Get to Know the Team at the Road Home Program

You’ve served your country, now it’s our turn to serve you.

Our Road Home Program team is dedicated to supporting you and your loved ones as you face the challenges of life after deployment. We will provide you with the support and care you deserve without judgment and without an agenda. Collectively, we have helped hundreds of veterans cope with and heal from the invisible wounds of war.

We also know that when you come home from war changed and haunted, your families, friends and significant others are suffering too. Our family programs provide your loved ones with the support and help they need to thrive. We look forward to working with you and your family on your road home.



Leadership


Mark Pollack, MD

Mark Pollack, MD

Grainger Professor and Chairman,
Department of Psychiatry Rush University Medical Center

“We want to make sure that veterans and the families receive the kind of care that they need and have so dearly earned and get connected to resources that they can use to take control of their health, jobs, and social and family lives.”

Niranjan Karnik, MD, PhD

Niranjan Karnik, MD, PhD

Vice Chair of Innovation

“When a veteran returns home, they are not the only ones who have sacrificed. The children and families of veterans are also facing many challenges and need special care. The Road Home Program is unique because we will work with the entire family to support them through the process of recovery and reintegration.”

William Beiersdorf, MPA

Will Beiersdorf, MPA

Executive Director of the Road Home Program

“Having served in the Navy and Army, I realize the important role people play when they put on that Navy, Army, Marine, Air Force or Coast Guard uniform. They place themselves on the frontline for our freedoms. That sense of sacrifice and service has driven me to be a part of the community that supports our heroes if they get injured or suffer other challenges from their service to our country. They’ve stepped up for us, now it’s time to step up for them.”

Rebecca Van Horn, MD

Rebecca Van Horn, MD

Medical Director

“Our veterans have placed the protection of our collective freedom and values above their own needs. Road Home offers veterans and their families trauma-informed care to help them navigate the challenges of returning home.”

Patricia Normand, MD

Patricia Normand, MD

Director of Wellness and Integrative Health

“Our goal here at the Road Home Program is to help our veterans and their families rediscover their ability to be healthy and whole, now and into the future. I am grateful for this opportunity to honor their service and say thank you for your sacrifice for our country.”

Michael B. Brennan, PsyD, ABPP

Michael B. Brennan, PsyD, ABPP

Clinical Director, Intensive Outpatient Program

“I have chosen to dedicate my career to helping those who have proudly served our country and helped protect our country’s values. I served on active duty, and I will continue to be part of programs that support military personnel, such as the Road Home, until I retire. One of my favorite quotes is from John F. Kennedy who said, ‘As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.’ His words help explain my commitment to our veterans.”

Sheila Dugan, MD

Sheila Dugan, MD

Director of Rush Program for Abdominal and Pelvic Health

“As a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, also known as a physiatrist, I am an expert in diagnosing musculoskeletal and neurological problems, seen through the lens of functional problems. As the daughter of a Navy veteran and through my training at the Chicagoland VA hospitals, I have seen firsthand the acute and chronic impact to the mind, body and spirit resulting from military service for our country. My particular area of focus on pelvic wellness, including the important functioning of the pelvic floor muscles related to bowel, bladder and sexual health, provides our veterans with a comprehensive assessment that can have a profound impact on pain, pelvic floor dysfunctions and quality of life. It is my privilege to work with each and every veteran I meet.”

Tanya Friese

Tanya Friese, MSN, RN, CNL

Director of Continued Education and Lifelong Learning

“The greatest honor I received while serving in the United States Navy was earning the title ‘Doc.’ When the Marines have complete confidence in a Corpsman, they bestow this honor on the individual who cares for them body and soul, night and day. ‘Doc’ signifies their ultimate trust. Now that I am retired, I am honored to serve fellow veterans and their families through the Road Home Program and still answer the call ‘Corpsman, Up.’ I look forward to earning the trust of the veterans we serve here.”

