Our Staff

A headshot of Ricardo Rivero
Ricardo Rivero, MD, MPH
Executive Director
[email protected]
312.413.1375

Dr. Ricardo Rivero is the Executive Director for the Midwest AIDS Training + Education Center and has worked at the Center since 2003. Before he became MATEC’s Executive Director, he directed the planning and implementation of MATEC programs within Illinois for 11 years. He has worked in HIV/AIDS prevention for over 16 years, with a special interest in HIV/AIDS prevention interventions in Hispanic communities. Prior to his work at MATEC, Dr. Rivero was an HIV Prevention Network Senior Associate with the American Red Cross, where he worked on program development, implementation, and evaluation. Dr. Rivero received his medical degree the University of Los Andes School of Medicine in Merida, Venezuela and his Masters in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

A headshot of Patrick Tranmer
Patrick Tranmer, MD, MPH
Principal Investigator
[email protected]
312.996.9118

Dr. Tranmer is currently the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at the UIC College of Medicine and a Professor of Clinical Family Medicine. He has worked with MATEC since its inception, providing insights from family medicine and participating in training activities. He is the Chair of the Board and immediate past president of the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Tranmer has been taking care of HIV patients since 1987, and has lectured, presented, and published on the subject. With a joint appointment in the Department of Medical Education and extensive clinical teaching experience, Dr. Tranmer brings many skills to his role as the Center's Principal Investigator.

a headshot of Barbara Schechtman
Barbara Schechtman
Co-Principal Investigator
[email protected]>
312.996.1364

Barbara Schechtman is the former Executive Director/Project Director of the Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center and has worked at the Center since its inception in 1988. During her tenure, Ms. Schechtman held several leadership roles representing MATEC, including President of the National Association of AETCs, and member of the ADAP Medical Issues Advisory group for the Illinois Department of Public Health and of the National Expert Panel on Preconceptional Care and Family Planning for Women with HIV. She is currently the Vice President of the Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative (PACPI) and is on the Board of the Midwest Access Project. She also continues to serve as a consultant, through a contract with the Public Health Institute and MATEC, to the Chicago Department of Public Health on quality management issues. She is the former Associate Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (1978-1988). Ms. Schechtman received her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois in Women’s Studies and her MPH in Population Planning at the University of Michigan.

A headshot of Nathan Linsk
Nathan Linsk, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator, Co-Founder
[email protected]
312.996.1426

Nathan L. Linsk, Ph. D. Professor of Social Work in Family Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Emeritus Professor, Jane Addams College of Social Work. Linsk founded the Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center in 1988 and currently is co-Investigator; previously he helped found and was Principal Investigator of the Great Lakes Addictions Technology Transfer Center. His research areas include HIV, long term care, family care, older adults and HIV, medication adherence issues and health professional training. Dr. Linsk has helped developed social work educational programs, case management programs and para-social work training for orphans and vulnerable children in several countries including the US, Romania, Ethiopia, and Tanzania. He has led two HIV Twinning Center projects partnering the Jane Addams College of Social Work and the Institute of Social Work in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Addis Ababa University School of Social Work to develop competencies for para-professionals to provide basic social services to vulnerable children and adults who are HIV affected. Dr. Linsk is founding co-Editor of the Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services, 2001-2014. He has been an active Advisory Committee member for the National Association of Social Workforce SPECTRUM mental health and HIV project and currently also serves on the steering committee of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance.

A headshot of Renslow Sherer
Renslow Sherer, MD
Clinical Director
[email protected]
773.702.0835 ext. 2710

In addition to his role as Clinical Consultant at MATEC, Dr. Sherer is the Director of the International HIV Training Center, Section of Infectious Diseases at University of Chicago’s Department of Medicine. Since 1982, Dr. Sherer has been a primary caregiver for persons with HIV disease in Chicago and is a recognized leader in HIV prevention, care, research, training, and health policy. He has extensive experience and expertise in HIV primary care, adherence to anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and in model care programs for women and children, people with chemical dependency, and the medically indigent. He has been active in HIV clinical research and in the design and implementation of clinical trials, in HIV prevention programs, and in local and federal policy on HIV disease. He has numerous national and international publications on the clinical and social impact of the HIV pandemic. With Ron Sable, he founded the first HIV clinic at Cook County Hospital in 1982, and then led the clinical team which designed the CORE Center, a model ambulatory facility for HIV and related infectious diseases which opened in Chicago in October, 1998.

