Our Leadership Team

Guided by our Board of Directors (with a variety of backgrounds in medicine, business, law, insurance, etc.), Executive Director Judith Haasis, and the support of the management team, CommunityHealth continues to reach new milestones.

Senior Management

Judith Haasis, Executive Director
773.969.5920 /

Ms. Haasis, MSSW, ACSW is the Executive Director of CommunityHealth, the largest free clinic in the nation. She has more than 20 years of senior management experience in the nonprofit sector where she has spearheaded the growth of organizations involved in direct services, advocacy, leadership development and philanthropy at both the community and national levels. Ms. Haasis is a founding member and Chair of the Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics and serves on the Board of the Chicago based South Side Healthcare Collaborative. She is a member of the Community Leadership Board of Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, the Community Advisory Council of the University of Chicago Medicine and the Health Advisory Committee of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights. A fellow of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago, Ms. Haasis has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the Henry P. Russe, MD Citation for Exemplary Compassion in Health Care and the 2017 Community Leadership Award from the Chicago Health Executives Forum.


Megan Doerr, Director of Planning and Special Projects
773.969.5917 /

Ms. Doerr has a BA in psychology from Western State Colorado University and started at CommunityHealth in 2007. Since starting as a Clinic Coordinator, she has received a number of promotions, moving from the Clinic Manager, to the Director of Clinic Operations, to her new role as Director of Planning and Special Projects. In addition to overseeing pharmacy operations, she works on projects and program development efforts to aid in organizational improvement and growth. Serving as a member of the leadership team, she actively participates in the creation of strategic and staff development goals and helps ensure that patient needs and organizational goals are met.


Emily Hendel, Director of Clinical Services
773.969.5941 /

Ms. Hendel, MS, CNP, Director of Clinical Services, received her Master of Science in Nursing from DePaul University in 2004 and the same year started as a staff RN at CommunityHealth. In 2007, she transitioned to Nursing Manager, after receiving her Family Nurse Practitioner Postmasters Certificate from DePaul University. In 2013, Emily was promoted to Director of Nursing Services and then transitioned to the Director of Clinical Services in 2015. Emily also serves as a member of the DePaul University Nursing Advisory Board. Emily is bilingual English/Spanish and has a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the College of Wooster.


Heather Jacobsen, Director of Finance and Administration
773.969.5911 /

Ms. Jacobsen, CPA, joined CommunityHealth in 2014 and brings 18 years of experience in both the non-profit and corporate accounting field to our senior management team. Her most recent full-time position was as Controller with the California Medical Association. Ms. Jacobsen received her BA in Business Economics from University of California, Santa Barbara.


Laura Ciresi StarrDirector of Development and Communications
773.969.5918 /

Ms. Starr joined CommunityHealth in 2013, after having worked in nonprofit development and communications for more than a decade. Most recently, she served as Director of Development for Chicago Children’s Theatre, and has also worked with Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, The Governor’s Prevention Partnership (Hartford, CT), and The Alford Group – a national consulting firm for nonprofits. Laura holds a B.F.A. from Millikin University.


Ruth TowDirector of Clinic Operations
773.969.5955 /

Ms. Tow joined CommunityHealth as a member of the front desk team in 2010. Since then, she has received a number of promotions, most recently moving into the Director of Clinic Operations position; she is charged with oversight and implementation of clinic programs and operations, including our volunteer, resident, and student training programs. Ms. Tow is bilingual, Spanish is her first language. Her experiences as an immigrant herself reflect some of our own patients’ experiences. Ms. Tow has a Bachelor of Arts from Northern Illinois University.


Babs Waldman, MD, Volunteer Medical Director

Dr. Waldman is a renowned and highly respected physician in the medical community. After spending the majority of her career in private practice, Dr. Waldman most recently served as the Medical Director, Health Care Bureau at the Office of the Illinois Attorney General.  Dr. Waldman began serving as Volunteer Medical Director in 2005 and serves as an officer on CommunityHealth’s Board of Directors and chair of the Board’s Program Committee.


Laura Baumann, Nurse Manager
773.969.5926 /





Vickie Chester, Patient Services Manager
773.969.5921 /





Sylvia Dziemian, Medical Education and Training Programs Manager
773.969.5927 /





Fatima Khaja, Co-Director of Pharmacy Operations, Research Officer
773.969.5954 /





Melissa Mende, Oral Health Manager
773.969.5934 /





Lauren Murdock, Co-Director of Pharmacy Operations
773.969.5937 /





Meghan Philipp, Corporate Relations and Special Events Manager
773.969.5952 /




Ornella Razetto,  LCSW Social Services Manager
773.969.5929 /






Andrew Sutherland, Foundations and Donor Relations Manager
773.969.5956 /





Sara Villanueva, Office Manager
773.969.5930 /





Adelle White, Health Education Manager
773.969.5919 /




Ava Zeligson, Manager of Volunteer Services
773.969.5923 /





Board of Directors & Alumni Board


James M. Durkin, President

President, The Martec Group, Inc.

John Koenigsknecht, Esq., Vice President

Partner, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg

Rebekah Kohmescher, Treasurer

Director, Altair Advisers LLC

Melissa Ginter, Assistant Treasurer

Keith Graff, Secretary

Director, PwC

Joseph M. Harrington, Assistant Secretary

Babs Waldman, M.D., Medical Director

Arnold L. Widen, M.D., Associate Medical Director


Brenda A. Battle, RN, BSN, MBA
Vice President, Care Delivery Innovation, Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences

David Cousins
Managing Director, Region East, Abbott Diagnostics

David S. Ginsburg, MD
Supervisor, Northwestern out-patient resident training program at CommunityHealth
Adjunct Instructor, Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University

William J. Hinde
Senior Director, West Monroe Partners

Marie Keeley
VP Bio Pharma Solutions, Baxter Healthcare

Kathryn Kniola
Owner and Principal, TurningPoint Human Capital

Cheryl Lulias
President and Executive Director, Medical Home Network

H. Scott Sarran, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, Government Programs,  Health Care Service Corporation  

Jill Schield
Director, Schield Family Foundation

Mark Schumacher
VP of Performance, Northwestern Memorial Healthcare

Thad E. Smith
Director, Patient Access Programs, AbbVie

Patrick Spain
CEO, First Stop Health, LLC

Christina Winans
Senior Director of Member Services, The Advisory Board Co.

Sally Benjamin Young
Vice President, Public Affairs, Lundbeck LLC.

Emeritus Directors

John F. Benjamin

Serafino Garella, MD

Valery E. Gallagher
Immediate Past President

Robert K. Mendonsa

Joe B. O’Malley
Immediate Past President 

Alumni Board of Directors

John F. Benjamin

Bill Berenson

Stan Borg, M.D.

Fran Dean

Natalie Allman Dumstorff

Carolyn Ferry

Hon. Manny Flores

Jill Foucre

Milt Goodman

Robert J. Jordan

Scott Leisher

Robert K. Mendonsa

Karen Nichols, DO

Cathy A. Peterson

David J. Rice, Esq.

Michael S. Roberts

Maria Saldana

Jill Schield

Roberta Shapiro

Mark Shields, M.D.

Mary Pat Studdert

Rosa Subero, M.D.

Prentiss Taylor, M.D.

Greg Tipsword

VJ Vasista

Judy Widen

Sarah Wilcox