Jonathan Goldner, PhD

Jonathan Goldner, PhD

Director of Family Services

“I am proud to have joined a program committed to helping serve the men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving us and our country. The Road Home program understands the impact that veterans’ experiences have had on them and their loved ones. I appreciate the opportunity to help veterans and their families reconnect and reintegrate into civilian life.”

Philip Held

Philip Held, PhD

Research Director

“I both admire and am extremely grateful for our veterans’ service. Joining the Road Home Program is my attempt at giving back to the men and women who have given their all. I feel honored to continue to closely work with our veterans and to assist them with getting back on track after they have mustered the courage to ask for help.”

Neeral Sheth, DO, FAPA

Neeral Sheth, DO, FAPA

Associate Medical Director

“It truly is an honor to serve veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms. At Road Home we strive to provide holistic and individualized care based on the individual’s personal preferences and needs. My role is to provide treatment that improves quality of life and helps clients fulfill their goals. Sometimes that is with the help of medications and sometimes not. I’m here to help our veterans and their families find out what is right for them.”


Clinicians


Madeline August, PhD

Madeline August, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

“The sacrifices made by veterans can be overlooked, misunderstood or undervalued. Because of this, treatment seeking often requires courage and intention. I strive to create a collaborative environment in the therapy room, where emotional concerns are approached with respect, compassion, and an integration of treatment perspectives. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work with veterans and their family members.”
Kathyrn Kelly Bulla, MSW, LCSW

Kathryn Kelly Carroll, MSW, LCSW

Clinical Social Worker

“It requires an immense amount of trust to talk to someone about difficult experiences, let alone a complete stranger. Bearing this in mind, I consider it to be a privilege to work with our nation’s veterans, and make every effort to begin each therapeutic relationship with a genuine foundation.”
Jennifer Coleman, PhD

Jennifer Coleman, PhD

Psychologist

“The sacrifice given by service members and veterans may never be truly repaid, but we can start by providing them with the best mental health care psychology has to offer. As a psychologist who has worked with veterans and their family members at various VA Hospitals, at a Veteran’s Benefit Clinic and now at the Road Home Program, I have felt honored to serve this community.”
Tom Cothran, PhD

Tom Cothran, PhD

Neuropsychology Fellow

“It is a special honor and privilege to work with veterans and to have the opportunity to provide a quality service to an unquestionably deserving community. I am passionate about the functioning of the human brain and understanding how challenges faced by our veterans related to PTSD, mild traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, and other issues can interfere with cognitive effectiveness. My goal is to understand how someone’s thinking and memory abilities function in the context of their life and to provide practical recommendations and strategies for success.”
Rebecca Durkin, MD

Rebecca Durkin, MD

Psychiatrist

“The challenges that face veterans and their families are unique from the general population.  It is important that they have a program dedicated specifically to meeting their needs.  I am honored to work at the Road Home Program and see it as one way that I can give back to those who have served.”
Jennifer Edidin, PhD

Jennifer Edidin, PhD

Pediatric Neuropsychologist

“The Road Home Program serves the whole family, because the children and families of veterans may also experience challenges and benefit from support. I appreciate the opportunity to help parents better understand their child’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as to help them develop a plan to meet their child’s unique needs.”

Oluwatoyin Hines, MA, MS, LPC, AMFT, NCC

Oluwatoyin O. Hines, MA, MS, MEd, PhD, LCPC, NCC

Clinical Professional Counselor

“I am passionate about assisting veterans, veterans’ families and veteran communities in their processes of transition, growth, resiliency and wellness. Being a member of the team at the Road Home Program enables me to continually support and engage the community of veterans and their families.”

Krista Hopper

Krista Hopper, BSN, RN

RN Clinical Coordinator

“I am honored to be a part of such a dedicated and passionate team at the Road Home Program. The veterans and families that we work with have been through so much. Being able to support them in successfully reintegrating into civilian life is the least we can do to say thank you.”

