​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Pediatric Healthcare Series

​​Screen Shot 2023-08-07 at 9.11.24 AM.png

​​The Evaluation and Treatment of Idiopathic Scoliosis

Friday, Oct. 6, 2023 | 9​ a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.​


  • An in-person IPE event​ featuring Dr. John Ghazi, followed by a Q&A session from Dr. Ghazi's post-operative & rehabilitation team from Shriner's Hospitals-Chicago.​​


Please join us in Winebrenner by registering below:

Registration deadline October 3, 2023.

Please contact LaDonna Weir​​ with questions​.​


John P. Ghazi, MD, pediatric orthopedic surgeon and spine surgeon
John P. Ghazi, M.D., is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and spine surgeon at Shriners Children's Chicago. Dr. Ghazi completed a pediatric orthopedic surgery fellowship at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas. He completed his orthopedic surgery residency training at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in his home state of New Jersey. Dr. Ghazi is familiar with Chicago and the Midwest, having attended medical school at Loyola University Chicago and undergraduate school at the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated magna cum laude.

He has led and participated in numerous volunteer opportunities throughout his education and career. He became interested in pediatric orthopedics at a young age, having grown up with his sister, Colleen, who has severe disabilities related to cerebral palsy and required extensive orthopedic care throughout her childhood, including surgery for scoliosis.

An interprofessional panel from Shriners Hospital Interprofessional Team

University of Findlay College of Health Professions  Shriners Hospitals for Children       Dowling Steel       Jerl Machine

Co-sponsored by the University of Findlay's College of Health Professions and Shriner Hospitals for Children. This annual interprofessional education (IPE) event presents different topics in pediatric healthcare led by leading experts in those respected fields.

The Pediatric Healthcare Series is free and open to the community.​​​​

Previous Guest Speakers
Treating the Patient with a Facial Difference: Beyond the Surgery

David E. Morris, M.D., chief of plastic surgery, is a board-certified craniofacial and plastic surgeon who specializes in pediatric plastic surgery, craniofacial surgery and cleft lip and palate. Dr. Morris has been part of the Shriners Children's Chicago team since 2007, and also practices at University of Illinois Health as an attending surgeon. He is an associate professor in the Division of Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, and an adjunct assistant professor in the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Dr. Morris focuses on patients with developmental or acquired deformities of the craniofacial region. His areas of interest include cleft lip and palate, ear reconstruction and otoplasty, craniofacial surgery, facial asymmetry, orthognathic (jaw) surgery and cosmetic surgery of the face, body and extremities. His research interests include virtual planning for craniomaxillofacial procedures, multidisciplinary outcomes following orthognathic surgery, and the virtual planning of combined surgical-anaplastology reconstructions.

Dr. Morris does editorial and review work for multiple surgical journals. Prior to his medical training, Dr. Morris studied fine arts at Washington University in St. Louis. He continues to showcase his artistic talents through painting and drawing, and a number of his medical illustrations have been published in surgical journals.

Telehealth Across the Health Professions

Cathryn Mallaney RN BSN Cathryn Mallaney RN BSN graduated from the University of Illinois in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Cathy started at Shriners Hospitals for Children-Chicago in 2008 right after passing her nursing boards. Working the day shift on the inpatient unit her passion is caring for children with spinal cord injury, cleft lip and palate and wound care. She has enjoys educating the families and patients but also our nursing students and new nursing hires.

Stephanie Soto RN BSN Stephanie Soto RN BSN went to West Suburban College of Nursing (now known as Resurrection University) and graduated with a BSN in 2009. She started out as a nursing assistant at Shriners Hospital for Children on the inpatient unit from 2007 to 2009. Finding her passion with orthopedic pediatric patients on the 50-bed inpatient unit form 2009-2011. From 2011-2013 she moved to Miami, FL in a pediatric step down unit and PICU. Returning to Chicago in 2013 Stephanie resumed my work at Shriners in the outpatient clinic supporting the patients and physicians in general orthopedics, sports medicine, hand and spine clinic.

Jennifer Lipumano RN BSN Jennifer Lipumano RN BSN has been at Shriners for 16 years. A graduate from Elgin Community College with her Associates in Nursing in 2003. While working at Shriners she pursued her Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Northern University in 2005. Having previous nursing experience in labor and delivery and psychiatric, her passion continues to be at Shriners Hospitals for Children-Chicago specializing in neurology, orthopedic and spine clinics.

Allison Ragins, MSPAS, PA-C Allison Ragins, MSPAS, PA-C, is a certified physician assistant at Shriners Hospital for Children — Chicago. She has been working there for over 2 ½ years. Allison grew up as a competitive soccer player. Her passion for orthopaedics started after sustaining a knee injury in high school that required surgical intervention and rehabilitation. After doing an elective rotation in orthopaedic surgery while in school, she knew orthopaedics would be her area of expertise. Growing up, Ragins worked as an aide for children with disabilities. She is excited to combine her love of orthopaedics with her passion for pediatrics, specifically for children with special health care needs. At Shriners, she works closely with Dr. Jeffrey Ackman, who specializes in a variety of pediatric orthopedic conditions, like cerebral palsy, limb length discrepancies and prosthetics. The prosthetics clinic is the largest in the Chicagoland area and has a multidisciplinary team in order to give each child specialized care. Given the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shriners has incorporated telehealth medicine into their daily clinics to continue patient follow-ups and ensure adequate care is maintained. Credentials: Undergraduate, BS in community health, University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign • Master of Science in physician assistant studies, A.T. Still University of Health Science, Mesa, Ariz.