He is a member of the US HHS HIV/AIDS Treatment Guideline Panel and the ART Guideline Panel in China. In September, 2003 he became the Director of HIV/STI/TB for Project HOPE and he joined the faculty of the Section of Infectious Diseases at the University of Chicago. Since then, he has led health worker trainings in China, North Africa, the Western Balkans, and the Americas, he has implemented micro-credit and health education programs for orphans and families with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas, and he has led HIV prevention and stigma reduction programs around the world.

A headshot of Mona Van Kanegan
Mona Van Kanegan, DDS, MS
Oral Health Director
[email protected]
773.969.0248

Dr. Van Kanegan is the Dental Director for the Midwest AIDS Training + Education Center. Dr. Van Kanegan received her D.D.S. degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Dentistry in 1995, as well as an M.S. in Biochemistry. Dr. Van Kanegan has made numerous presentations at local, state and national meetings on the topics of HIV and homeless patient care, as well as worked on development of partnerships to introduce or expand oral health programs. In addition, Dr. Van Kanegan has provided in-services to individuals and teams seeking to provide oral health care to HIV positive persons. Memberships include: American Dental Association, Illinois State Dental Society, Chicago Dental Society and the National Network for Oral Health Access. She serves on the ISDS Access to Care committee, IFLOSS coalition, Alliance of Community Health Centers, Dental Electronic Health Record System, Heartland Alliance Cabinet, chair of the Heartland Health Outreach Quality Management Team, and chair of the finance committee of the Daystar School Board.

Dr. Van Kanegan is currently Director of Dentistry, Heartland Spang Center for Oral Health, which serves HIV/AIDS impacted individuals, homeless and low-income community residents. She is a practicing clinician and focuses her practice at the school-based health center at Senn High School in Chicago. In addition, in her position as a Director of Dentistry, Dr. Van Kanegan is responsible for the running of five Heartland Spang Center for Oral Health clinics. She is also adjunct faculty, University of Illinois College of Dentistry.


Jamel Russell, MPH
Regional Assistant Director
[email protected]
312.996.3160

As the Regional Assistant Director, Jamel Russell overseas activities in support of the five jurisdictions in our region funded to expand HIV testing. She also provides support to the Executive Director on grant development and regional planning and manages the HIV Interprofessional Education Project. Jamel Russell has global health experience spanning from South and Central America with the Peace Corps to West Africa with a local medical non-profit. She moved to Chicago from Denver, CO for the masters in public health program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Illinois Staff

A headshot of Catherine Creticos
Catherine Creticos
Clinical Director
[email protected]
Dr. Catherine Creticos is the Medical Director of the Midwest AIDS Training + Education Center and the Chief of the Section of Infectious Diseases at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, IL. Dr. Creticos received her B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Chicago and completed her residency at Loyola University Medical Center and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago. She has practiced general Infectious Diseases with a specialty in HIV medicine since 1987. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois and is involved in teaching health professionals about HIV through her work with MATEC. She is the Associate Medical Director for Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago, where she is a primary care provider for people living with HIV and is involved as the principal investigator on several clinical trials related to HIV prevention and treatment.

Indiana Staff

a headshot of Malinda Boehler
Malinda Boehler, MSW, LCSW
Program Director
[email protected]
317.880.3520
Ms. Boehler has more than 16 years of experience in the field of HIV/AIDS care and serves on Ryan White Planning Councils for the State of Indiana as well as the TGA of Indianapolis.