Ravi Kasi, MD

Ravi Kasi, MD

Attending Physician and Assistant Residency Program Director, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

“Even subtle effects from a mild traumatic brain injury can have a profound impact on a veteran’s life. My job is to work with a patient to help identify the visible and invisible effects of the TBI. We then work collaboratively together to create unique solutions to problems that are inhibiting the patient from reaching their goals.”

Brian Klassen, PhD

Brian Klassen, PhD

Psychologist

“Many veterans have witnessed moments of real human connection and camaraderie alongside moments of abject terror –literally, the best and worst of the human experience. Often, veterans who want to talk about these experiences with others find that they are judged, misunderstood or simply ignored. It is for this reason that I strive to listen carefully and understand each veteran’s individual experience. For more than a decade, conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Global War on Terror have placed heavy burdens on service members and their families, and they have responded with honor and integrity. Now, it is time we respond to their challenges with the best we have.”

Ashton Lofgreen, PhD

Ashton Lofgreen, PhD

Psychologist

“The veterans I’ve worked with have taught me the value of community, the meaning of sacrifice, and the resilience of the human spirit. It has been an honor to bear witness to each veteran’s unique journey of recovery. I am grateful to continue working with and learning from veterans and their families as part of the team at Road Home.”

Lindsey Matt, PhD

Lindsey Matt, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

“Fred Rogers said ‘Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable.’ I am grateful to work at the Road Home Program, and am privileged to have the opportunity to listen nonjudgmentally to veterans as they share their ‘mentionable’ events as part of their journey home.”

Patricia McDaniel, MSW, LCSW

Patricia McDaniel, MSW, LCSW

Clinical Social Worker

“Before I retired from the Army, I knew that my next career would be helping others who have served in uniform and who suffer from PTSD. Now, I am honored to be a member of the passionate and dedicated helping community of the Road Home Program as I compassionately assist my fellow veterans and service members along their path to wellness and reintegration.”

Tim Murakami, MSW, LSW

Tim Murakami, MSW, LCSW

Clinical Social Worker

“I consider it an immense privilege to accompany veterans here at the Road Home Program along their path of recovery and growth. In my work with clients, I strive to embody a spirit of humility and respect for the uniqueness of each veteran’s story, and a confidence in each individual’s capacity to live a meaningful life in line with their deepest values. Working with clients who have experienced trauma requires a holistic, team-based approach, and I am grateful for the opportunity to support veterans as part of the committed, passionate and skillful team here at the Road Home Program.”

Becca Purnell, BSN

Becca Purnell, BSN

RN Clinical Coordinator

“I am excited to be a part of such a great team dedicated to the care and wellbeing of veterans and their families. As a nurse, I look forward to working with individuals to fulfill their integrated health needs and goals while supporting the mission of the Road Home Program.”

Ebony Robinson, BSN, MPH

Ebony Robinson, BSN, MPH

RN Clinical Coordinator

“I am truly honored to be working with our veterans and their families who have put their lives at stake for us. For those reasons, they deserve the upmost care and support during their transition to civilian life.”

Anne Rufa

Anne Rufa, PhD

Psychologist

“Not only does it take immense courage to serve our country – it also takes courage to seek help once one comes home. I believe we are all inherently resilient and thrive best when we are supported by our families, friends, and the communities to which we belong. I am honored to be part of this community, which is so dedicated to caring for our veterans.”

Kevin Russell, MA, LCPC

Kevin Russell, MA, LCPC

Clinical Professional Counselor

“I have learned so much from each and every veteran and family member I have worked with over the years. I have been truly inspired by the stories of courage from our returning Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans and our Vietnam combat veterans. I feel honored to be trusted with something so personal.”

Thad Rydberg, MA, LCPC

Thad Rydberg, MA, LCPC

Social Work Services Manager

“Our country’s service members and families are one of the most valued groups in our society. Their committed duty to our country to keep us safe is immeasurable. I am honored to be part of the community to serve veterans and their families as they transition back to their lives as civilians.”

