Founders and Advisors


Mardge Cohen, MD

Dr. Cohen is an internist who worked at Cook County Hospital for over 30 years, and has a long history of activism related to women’s health, health disparities, and fighting for high quality single payer health care.  Since 1994, she has led the Chicago consortium of the NIH’s Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).  Dr. Cohen co-founded Women’s Equity in Access to Care and Treatment (WE-ACTx) in 2004 to facilitate HIV primary care for women infected after rape during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Pat Rush, MD MBA

Pat Rush worked as a physician with underserved populations in Chicago for 40 years.  Her scientific focus is complex chronic illness.  In 2001 she created Primary Care Plus, a trauma-informed, solo private practice.  Through care of 500 patients, she identified a distinct group of high risk patients with serious illness with a consistent pattern of extreme stress at a young age, profound sleep disorder, and emotional distress.

Audrey Stillerman, MD

An advocate for Chicago’s most vulnerable residents, Dr. Stillerman is a board-certified integrative family physician, Associate Director of Medical Affairs for the University of Illinois Office of Community Engagement and Neighborhood Health Partnerships, and Clinical Assistant Professor.  Since learning about the critical impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences, she has made it her mission to share this critical information with colleagues, patients, students, and community members to galvanize transformation of our society and medical system.

Kathleen M. Weber, RN MS

Kathleen Weber is the Project Director and co-investigator of the NIH Women’s HIV Study (WIHS) in Chicago since 1994, studying social, psychological, environmental, and clinical factors that contribute to HIV risk and disease progression in women.  With training in nursing, health psychology, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Structural Integration, bio/neurofeedback, and mindfulness-based techniques, Kathleen is committed to a collaborative interdisciplinary approach to understanding how traumatic and everyday life stress and health inequities alter the ‘cross-talk’ between the brain and body.

Advisory Panel

Helen J. Burgess, PhD

Helen Burgess, PhD is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan where she is Co-Director of the Sleep and Circadian Research Laboratory. Her research examines sleep and circadian rhythms in the context of clinical conditions, including alcoholism, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, traumatic stress and HIV. She also studies how sleep and circadian therapies, such as light treatment and exogenous melatonin, can be used to improve health and reduce symptom burden. Her research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Mary Fabri, PsyD

Mary Fabri is a clinical psychologist and mental health consultant for trauma, gender-based violence, and HIV issues.  She has been the mental health specialist for Women’s Equity in Access to Care & Treatment in Rwanda since 2004 and served as Senior Director of Torture Treatment Services and International Training at Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center in Chicago from 2000-2012.

Gene Griffin, PhD JD

Gene Griffin is a clinical psychologist working in child trauma, child welfare, children’s mental health, education, and juvenile justice; the Senior Fellow for Policy and Practice for the Child Trauma Academy. He is also the state-appointed Chair of the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership. Gene retired in 2013 from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago as assistant professor.

Memoona Hasnain, MD, MHPE, PhD

Dr. Hasnain is Professor and Associate Department Head of Family Medicine at University of Illinois at Chicago.  As a medical educator and public health scientist, addressing the social dimension of health and the gaps in health systems and policies that disadvantage vulnerable groups remains a unifying theme in Dr. Hasnain’s work. She has a special interest in humanism, empathy and social justice as core values.

Alan Landay, PhD

Alan Landay is Assistant Provost for Team Science and Professor in the Department of Immunology- Microbiology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.  Dr. Landay’s current research focus is on immune pathogenesis and immune-based therapy of HIV disease.  Dr. Landay has published over 400 peer reviewed papers and has been co-director of the NIH funded Center of Excellence on Disparities in HIV and Aging at Rush.

Kimberly A. Mann, PhD LCSW

Dr. Kim Mann is Deputy Director for DCFS Office of Child Well-Being.  Since joining DCFS in 2008, Dr. Mann has guided development of trauma-informed practices, served as Project Director for the Illinois Birth-Three Title IV-E Waiver and leads implementation of the Early Childhood Court Team.  Dr. Mann has more than 20 years of graduate and undergraduate teaching experience in Social Work and 30 years experience with youth and families, primarily in child welfare, public school and community settings.

Eileen M. Martin, PhD

Eileen Martin, Ph.D., is a clinical neuropsychologist who has led a program of research on the effects of HIV and drugs of abuse on the brain and cognitive functioning since 1989.   She has a strong interest in women and addiction, and her current research focus is sex differences in the cognitive and emotional effects of HIV and drug abuse.  Dr. Martin is Professor of Psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center.

Bruce Perry, MD PhD

Dr. Perry is Senior Fellow of Child Trauma Academy (, and adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern in Chicago.  Over the last thirty years, Dr. Perry has been an active teacher, clinician and researcher in children’s mental health and the neurosciences.  Dr. Perry developed the NeuroSequential Model, a developmentally-informed, biologically-respectful approach to working with at-risk children.

José Rodrigo Niño, MD MA LCPC

Born and raised in Bogotá, José earned his M.D. from The Colombian School of Medicine. In 1998, he moved to Chicago to earn his degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern. Between 1993 and 1998, Dr. Niño studied yoga and ayurveda in India. He is on staff at Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center. Interests include the effects of acculturation on mental health, the role of spirituality in healing, the therapeutic properties of yoga, and providing psychotherapy to a diverse Hispanic population.

Margie Schaps, MPH

Margie is Executive Director of Health & Medicine Policy Research Group.  Her policy expertise is in public health systems and  developmental and women’s health.  Margie teachers Public Health Policy and Advocacy at Northwestern’s School of Public Health. Margie is a leader in Trauma-Informed Care and acts as Co-Director of the Illinois ACE Response Collaborative.

Stan Sonu, MD

As a physician double-boarded in internal medicine and pediatrics, Stan is an advocate for changing our health care system for underserved and disadvantaged communities. Recently selected as a TEDx speaker on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Stan is a Fellow in the Cook County Preventive Medicine and Public Health Program, an MPH candidate at Northwestern University, and a LUCENT Fellow.

Larry Turner, RN PhD CYT

Dr. Larry Turner is a clinical psychologist, emergency room/psychiatric nurse, substance abuse therapist, yoga teacher and therapist, father of four children, and grandfather of one.  For 20 years, Larry worked as a psychiatric nurse with traumatized children at a Dept of Mental Health clinic and the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago using cognitive-behavioral therapy as well as yoga techniques.

Marlita White, LCSW

A Chicago native and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign alumna, Marlita White knows from experience how Chicago’s current wave of violence has affected its citizens. A long-time child and family therapist and current Director of the Office of Violence Prevention and Behavioral Health for the Chicago Department of Public Health, Marlita brings her understanding of mental health issues to bear for Healthy Chicago 2.0, in particular its goal of making Chicago a “trauma-informed” city.

Loren Williams, LPC

A doctoral candidate in Education-Interdisciplinary Leadership, Loren Williams has 12 years experience as a trauma counselor with expertise in child-parent psychotherapy, domestic violence, and sexual assault.  Loren is passionate about working to uplift and support community – helping others to not only recognize trauma but to process and heal from traumatic wounds.  Loren also works with Sunshine Gospel Ministries in Chicago’s Woodlawn community, promoting small business formation and job growth.

Orrin Williams, BA

Orrin Williams is Food Systems Coordinator at the UIC Office of Community Engagement and Neighborhood Health Partnerships/ Chicago Partnership for Health Promotion and Executive Director of the Center for Urban Transformation. Interested in evolution of urban and rural communities as sustainable and healthy communities in the USA and globally, Orrin’s work is informed by work in and relationship with movements for social, environmental and economic justice for over 50 years and Buddhist practice.