Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH | Division Head, Pediatrician (he/him)
Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH, is board-certified in pediatrics and adolescent medicine. Dr. Garofalo also directs Lurie Children’s Adolescent/Young Adult HIV Program and the Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention through the Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute. He is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He is a national expert on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) health issues, as well as adolescent sexuality and HIV infection. Dr. Garofalo provides direct clinical care as a member of this team.
Lisa Simons, MD | Medical Director, Lurie Children's Gender Development Program (she/her)
Dr. Simons is an attending physician at Lurie Children’s Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. She is board-certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Simons attended medical school at Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv and completed her pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore. She completed her Adolescent Medicine fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where she trained at the Center for Transyouth Health and Development.
Dr. Simons serves as the Medical Director of the Gender Development Program where she provides direct clinical care and participates in research. Clinical interests also include development of available educational resources related to gender health.
Maria H. Rahmandar, MD | Pediatrician, Adolescent Medicine Specialist (she/her)
Dr. Rahmandar is an attending physician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Lurie Children's, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, with a secondary appointment in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She is board-certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. She attended Princeton University (BA), Baylor College of Medicine (MD), Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Pediatric Residency) and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (Adolescent Medicine Fellowship). Her clinical interests include adolescent substance use, mental health and long-acting birth control (implants & IUDs).
Najah Senno Musacchio, MD | Pediatrician (she/her)
Dr. Musacchio is an attending physician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Lurie Children’s and is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is board-certified in Pediatrics. She attended Northwestern University (BA) and Rush Medical College (MD). She completed her pediatrics residency and fellowship in General Academic Pediatrics at Children’s Memorial Hospital. Her clinical interests include adolescent mental health care, including ADHD, anxiety, and depression, and concerns about bullying, self-esteem, and stress management.
Jennifer Jensen, RN, MSN, CPNP | Adolescent Medicine Nurse Practitioner (she/her)
Jennifer Jensen, RN, MSN, CPNP, is a pediatric nurse practitioner in the Division of Adolescent Medicine. She has been on staff at Lurie Children’s (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital) since 2001. After having worked with HIV infected and affected adolescents and young adults in the Division of Special Infectious Diseases for more than 14 years, she joined the Division of Adolescent Medicine in December 2015. Jennifer received her BSN and MSN from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed a nurse practitioner fellowship in Adolescent Health at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in June 2001. Her clinical interests include general adolescent health as well as providing care for gender non-conforming and transgender youth.
Ginny (Virginia) Scheffler, RN, BSN | Registered (Advanced) Nurse (she/her)
Ginny Scheffler is a registered (Advanced) nurse in the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Pediatric Gynecology since 2005. Ginny started her career as a student nurse at formerly Children’s Memorial and has been a nurse for over twenty six years with inpatient and ambulatory experience. She received her BSN from Loyola University. Her clinical interests include general adolescent health, gynecologic services and providing care for gender non-conforming and transgender youth. Ginny is a recipient of the Earl J. Fredrick Award and Nurse Exemplar Family Advocate in 2014.
Kevin Keiser, RN, BSN | Registered Nurse (he/him)
Kevin Keiser, RN, BSN, is a registered nurse in the Division of Adolescent Medicine. He has been on staff at Lurie Children’s since 2016. Kevin has been a nurse for over 10 years. Kevin worked at Howard Brown Health and gained experience working with transgender patients, patients living with HIV and helped coordinate care for patients with HCV. He began his nursing career in NYC working in a burn center, and then spending 4 years working in a neonatal ICU. He received his BSN from Drexel University. His clinical interests include general adolescent health, STI treatment and prevention, HIV treatment, HCV treatment, and providing care for gender non-conforming and transgender youth. In his free time he rows, bikes, reads books when time allows, and enjoys playing board games with friends.”