Mark Schimmelpfennig

Mark Schimmelpfennig, MDiv

Chaplain, Spiritual Care

“As a veteran who has also traveled on my own road home, I am truly blessed and privileged to be able to provide spiritual care to our veterans and families towards the goals of trauma recovery and moral injury repair.”

Blake Schroedter, MD

Blake Schroedter, PsyD

Psychologist

“As a fellow veteran, I am honored to continue serving my country by assisting our brave men and women returning home from the battlefield and military service.”

Benjamin Shulman, MA, LPC

Benjamin Shulman, MA, LPC

Counselor

“I believe in taking a holistic approach to mental health care. Seeing a patient as a whole allows clinicians to understand the patient and how to help. I am very excited to be a part of the Road Home Program and to help support veterans and their families. Military service men and women have given so much to our country, and I am honored to be part of a team that can give back.”

Charles Small

Charles F. Small, MSW, LCSW

Clinical Social Worker

“Providing compassionate clinical care to our veterans and their families is one way to give back to those individuals and families who have given so much of themselves. As someone who enjoys the freedoms that veterans and families have sacrificed for, I consider it a personal calling to dedicate my abilities as a social worker to assist these incredible people.”

Christine Szewczyk, MSW, LCSW

Christine Szewczyk, MSW, LCSW

Clinical Social Worker

“It takes incredible courage and integrity to make the sacrifices our veterans make. I am grateful for the opportunity to devote my service to them in the Road Home Program.”

Kaitlin Thompson, LCSW, CADC

Kaitlin Thompson, LCSW, CADC

Clinical Social Worker

“Veterans bravely sacrifice so much for the greater good and deserve all the support they need while serving and when coming home. Every veteran’s experience is unique and complex and the journey rarely ends at the completion of service. I am proud to become part of that journey by working with veterans in a collaborative, compassionate style to help navigate through any residual turmoil and conflict from their service and uncover new strategies for coping, taking control, and moving forward.“

Emily Wolodiger, PhD

Emily Wolodiger, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

“It is a privilege to work in a program that provides support not only to the veterans who have put their lives at risk to protect the freedoms we take for granted—but also to their children, partners, and families, who have sacrificed in different ways. There are well-documented, adverse effects of parental distress or trauma on child functioning, and in turn, child challenges can lead to additional stress on parents. Therefore, comprehensive healing in military families often requires the involvement of many individuals within the family system. My goal is to use a family-centered, trauma-informed approach in my practice at the Road Home Program. As the proud granddaughter of two World War II veterans, I appreciate the opportunity to work with this community.”


Wellness and Integrative Health


Susan Gray

Susan Gray

Mindfulness Training Instructor

“It is a privilege to be a part of The Road Home Program and serve our country’s bravest men and women. I believe healing happens when individuals get the opportunity to reunite the mind, body and spirit. Mindfulness is a tool that helps create a deeper sense of self-awareness and empowerment. This increased awareness allows one to deal with life’s challenges with greater ease and resiliency.”

Wayland H. Iverson, MA

Wayland H. Iverson, MA

Mindfulness Instructor

“The beauty of mindfulness is that it is a practice that is applicable for all people, at all times. The opportunity to share Mindfulness Based Resiliency Training with Veterans at Road Home is especially unique and one of the privileges of my life.  I continue to learn each day from their sacrifice and courage and try to embody the idea that “awareness without compassion, is like sunlight without warmth.”

Rebekah Marcano

Rebekah Marcano

Yoga Instructor, Certified Personal Trainer

“Being a part of such a caring, collaborative team at the Road Home Program is both humbling and inspiring. I am grateful for the privilege to teach yoga to the men and women who have served our country with sacrifice and bravery. Each person I meet has a unique story of accomplishment, honor and sometimes obstacles. Wellness for the body begins in the mind; they are deeply connected and rely on each other for balance. During yoga class, I encourage each person to listen to their own body and simply focus their attention there. This allows a quieting of the mind and a self-awareness, which many do not experience in everyday life. This can be an incredibly challenging, yet powerful and rewarding journey.”

