July 21, 2014

MDA Staff

These are medical doctors specially trained in the field of neuromuscular disorders. They perform careful neurological examinations, monitor the course of the disease, and provide symptomatic medical therapy and comprehensive care for the patient and family. They coordinate the team’s efforts in meeting a patient’s needs.

Send Ajroud-Driss, MD
Jeffrey Allen, MD
Scott Heller, MD
Teepu Siddique, MD
Robert Sufit, MD

This is a physician who possesses specialized knowledge and skill in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary (lung) and sleep conditions and diseases. They assess a patient’s respiratory status and help maximize their respiratory function with a variety of interventions.

Lisa Wolfe, MD
John Coleman, MD


This is a physician trained in the diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions – many neuromuscular conditions have effects on the heart, as it is a muscle.

Elizabeth McNally, MD

Jane Wilcox, MD

Nurses and Medical Assistants
Our nurses and medical assistants help to evaluate individual health care needs, plan and
implement the medical treatment, contact appropriate community resources, make referrals,
provide education to patients, caregivers, family, and other healthcare professionals involved
in the care of patients with neuromuscular disease.

Virginia Storey, RN, BSN
Stephanie Hesser, CMA

Neurology Department Clinical Practice Manager
The Clinical Practice Manager oversees the daily operations for the Department of Neurology
at the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation.

Anny Sandoval, RN

MDA Health Care Services Coordinator
The MDA health care service coordinator (HCSC) is a central figure at clinic visits. She is
present on clinic days to answer questions, distribute MDA educational materials, coordinate
any MDA services you may require, and assist with community resource referrals.

Hayley Opgenorth

Clinical Research Coordinator
This team member disseminates information about current neuromuscular drug studies and provides information to interested patients, screens prospective participants for drug studies and organizes medical records pertaining to the study, and conducts study sessions with physicians and staff.

Pat Casey, MS, OTR/L, CCRC

This professional provides a nutritional assessment, support and education for patients. They assess nutritional needs, coordinate proper diet therapy, and educate patients and their families on proper nutrition and hydration for improved quality of life.

Megan Paul, RD

Genetic Counselor
This team member works primarily with patients with the familial (inherited) forms of muscular dystrophy. They act as a liaison between patient, laboratory, and physicians and can discuss inheritance patterns and risk factors.

Lisa Kinsley, MS, CGC

Occupational Therapy
This team member is specially trained to evaluate and enhance an individual’s functional
abilities. They can recommend special adaptive equipment, provide exercise programs, and
suggest ways to maintain and upgrade activities of daily living such as feeding, dressing and


Physical Therapy
This team member is specially trained to treat impairments with muscle weakness, gait training, and balance. They are also concerned with the promotion of mobility, functional ability, quality of life, and movement potential through examination, evaluation, diagnosis and physical intervention.


Social Work
This professional may assist patients and families in financial and legal matters. Family
meetings or discussion about muscular dystrophy can be coordinated with the MDA as a
liaison for the patient. Additionally, this professional helps assist in applying for social security disability insurance, locating community resources as well as providing education, encouragement and support.

Michele Day, LCSW

Other Services
The team is provided with the support of vendors who regularly attend the clinic to provide
service to patients during their visits. These professionals may include respiratory therapists, rehabilitation technology specialists, and orthotists.

Mobility – Mark Vranicar
Hill-Rom – John Powers, BS, CRT
Walgreens – Lisa Gorsky, RRT
Ballert Orthopedic – Gene Bernardoni, R.PH, CO, C.PED
Ballert Orthopedic – Mark Han, CO

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