Board of Directors

Current Board Members

leslie sandlow

Leslie J. Sandlow, MD - Chairman

Dr. Sandlow has been involved in medical education for over 45 years. Since 1969 he has planned, developed, implemented medical education programs ranging from residency programs, medical student curriculum, and continuing education programs. Involved in GME from his early career, he designed, implemented and ran a subspecialty fellowship program in gastroenterology as well as a funded primary care internal medicine residency program. From 1976 to 1989 Dr. Sandlow was responsible for the management and coordination of graduate medical education programs at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center during which time he developed one of the first methodologies for internal review of residencies which was later utilized in several institutions. He then added the responsibility of merging the Michael Reese Hospital programs and the University of Illinois Hospital programs into a single set of graduate medical education programs under the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine. From 1989 until the end of 2009 Dr. Sandlow was the designated institutional official (DIO) for GME at the College of Medicine responsible for over 1000 residents and fellows, and over 65 GME programs.

Dr. Sandlow has functioned as a “change agent” for curriculum design at the UIC College of Medicine. His accomplishments include medical student exposure to patient care in the first month of classes, development of patho-physiology correlation courses, and changing physician behavior through translation efforts. Dr. Sandlow has led the development of a continuously evolving generalist curriculum with competence-based outcomes encompassing each of the four years, including longitudinal tracks of professionalism, clinical and ethical reasoning and judgment, lifelong-learning, as well as the social and community contexts of health care.

In addition to developing an internal review methodology for graduate medical education programs (still being utilized with only minor additions and modification after 24 years), his expertise in program and course evaluation has led to the ongoing evaluation system in the UIC medical school curriculum, and the ten year follow-up studies of medical school graduates. As chair of the Curriculum Committee of the Center for Clinical Translational Science's Research Education Programs and the evaluator for a FIPSE dissemination grant in patient safety he has designed and implemented a combined formative/summative evaluation system.

As department head for 16 years of the oldest and largest medical education department in the world, Dr. Sandlow directed and led the growth of the Department of Medical Education's master’s program (Master in Health Professions Education -- MHPE), including introduction of a web-based track which allows students to complete the entire program online. Under his direction, the department developed a continuum of programs in medical education from certificate programs to a doctoral program to prepare educators and physicians for active leadership roles in medical education. He coordinated the development of an online core curriculum for medical and dental residents at over 25 institutions across the country. He implemented and directed a series of online CME programs that are currently offered to rural physicians across the State of Illinois.

As a chief medical officer of a large teaching hospital Dr. Sandlow initiated and operated an educational unit that provided curriculum design, faculty development, and program evaluation to medical student, medical resident, and associated health professional education programs. He was the designer of the Michael Reese Health Plan (a staff model HMO which became part of the Humana system), and was its medical director, then the CEO, and then the board's vice chairman for professional affairs. As CMO of the medical center he also led the design of new ambulatory and hospital clinical and teaching facilities. Dr. Sandlow has had numerous visiting professorships, both in the U.S. and abroad. His activities have been on curricular change, professionalism, student assessment, use of adult education teaching/learning methods and faculty development. He has great interest in helping medical students learn to provide high quality health care in different cultural contexts. He is currently a surveyor for the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and participated seven US medical school site surveys.

Dr. Sandlow had been involved in clinical research for many years in the areas of gastroenterology and diabetes. At Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago he served as head of their noted educational unit (EDU), where he directed federally funded research into translation of diabetes clinical research findings into curricula for physicians, nurses, nutritionists, and educators. He continues to be involved in clinical translational research activities as they relate to education.

Before joining UIC in 1989 as Professor of Medicine, he served as Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. From 1981 to 1994 Dr. Sandlow served in various roles as the Vice President, Medical Director, and Senior Vice President of Academic and Medical Affairs at Michael Reese Hospital.

Most recently Dr. Sandlow has been Head of the Department of Medical Education and Senior Associate Dean for Educational Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Medicine . He stepped down from his administrative positions in 2009. Although he retired at that time he is still actively involved in medical education and research. He is currently a:

  • Professor in the Department of Medical Education,
  • Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, and
  • Emeritus Professor in the UIC College of Medicine, as well as
  • Research professor in the School of Public Health.

Dr.Sandlow is also the managing principal of SGB Consultants, LLC, a consulting company focused on medical education and accreditation.

allan carroll

Allan R. Carroll - President

Allan Carroll has been active in the financial markets since the 1960’s having worked first as Account Executive and later in management positions with appropriate licensure for Wall Street firms including Merrill Lynch, Bache & Co., and L. F. Rothschild. In 1980, he founded Carroll Financial Group, Inc., a mortgage banking firm which placed more than $1.5 Billion in private purpose tax-exempt financing. He is currently President of GITTEL, Inc., a private consulting firm.