Kristie Miller, RD, LDN

Kristie Miller, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Physical Activity Instructor

“I feel honored and inspired to be able to be a part of the Road Home Team. The veterans have sacrificed immensely for our country. They, as well as their families, deserve the help they need to improve their everyday lives. Assisting with the Road Home Program is my way of saying “thank you” and giving back to the veterans for all they have done for our country.”

Stephanie Owen, MA, LPC, ATR

Stephanie Owen, MA, LPC, ATR

Art Therapist

“Having the opportunity to provide an avenue of non-verbal expression to our veterans during a time when words may be too challenging allows complex internal experiences to become visible to those around them through their art-making process. I am humbled to be a witness to the creations made in that space and to be a part of such a compassionate team.”

Julia Sarazine, DNP, FNP-BC, ACHPN

Julia Sarazine, DNP, FNP-BC, ACHPN

Mindfulness Training Instructor

“I am honored to be part of a passionate and dedicated group of practitioners who are focused on serving the most honorable members of society: our veterans.”

Barbara Schmidt, L.Ac.

Barbara Schmidt, L.Ac.

Acupuncturist

“I feel honored to work in a collaborative environment with skilled and passionate professionals who share a singular focus: to bring our expertise to bear in the healing process of the veterans who seek our help. I am excited to have the opportunity to show our veterans some of the power of acupuncture and how it can facilitate their healing.”

Jennifer Ventrelle

Jennifer Ventrelle, MS, RD, CPT

Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer

“This country is a better, safer place thanks to our veterans and the sacrifices they’ve made. I feel grateful to be able to help improve the lifestyles of these veterans and their families, and give back in thanks for their honorable service.”


Research


Jenna Bagley

Jenna Bagley

Clinical Research Assistant

“The women and men who have served in our armed forces have made incredible sacrifices for our nation, and I feel honored to work with them and their family members here at the Road Home Program. It is truly a privilege to be part of a team that affords high-quality care and uses research as a tool to help constantly improve care for veterans here and across the country.”

Randy Boley

Randy Boley

Research Coordinator

“It is an honor to contribute to research that helps ensure that veterans are receiving the best care possible. Having been in the Army myself, and having known several veterans in my personal life who have struggled with returning to civilian life, it is clear that there is a need to help provide support for those that have sacrificed so much for our country. I am proud to be part of an organization that has risen to this challenge.”

Karyna Bravo

Karyna Bravo

Clinical Research Assistant

“When I learned of the research being conducted at the Road Home Program I was amazed at what they are doing for our troops. As a Marine Corps veteran, I know the importance of their mission and want to be a part of it. It is an honor to contribute to research that is helping those who have made a great sacrifice for our freedom.”

Imran Desai, MBA

Imran Desai, MBA

Systems Analyst

“It is an honor to work for our veterans, who sacrifice their lives so that we could have a safer life. I am committed to improve our data quality and enhance data visualization to improve the lives of our veterans.”

Walter Faig, PhD

Walter Faig, PhD

Clinical Data Analyst

“It’s a distinct privilege to be part of a group dedicated to helping those who have sacrificed the most. The commitment I share as part of the Road Home Program is to always strive to improve the care and resources available for our returning veterans and their families.”

Angela Crissy Glover

Crissy Glover

Clinical Research Assistant

“I have the utmost respect for our service members and veterans. The sacrifices that they and their families make are not small and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to be involved in research ensuring that they get the best care after returning home. I want to contribute to the support of our veterans and military families and make sure that they have access to resources they can use to improve their lives.”

Hasan Mustafic

Hasan Mustafic

Clinical Research Assistant

“It is an honor to help veterans and their family members here at the Road Home Program. The research being conducted is exciting and innovative, but most importantly, it aims to improve treatment for veterans.”


