鶹Ӱ

issue Community Health 2024

ICC Medical Director Dr. Melissa Chen Offers a Look to the Future

Dr. Chen with students in the Rothstein Warden Centennial Learning Center in spring 2023.

“The ICC has come a long way in the last 10 years. During the pandemic, we were limited to telehealth care, and since reopening in 2022, the students and faculty have worked incredibly hard in expanding services. Current initiatives include psychiatry consultations, pulmonology consultations and transgender care. The need is definitely there. Appointments with a psychiatrist, for example, can take a while to get even when people do have insurance. Our psychiatry service is scheduled to launch in December 2023, with CMS Department of Psychiatry faculty members Paul Hung, MD, and Biana Kotylar, MD, on board to provide consults for ICC patients, starting with our PADS Lake County (overnight shelter) clients.

“Historically marginalized communities have higher rates of asthma due to greater structural stresses... With the addition of pulmonary services through the ICC, patients could get the screenings they need.”

“The opportunity for a pulmonology clinic came about when Dr. Frank Maldonado, a professor at CMS and pulmonary specialist, expressed interest in getting more involved with ICC. Historically marginalized communities have higher rates of asthma due to greater structural stresses — living in ZIP codes exposed to more environmental toxins, for example. North Chicago is no different, with asthma rates significantly higher than in surrounding ZIP codes. With the addition of pulmonary services through the ICC, patients could get the screenings they need.

“We’re in the early planning stages for offering transgender care. Behavioral health services for transgender individuals are already in the works, with Brian Feinstein, PhD, in 鶹Ӱ’s psychology department supervising mental health care. We are developing training for all ICC students in gender-affirming care to ensure a truly inclusive and welcoming environment for a transgender medicine clinic, and hope to launch that later in 2024.”

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