Chicago Area Pediatrics Providers | Lurie Children's

⚠ COVID-19 INFORMATION: Resources, Vaccine Information

Chicago Area Pediatrics Providers

Irwin Benuck, MD, PhD

Prior to receiving his MD from Northwestern University Medical School in 1979 (Feinberg School of Medicine), Dr. Benuck received a PhD in 1974 and undertook two years of postgraduate work. He completed his residency at Children’s Memorial Hospital in 1982, the year he started with our practice. He is the Professor and Division Head for Community-Based Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at Lurie Children’s and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and is also an attending physician for the Preventive Cardiology Program at the Lurie Children’s. His interests include preventive health and cardiology, and he was a member of the expert panel commissioned by the National Heart Lung Blood Institute to develop guidelines for cardiovascular risk reduction in children and adolescents, which were published in 2011 and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In his free time, Dr. Benuck enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife of more than 45 years, exercising, writing, and spoiling his grandchildren.

Teri A. Merens, MD

Dr. Merens received her MD from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in 1986. Previously, she received an M.S. at The Ohio State University in Microbiology. She completed her residency at Loyola University Medical Center in 1989 where she served as Chief Resident of Pediatrics, then joined our practice in 1989. Dr. Merens enjoys providing well childcare for patients of all ages but has an added interest in adolescent health issues and gynecology, including LGTBQ and transgender/transitioning youth. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three adult children in addition to her golden retriever (Daisy). To add, she is a long-time volunteer at the Evanston Animal Shelter and enjoys gardening, cooking, exercising, and spending time outdoors. Dr. Merens is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where she is active in the admissions process. She also serves on various committees at Lurie Children’s, focusing on pediatric public health.

Valerie A. Kimball, MD

Dr. Kimball received her MD from The University of Illinois at Chicago in 2001 and completed her Pediatric Residency at Loyola University Medical Center in 2004. Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Kimball earned a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology at the University of Colorado Boulder in 1993 and worked in a muscle physiology research laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Kimball is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is former President of CCPA, or Children’s Community Physician’s Association. Her medical sphere of interest is the care and development of infants and young children. Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time her husband and with her three very active teens and is an avid runner. Dr. Kimball was also awarded Top Pediatrician in Evanston with TOP DOCTOR for her outstanding service.

Melanie Thomas, MD

Dr. Thomas received her MD from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 2010 and completed her Pediatric Residency at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland in 2013. Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Thomas earned a Bachelor of Music concentrating in flute from Loyola University, New Orleans. Dr. Thomas has a special interest in caring for children of international and domestic adoptions. She also has an interest in breastfeeding medicine and is dedicated to helping new mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals. Dr. Thomas is a certified Breast-Feeding Specialist and does lactation consultations in our office. Dr. Thomas is a Health Clinician Educator of Clinical Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Outside of the office, Dr. Thomas enjoys cooking, music, reading, and spending time with the Thomas Family Zoo - her husband, four young sons, chocolate Labrador retriever, and two cats.