Outreach Services


Sheri Gross, M.S.Ed

Sheri Gross, M.S.Ed

Family Outreach Coordinator

“As the spouse of an Army veteran, I know firsthand how difficult coming home can be — and, even more so, how much family and community support is critical to making a successful transition into civilian life. While each person’s needs are unique, I have found that most veterans yearn for the sense of belonging and community they found in the military. Helping them find this feeling of ‘family’ in civilian life is essential. I am honored and humbled to be a part of an organization dedicated to connecting service members and their families to the help they need — and to each other.“

Modie Lavin

Modie Lavin, USMC Gold Star Mother

Senior Family Outreach Coordinator

“As a Gold Star mother, I understand the challenges parents and families face in moving on with their lives. In the steps of Gold Star Mothers founder Grace Darling Siebold, I feel that I am honoring my son and his sacrifice for our country by helping our returning veterans and families adjust to civilian life.”

Justin Lyman

Justin Lyman

Outreach Coordinator

“Knowing that I can personally make a difference in the life of a veteran struggling with PTSD or any other problems made me want to join the Road Home team. As a veteran myself, I know the transition from military to civilian life can be difficult. With all the help the Road Home Program offers, I know we can help make the transformation smooth.”

Justin Miller

Justin Miller

Outreach Coordinator

“As a US Army veteran, I am committed to helping veterans find resources in and around the Chicagoland area.”


Administrative


Catherine Cordell

Catherine Cordell

Clinic Coordinator

“I was a freshman in High School when 9/11 occurred and I watched my best friends enlist in different branches of our military. While they were serving our country, I was learning how to advocate for them and their families. I feel very honored to be working with our veterans and their families. It takes a lot of courage to trust a complete stranger to advocate for you. We not only have a dedicated staff but also an innovative program designed to provide a safe environment while helping our veterans and their families heal. Thank you for your service.”

Rebecca K. Galicia

Rebecca K. Galicia

Administrative Assistant

“It’s a great privilege to work with colleagues that not only served our country but that are also providing service and hope to their comrades transitioning from military to civilian life. The Road Home Program is an environment where the entire staff is passionately committed in assisting and working with our country’s service members and their families. I am truly honored to be a part of this unique team, in a way, it’s a way of serving our country by providing excellent service to those who fought for our freedom! During the Vietnam War family members and friends were greatly affected both psychologically and physically. There were many invisible wounds of war, and I am glad that the Road Home Program exists today. Through this program veterans and their families are able to get services that they so desperately need.”

Molly Knapp, LSW

Molly Knapp, LSW

Education Coordinator

“I am excited to be a part of the Road Home Program team because I have the opportunity to work alongside so many dedicated individuals who care deeply for veterans and their families.”

Liz Michalski

Liz Michalski

Clinic Coordinator

“The price each veteran pays for our freedom is a high one — and one that lasts for the duration of his or her life. It is critical that we recognize each veteran’s sacrifices for us, not only on national holidays, but every day. This recognition includes responding to veterans’ emotional and physical pains and helping them with all of their needs. I am honored to be part of the Road Home Program, which provides a welcoming and safe environment for veterans and their families to heal, as well as resources to help them transition home.”

Mary Ossowski, MA

Mary Ossowski, MA

Administrative Assistant

“I grew up listening to my dad’s stories of his WWII Navy days. He was profoundly affected by it and never got over some experiences. I am so glad the Road Home Program exists to help today’s Veterans cope with and heal from their experiences. What an honor to be a part of it!”

Sean Scott

Sean Scott

Administrative Assistant

“It is important for me to continue to work with veterans of all branches to ensure that their separation is met with open arms and open mindedness, so that they can feel welcomed and comfortable.”

Maria Van Steenwyk

Marie Van Steenwyk

Clinic Coordinator

“I was 19 when I joined the US Navy. I wanted to see the world, serve my country and make a difference. Being a part of the Road Home Program allows me to help other service members who have returned home yet face many difficulties. I feel my experiences in the Navy and those as a veteran have prepared me to provide quality service and to all the veterans that need our assistance.”

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