Diane Chen, PhD | Pediatric Psychologist (she/her)
Diane Chen, PhD, is a pediatric psychologist in the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Pediatrics, at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She directs behavioral health services within the Gender & Sex Development Program and provides clinical care in the multidisciplinary clinics for transgender and gender expansive youth and for youth with differences in sex development. Dr. Chen maintains an active research program examining health risk behaviors, mental health functioning, and medical decision-making among gender- and sex-diverse children, adolescents, and young adults. Dr. Chen received her PhD (2012) and MA (2008) from Temple University, her BA (2004) from the University of Michigan, and completed her pre-doctoral internship (2012) and post-doctoral fellowship (2013) in clinical child and pediatric psychology at Lurie Children’s.
Claire Coyne, PhD | Pediatric Psychologist (she/her)
Claire Coyne, PhD, is a medical psychologist in the Division of Adolescent Medicine and an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Her clinical training and work has focused broadly on providing evidence-based treatment for at-risk youth and their families, including youth exposed to childhood trauma and gender-nonconforming and transgender youth. Dr. Coyne works with patients and families through the Lurie Children’s Gender and Sex Development Program (GSDP), a multidisciplinary team designed to support the physical and psychosocial health of children and adolescents throughout gender identity development. She is also a member of the Lurie Children’s Trauma Team and provides trauma-related outpatient services to children and adolescents referred to the hospital due to exposure to traumatic violence, abuse, or neglect. Dr. Coyne graduated from the Clinical Science Program in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University. She completed her pre-doctoral internship (2014) and post-doctoral fellowship (2105) at Lurie Children’s.
David Javier Thompson, MA, AM, LCSW, Adolescent Medicine Psychiatric Social Worker (he/him)
David Javier Thompson, MA, AM, LCSW, is a psychiatric social worker in the Division of Adolescent Medicine. He completed his clinical social work internship between 2014 and 2015 in the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago's psychiatric Partial Hospitalization Program. He has been on staff at the hospital since 2015. After working in various roles within the hospital’s Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry he joined the Division of Adolescent Medicine’s Gender & Sex Development Program in January of 2017. Javier received an AB from the University of Michigan, BA from the University of Louisville, MA from the University of Essex via a United Kingdom Fulbright Grant, and AM/MSW from the University of Chicago. His clinical interests include providing behavioral healthcare services to gender and sexual minority individuals and their families as well as helping build behavioral health clinicians’ capacity to provide affirming and evidence-based care to these groups.
Janay Joyce, LCSW | Gender & Sex Development Program Social Worker (she/her)
Janay Joyce is a Licensed Clinic Social Worker with experience supporting families, children, and adolescents, community medical and mental health settings since 2004. Janay joined the Gender & Sex Development team after serving as the social worker in Lurie Children’s Primary Care clinic for 2 years. As the Gender Program social worker, Janay provides ongoing patient centered and strengths based support to patients and families. In this role, Janay conducts intakes for individuals interested in the program, provides linkage to community resources and mental health supports and provides ongoing care to patients and families. In addition to her work at Lurie Children’s, Janay has provided youth and family centered support at Youth Outreach Services, Alternatives Inc. and North Lawndale College Prep High School.
Janay received her Master’s in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University and has been a Licensed Social Worker since 2010. Janay strongly encourages patients and families that are interested in our program to reach out!
Katie Greeley, LSW, CADC | Substance Use Social Worker (she/her)
Katie Greeley, LSW, CADC, is a medical social worker for the new Substance Use Treatment and Prevention Program for the Division of Adolescent Medicine. She specializes in adolescent mental health and substance use treatment and prevention. She approaches every adolescent seeking substance use treatment as an individual and considers herself an ally in their health and recovery. Her prevention work focuses on providing evidence-based health education for middle and high school students domestically and internationally regarding alcohol and other drugs, social norms, media literacy, and brain development, empowering adolescents to think critically about the messages they receive about substance use and supporting a decision to delay use of alcohol and other drugs.
Katie received her MSW (2016) from the University of Chicago, her BA (2013) from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and completed her clinical training (2016) at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.
Sarah Cohen, LCSW Medical Social worker- Division of Adolescent Medicine (she/her)
Sarah is a medical social worker within the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Lurie Children’s. Sarah joined the Division of Adolescent Medicine in 2015 and works closely with patients and families who come for primary care, mental health services, sexual health services and HIV related services. Sarah’s previous experience includes working at Planned Parenthood, at North Shore University Health System in the postpartum depression program and Center on Halsted as well as working with homeless adults at a shelter. Sarah has a passion for working with teens and young adults on issues around sexual health, mental health and relationships.
