

The University of Chicago Medicine

Courtney Schuchmann is a registered dietitian at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She completed her dietetic internship and master’s degree in clinical nutrition at Rush University before going on and joining the UChicago digestive diseases team. Her clinical practice specializes in providing medical nutrition therapy to a variety of individuals with gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, eosinophilic esophagitis, irritable bowel disease, and weight management. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Clinical Medical Advisory Committee, and the Registered Dietitian Inflammatory Bowel Disease Practice Group.

Scott Strong, MD

Northwestern Medicine

Scott A. Strong, MD, is the James R. Hines Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. His training included a residency in general surgery at Michigan State University–Butterworth Hospital, and a residency and research fellowship in colorectal surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Strong serves as the Surgical Director of the Digestive Health Center, Chief of Gastrointestinal Surgery, and Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs in the Department of Surgery at Northwestern Medicine.

Garth Swanson, MD

Rush University Medical Center

Garth Swanson, MD, is an Associate Professor in the Section of

Gastroenterology in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush

Medical College. He is the Director of the Rush Center for Crohn’s and Colitis as well as Director of the Clinical Chronobiology Center at Rush.

Itishree Trivedi, MD

University of Illinois at Chicago Health

At the University of Illinois- Chicago, Dr. Trivedi leads a multidisciplinary team of IBD providers that includes physicians, surgeons, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners who provide accessible, timely, and effective care for patients with IBD. Dr. Trivedi has an interest in health services and outcomes research. Her major interest is the improving health outcomes for patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Her current research interests include improving transitions of care among adolescents and young adults with IBD and reducing opiate use among inpatients with IBD.

Andres Yarur, MD.

Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin

Dr. Yarur completed an Internal Medicine residency and Gastroenterology fellowship at Jackson Memorial Hospital-University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. This was followed by an Advanced Inflammatory Bowel Disease fellowship at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He is a member of the Alpha-Omega-Alpha honor medical society. His research interests focus on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, including novel therapies and optimization of current treatments. Dr. Yarur leads a team of researchers studying inflammatory bowel diseases and is internationally recognized for his contributions to advance the care of patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.