Kathleen Sweeney, PT, DPT, PCS Kathleen Sweeney earned her doctorate of physical therapy degree from Creighton University in 2003. She also achieved her Pediatric Clinical Specialist certification from the APTA in 2011. Kathleen joined the staff here at Shriners Hospitals for Children- Chicago in July 2007. Kathleen serves as the SCCE here to coordinate final student placements for local physical therapy programs. Kathleen is a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and a CPR instructor. Kathleen evaluates and treats patients from 0-21 years of age here at Shriners in the post-operative phase, inpatient rehabilitation setting and outpatient settings. Kathleen also enjoys evaluating patients for proper wheelchairs along with providing training and adjustments to improve their function and mobility.

Cynthia Anderson, RN, BSN Cynthia Anderson RN BSN graduated with an associate’s degree in nursing in 1985 and started her nursing career on the orthopedic unit at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Started at Shriners Hospital for Children-Chicago in 1988. With 35 years at Shriners she has worked in many nursing departments, PICU, PACU, Director of the PICU, PACU, Same Day Surgery, Outpatient Department, Staff Education, Physician Liaison and currently as the Clinical Transformation Specialist (documentation specialist). During this time, Cynthia acquired her BSN through a Shrine Cohort all attending the University of St Francis. Her passion continues to be the Shrine Mission.

Motion Analysis in Orthopedics & Rehabilitation Applications

Sue Mukherjee, M.D., FRCPC, is a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician and pediatric physiatrist. She is the medical director of the Chicago Shriners Hospital's specialty rehabilitation care for children with spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other rehabilitation needs. Dr. Mukherjee joins an expert staff of rehabilitation clinicians and orthopaedic surgeons at the Chicago Shriners Hospital, offering advanced, multidisciplinary care to children all over the Chicagoland area and throughout the Midwest.

Dr. Mukherjee comes to the Chicago Shriners Hospital from the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab where she was director of the Fellowship Program of Pediatric Rehabilitation and medical director of the adult spina bifida clinic. She has a longstanding interest in clinical and transitional outcomes for people with pediatric onset disabilities or conditions, and has researched health outcomes in spina bifida patients. Dr. Mukherjee’s additional clinical interests include infant brachial plexus palsy, gait disorders in neurologic conditions, the transition of pediatric spina bifida patients to adulthood, and the impact of vision impairments on gait and balance.

Dr. Mukherjee has lectured in the U.S. and internationally, addressing topics such as medical management of spina bifida and cerebral palsy, pediatric rehabilitation and transitions for youth with disabilities. She is a member of the Medical Advisory Board, Division of Specialized Care for Children (State Title V Program), and also an adjunct assistant professor in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Karen Kruger, Ph.D., is the motion analysis center (MAC) engineer at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago. She is also a research assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Dr. Kruger earned her Ph.D. in Iowa with a focus on orthopaedic biomechanics. She started working with the MAC at the Chicago Shriners Hospital in 2015 while completing an advanced rehabilitation research and training fellowship. She joined the MAC as engineer in early 2019. Her work in the gait lab has focused on analysis of foot and ankle deformity using the Milwaukee Foot Model and biplane fluoroscopy.

Dr. Kruger is a member of the Orthopaedic Research Society, where she serves on the Women’s Leadership Forum. She is also a member of the American Society of Biomechanics and the Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society. She has presented numerous lectures and papers, and trained engineers and clinicians in gait analysis from the Philippines, Panama, and Mexico.

She is a former competitive cross-country runner and Nordic skier, and a four-time junior Olympian.

The Role of the Interdisciplinary Team in Successful Burn Management

Amanda Fields, MSN, RN, is the Manager of Education and Development at Shriners Hospitals for Children—Cincinnati. She started her nursing career at Shriners upon graduation, and was promoted to Clinical Coordinator where she mentored nurses. She is also a BLS, PALS, and ABLS instructor.

Lori Boerger, MSW, LSW, ACM-SW, has been a part of the Family Services/Care Management team at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati since 2006 which includes involvement with families whose children are receiving acute and outpatient treatment for burns, soft tissue reconstruction and craniofacial malformations. ​She received her BS and MSW at the University of Cincinnati.

​ Michelle Dwertman, PT, received her degree in physical therapy from the University of Kentucky. She worked in New York City for eight​ years before joining the Cincinnati Shriner's Hospital team. Michelle's work experiences include school-based physical therapy and out-patient therapy at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornel in pediatric and burns. She received credentials as an ABA burn certified therapist.

Bone Health in Children
Peter A. Smith, M.D. has served as an Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon at Shriners Hospital for Children, Chicago since 1990, where he is Director of the Osteogenesis Imperfecta clinic, and Medical Director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory.

Michelle Urban is a native Ohioan growing up in Toledo. She attended school at Marquette University obtaining her Bachelors of Science in Physical Therapy.

Spinal Cord Injury & Care
Purnendu Gupta, MD, chief of staff and pediatric spine surgeon at Shriners Hospitals for Children—Chicago. Kathy Zebracki, Ph.D., director of psychology at Shriners Hospitals for Children, Chicago and Adjunct Associate Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Chicago Craniofacial Team Provided Cleft Lip Care Educational Session for UF Health Professions Students, Area Practitioners

From left, Susan Stevens, then Department Chair, and Athletic Training Program Director; Dr. David Morris, M.D.; Dr. Meredith Albert; and nurse practitioner Marisa Foss. Click here to read about the 2016 event.