Sarah received her undergraduate degree from University of Wisconsin Madison in Women’s Studies in 2005 and a Masters in Social Work and a MA in Women’s Studies from Loyola University of Chicago in 2008. Sarah received her LCSW in 2010.
Lisa Kuhns, PhD, MPH |Associate Director, Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention (she/her)
Dr. Kuhns is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Her research interests focus on the influence of gender and sexuality on HIV-related and other health outcomes among sexual, gender and racial/ethnic minority populations, particularly youth. She is currently a co-investigator on four studies funded by the National Institutes of Health which focus on primary prevention and health promotion among those at risk of or infected with HIV.
Amy K. Johnson, PhD, MSW | Research Assistant Professor (she/her)
Amy K. Johnson, PhD, is a research assistant professor in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Lurie Children's and Department of Pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She earned her PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Johnson has advanced training in program evaluation, quantitative and qualitative analysis. In addition, Dr. Johnson has a background in social work and therefore brings a strengths-based trauma-informed approach to her research and evaluation work. Dr. Johnson’s primary area of expertise and interest lies in applied HIV and STI prevention and care intervention research. Her work focuses on high priority areas of HIV intervention implementation, risk assessment and developing/assessing prevention packages, as well as in adolescent sexual health.
Madalyn Liautaud, BA | Student Research Assistant (she/her)
Madalyn is a Student Research Assistant for the Trans Youth Decision-Making Project, which investigates the influence of cognitive and emotional functioning on medical decision-making among peripubertal transgender youth. She assists with data management for the study.
Abigail Muldoon, MA | Lead Data Manager (she/her)
Abigail leads efforts in the Division of Adolescent Medicine to develop data collection systems, as well as organize, clean, store and analyze study data collected to ensure high data quality, security, and compliance with study protocols and regulatory requirements.
Afiya Sajwani, BA | TODAY! App, Trans Youth Decision Making Project (they/them/she/her)
Afiya is a behavioral research associate for the TODAY! App study, which is a small randomized control trial testing the feasibility of the TODAY! mobile phone application. Afiya also works on the Trans Youth Decision-Making Project which investigates how cognitive and emotional functioning affects medical decision-making in peripubertal transgender youth.
Claire Donahue, BA | Behavioral Research Associate (she/her)
Claire provides research assistance to Behavioral Research staff in the development, implementation and tracking of studies. She also provides client-centered HIV testing and counseling services for all programs and assists in the recruitment of study participants while also executing outreach for studies and testing services.
Jane Hereth, MSW | Senior Behavioral Research Coordinator (she/her)
Jane Hereth supports the work of the division by conducting data analysis, preparing manuscripts, and facilitating program evaluation. Jane is currently pursuing a PhD in social work at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on social inequality among LGBTQ youth. Jane has worked in the areas of HIV prevention, sexual assault crisis counseling, and prison abolition in Chicago for the last ten years.
Ren Bernheim, MEd| Adolescent Medicine Research Associate (they/them)
Ren Bernheim, M.Ed is a Research Associate for the Transgender Youth Care Study in the Division of Adolescent Medicine. The Transgender Youth Care Study is an R01 NIH-funded longitudinal observational study being conducted at four sites (Lurie Children’s, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Boston Children’s Hospital and the University of California at San Francisco) to examine the outcomes of existing medical treatment protocols for gender dysphoria in two distinct cohorts: youth initiating puberty suppression and youth pursuing medical transition.
Ren has been providing education in healthcare settings since 2007. They specialize in working with healthcare providers to be more inclusive, affirming, and accessible to transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, and improving patient/provider communication about gender and sexuality. Ren received their B.S. in Public Health from Temple University in 2011 and Master’s in Human Sexuality Education from Widener University in 2018.