Diane Janowicz, MD
Clinical Director
[email protected]

Kansas Staff

a headshot of Susan L. Tusher
Susan L. Tusher, LMSW
Program Director
[email protected]
Susan L. Tusher has been the AETC Program Director in Kansas since 2004. She is a national founding member, Executive Committee member, and Board of Directors Secretary for the Professional Association of Social Workers in HIV/AIDS. She has also served as a member of the Kansas Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS since 1989 and on the AETC National Evaluation Center Advisory Board from 2009-2011.

a headshot of Donna Sweet
Donna Sweet, MD, MACP
Clinical Director
[email protected]
316.293.2682
Donna Sweet is the Clinical Director/Co-Founder of the Kansas AETC since 1990, and Director/PI of the University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita Medical Practice Association Ryan White Part C Clinic since 1993. She is an AAHIVM-certified HIV specialist.

Michigan Staff

a headshot of Mary Rose Forsyth
Mary Rose Forsyth, MSN, WHNP-BC
Program Director
[email protected]
313.962.2000

Jonathan Cohn, MD,
Clinical Director
[email protected]
313.993.0930
Dr. Cohn has more than 30 years of HIV experience, including 25 years in Ryan White programs, and currently serves as Director for the WSU Adult HIV Programs.

Minnesota Staff

a headshot of Sarah Rybicki
Sarah Rybicki, MSW, MPH
Program Director
[email protected]
612.626.3609
Ms. Rybicki has over 20 years of experience, specifically in HIV training for health providers and in engaging disproportionately affected communities in HIV care.

a headshot of Alan Lifson
Alan Lifson, MD, MPH
Clinical Director
[email protected]
612.626.9697
Dr. Lifson has over 30 years of HIV care experience, focused on epidemiology and comorbidities.

Missouri Staff


Blair Thedinger, MD
Clinical Director
[email protected]
816.225.9489
Blair Thedinger graduated with honors from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2008. He then trained as a Family Medicine Resident in the Bay Area of California until 2011. During residency training, he developed an interest in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. After residency he took on a panel of patients in the county HIV clinic and pursued certifications as an HIV Specialist through the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Certification as a HIV specialist was granted in 2012. After convincing his wife (a Califorinia native) of the benefit of Midwest living, he moved back to Kansas City with his family in 2013. He took a position at the KC Care Clinic and has been acting as a high volume provider for patients living with HIV since. In addition to HIV care, he helped start and now runs the Hepatitus C program through KC Care Clinic and has been active in the promotion and provision of Pre Exposure Prophylaxis for patients at risk of HIV.

Nebraska Staff

a headshot of Ann Fitzgerald
Ann Fitzgerald, APRN
Program Director
[email protected]
402.559.6681
Ann Fitzgerald has been the Nebraska Local Partner Nurse Coordinator since 1995 and also provides direct clinical care in the Ryan White Clinic.

Susan Swindells, M.B.B.S.
Clinical Director
[email protected]
402.559.5392
Dr. Swindells is Medical Director of the UNMC HIV Clinic and Professor of Internal Medicine in the Section of Infectious Diseases and has over 27 years HIV experience, including 23 years in Ryan White programs.

Ohio Cincinnati Staff

a headshot of Pamposh Kaul
Pamposh Kaul, MD
Clinical Director
[email protected]
513.584.7535

Ohio Columbus Staff

a headshot of Jane Russell
Jane Russell, BSN, RN, ACRN
Program Director
[email protected]
614.293.6722

a headshot of Michael Para
Michael Para, MD
Clinical Director
[email protected]
614.293.5666

Wisconsin Staff


Nancy Eberle, MPH
Program Director
[email protected]
608.261.1152
Nancy has been with MATEC-Wisconsin since 2014. Prior to joining MATEC, she worked in public health program planning and evaluation for 10 years, including participating in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Prevention Service and as a program evaluator with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

a headshot of James Sosman
James Sosman, MD, FACP, AAHIVS
Clinical Director
[email protected]
608.263.3083