Rose Diskin, BA | Behavioral Research Coordinator (she/her)
Rose is a research coordinator within the Division of Adolescent Medicine. In this role she has helped to oversee the day-to-day tasks associated with various research projects. She also serves as a health educator for youth of all ages within the Chicago area.
Sam Hoehnle, BA | Behavioral Research Coordinator (he/him)
Sam is a research coordinator on the Stronger Together and Positive STEPS studies at Lurie Children’s. With Stronger Together Sam sees to the day to day operations of overseeing and retention of an HIV counseling, testing, linkage to care, and adherence management of HIV among male couples. The study looks to explore if receiving a package of prevention services as a couple (rather than individually) improves clinical outcomes among HIV infected participants. With Positive STEPS Sam oversees the everyday activities, recruitment, intakes and retention of participants. Positive STEPS, a randomized control trial is to test the efficacy of a stepped-care "adaptive" Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) adherence intervention ("Positive STEPS") for HIV infected adolescents and young adults, ages 16 to 29.
Sheila Mahon, MPH/CURE HIV (Chicago Unites in Research to End HIV) (she/her)
Sheila is a behavioral research coordinator on the CURE HIV project. CURE HIV is a community-academic partnership among three organizations at the forefront of HIV care, prevention, and research across the Chicagoland area.
Victoria Kolbuck, MSW | Behavioral Research Coordinator, Senior (she/her)
Victoria is a senior research coordinator for Trans Youth Decision-Making Project. This study investigates how cognitive and emotional functioning affects medical decision-making in peripubertal transgender youth. Study findings will also inform the development of an assessment tool that would assist mental health clinicians in assessing youth’s understanding of the potential risks and benefits of pubertal suppression treatment.
Jennifer Leininger, MEd | Program Manager (she/her)
Jennifer Leininger, M.Ed., has over ten years of nonprofit experience in Chicago, including adolescent programming, education, community engagement, and education policy. Since 2009, Jennifer has provided family-centered patient support while working in Lurie Children's Division of Adolescent Medicine where she currently manages the Gender & Sex Development Program. As program manager, she leads policy and advocacy initiatives in schools, communities, and professional organizations.
Jennifer has developed and facilitated more than 100 professional development sessions that focus on gender-inclusive practices. These trainings are conducted at school districts, community organizations, conferences, and nonprofit institutions throughout the region with over 1,800 educators and administrators in attendance.
In addition to her work at Lurie Children's, Jennifer has worked on youth programming with other nationally recognized organizations, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Old Town School of Folk Music, and About Face Youth Theatre.
Jennifer holds a Master of Education from DePaul University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Miami University of Ohio.
Ava L. Wells-Quantrell, AA | Program Assistant and Outreach Worker (she/her)
Ava creates and assists division-specific programs for youth and adults centered on gender and sex development. She also supports hospital coordinators & staff with administrative assistance and operations as well as serves as a point of contact for external needs.
Hadeis Safi | Community Outreach Coordinator (they/them/he/him)
Hadeis is the community outreach coordinator for the Division of Adolescent Medicine. Hadeis supports the work of the division by connecting and engaging with community partners and businesses to further our mission. He also plans community events to connect the division with various Chicago communities. Hadeis is a trained facilitator for Gender & LGBTQ 101 Trainings and the Sex Ed Training Programs provided through the Division.
Hadeis also works on HIV adherence research through the Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention. He’s been a certified HIV and STI counselor since 2015.
Josephine Kearns, BA | Program Coordinator, TransMentor Program (she/her)
Josephine Kearns is a Program Coordinator with the Gender Program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. There she runs the TransMentor program, the first mentorship program for transgender youth in the United States, and conducts training sessions around gender diversity for schools and other organizations. Josephine is also a former high school teacher and a longtime theatre artist, where she works as a dramaturg and consultant specializing in transgender and queer productions around the country, and is an Associate Artist with TimeLine Theatre in Chicago. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from George Washington University.
Kacey Draine | HIV and Sexual Health Outreach and Testing (she/her)
Kacey works with the CDPH-funded team to do community outreach for young transgender women. She is trained in HIV and STI prevention and education and is responsible for letting communities know that our team is available to work with them in non-judgmental and supportive ways.
Sal Saleheen, BA | HIV and Sexual Health Outreach and Testing (she/her/they/them)
Sal provides confidential HIV Testing & Counseling Services to interested clients. In addition, she is working to bolster the Center’s community presence by establishing partnerships with local health and social service agencies. Sal also provides linked individuals who test positive for HIV to medical services.
Sergio Tundo |Coordinator, HIV and Sexual Health Outreach and Testing (they/them)
Sergio is the Coordinator of HIV Prevention Programs at Lurie Children’s. They also assist newly diagnosed and out-of-care HIV+ adolescents in getting linked to medical and social services that meet their individual needs.
Stephanie Pelligra, MPH | Division Administrator (she/her)
Stephanie Pelligra is the Department of Pediatrics Division Administrator for the Division of Adolescent Medicine. Stephanie has been on staff at Lurie Children’s (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital) since 2008. Her previous experience includes clinical and behavioral research, project management, quality improvement, and program coordination. Stephanie received her MPH from DePaul University in 2010. She currently also serves as the Division Administrator for the Smith Child Health Research, Outreach, and Advocacy Center, the Division of Academic General Pediatrics, and the Division of Community Based Medicine.
Amanda Diers Schall, MA, GCPM | Manager (she/her)
Amanda is the Manager of the Division of Adolescent Medicine. Amanda has extensive experience in both hospital and university administration with a focus on adolescent medicine and research. Amanda received her advanced degrees in medical anthropology and public management from the University of South Florida.
April Alexander, MBA, BSN, RN | Manager of Patient Care Operations (she/her)
April Alexander, MBA, BSN, RN began her nursing career at Advocate Children’s Hospital as a Pediatric ICU Staff Nurse in 1999 and has held various positions that has included Pediatric Urology Nurse Specialist, Pediatric Ambulatory Staff Nurse and Clinical Coordinator at Loyola University Medical Center, Client Services Manager at Joint Commission Resources and previously was a Manager of Patient Care Operations in Ambulatory Services at Lurie Children’s from 2009 to 2016. Most recently April directed nursing and patient care operations as the Director of Nursing at Almost Home Kids. April returns to Lurie Children’s Ambulatory Services as the Manager of Patient Care Operations for the Division of Adolescent Medicine and joined the team in June.
April received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Master of Business Administration, with a concentration in Healthcare Management at Loyola University Chicago.
Cassie Bruggemann | Clinical & Academic Coordinator (she/her)
Cassie is a Clinical & Academic Coordinator in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Lurie Children's Hospital. Cassie provides direction and support to the clinical and graduate medical education team. Her previous experience includes program/education/clinical coordination at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Rush University Medical Center. Cassie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health and Health Administration along with a minor in Business Administration from Northern Illinois University. She is a passionate advocate for mental health and sexual health.
Gia Guerrero | Point of Service (she/her)
Gia Guerrero is the Point of Service for the Division of Adolescent Medicine Clinic. She has worked at Lurie Children’s for the past 10 years including working in multiple outpatient clinics and has worked the past three years in the Division of Adolescent Medicine.
Gia was born and raised on the North West Side of Chicago. She identifies as a Transgender Female. She has her CNA and in addition to working at Lurie Children’s, works as a stylist. Gia hopes to pursue a career in nursing in the future.
Cynthia Jernigan │Senior Administrative Assistant (she/her)
Cynthia is an Administrative professional of 20+ years. She worked at Children’s Memorial Hospital for six years supporting the former CFO. She returned to Lurie Children's in 2016 as a Sr. Administrative Assistant in the Infectious Disease Dept. and now supports the Division Head of Adolescent Medicine, Dr. Robert Garofalo.
She is currently pursuing a degree in Healthcare Administration and is fully committed to the mission of the Adolescent Medicine Department.
Olive Stefanski, MFA | Gender Program Administrative Assistant (they/them/she/her)
Olive provides administrative support in digital and analog forms to the families who receive care with the Gender Program and to the doctors and therapists who provide that care. She acts as a liaison, communicator, and messenger. She also provides support to the HIV & STI Testing & Health Education Programs.