Mr. Carroll was a Director of Edens Bank, Wilmette, IL and of North Community Bank, Chicago, IL, where he also served as a member of the Executive Loan Review Committee. He served on the Executive Loan Committee of Metropolitan Bank Group, and also on the Independent Directors’ Committee.

He was the longest serving President of Ezra Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation, Skokie, IL where he also served as Managing Trustee of the multi-million dollar Endowment Fund. He was awarded The Gates of Jerusalem Medal by State of Israel Bonds.

Mr. Carroll is married to Paula (Adler) a cum laude graduate of Northeastern Illinois University who was named to the Chairman's Circle of Coldwell Banker. They have two children, Laura (Jed) Ward and Jonathan (Katrina), and three grandchildren. He is a graduate of North Shore Country Day School in Wilmette, and holds a BA in Political Science and History from Tufts University in Medford, MA.

f donal obrienF. Donal O'Brien - Secretary

An Arbitrator and Mediator in private practice since retiring from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in 2006, Mr. O’Brien was commissioned a Federal Mediator in March, 1999. His career in public sector labor relations and human resource management, primarily at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago, spanned more than 30 years. Mr. O’Brien was national president of the Industrial Relations Research Association, now the Labor and Employment Relations Association, in 1998.

Commissioned as a Naval officer in 1968, Mr. O’Brien served almost three years of active duty in an Atlantic Fleet destroyer, and 27 years as a Navy Reservist, retiring as a Captain in 1998.

Mr. O’Brien has a B.S. in Psychology, and an M.S. in Industrial Relations, both from Loyola University Chicago. He also holds a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Mr. O’Brien and his wife, Ellen, reside in Newport, Rhode Island.

alejandro aparicioAlejandro Aparicio, MD, FACP - Director

Dr. Aparicio has been the Director of Medical Education Programs at the American Medical Association (AMA) since 2004. He is past President of the Illinois Geriatrics Society, the Illinois Medical Directors Association and the Illinois Alliance for Continuing Medical Education (IACME).

He practiced medicine on the north side of Chicago and was affiliated with Ravenswood Hospital Medical Center and Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center (AIMMC), where he was the Director of Medical Education, Designated Institutional Official, and Associate Medical Director.

In 2004 he was appointed to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging Policy Committee, co-chaired its Health Care Subcommittee and participated as a voting delegate in the conference in December of 2005.

Dr. Aparicio's community involvement has included serving as Chairman of the Hispanocare Board of Directors, as well as a member of the Advocate Health Care Board of Directors, the Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center Governing Council, the Ravenswood Health Care Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Portes Foundation Board of Directors. He also works as a volunteer physician at CommunityHealth, a clinic which provides free health care to uninsured patients in the Chicago area.

Shimrah Bullock-AdkinsShimrah Bullock-Adkins - Director

During her 26 year tenure on Capitol Hill, Shimrah Bullock- Adkins served as a Project Management Coordinator in Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade, an American National Government Information Analyst, and an Administrative Officer in the Congressional Research Service. She holds the distinguished honor of being selected as a John W. Kluge Leadership Fellow at the Library of Congress.

Prior to serving in the Legislative Branch, Shimrah worked for the National Park Service, Department of Interior, as Supervisory Park Ranger for the President’s Park – White House. In this capacity, she was responsible for coordinating the White House Visitor’s Program, and all demonstrations and special events within the White House jurisdiction.

A native of New Rochelle, N.Y., Shimrah earned her B.S. in Political Science from Northeastern University, and participated in the Congressional Studies Graduate Program at the Catholic University of America. She completed the University of Maryland’s Leadership Development Program, the Harvard University Leadership Program (ACRL), and has attended classes at M.I.T. and Oxford University.

Shimrah represents The Portes Foundation at the Foxglove Forum in Chicago, IL.

tariq buttTariq H. Butt, MD - Director

Dr. Tariq Butt is a Board Certified Family Physician with teaching appointments at the University of Illinois’ Medical College, Rush University Medical School, and the Faculty with Mt. Sinai Family Practice Residency Program affiliated with the Chicago Medical School. He is the Deputy Medical Officer of Access Community Health Network and as part of his medical practice, he provides a range of medical services to people from the West Side of Chicago, regardless of their ability to pay.

Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed him Member of the Chicago School Reform Board of Trustees on July 1, 1995 and reappointed him to four-year terms in 1999, 2003 and 2007 to the renamed School Board, Chicago Board of Education.

Dr. Butt has received many prestigious awards including: The Loretta Lacey Advocacy (10/03), for his work in child advocacy; The Horatio Alger Award (5/02); was inducted into the Asian American Hall of Fame (5/02); The American Heart Saver (2002); The American Heart Association (2002); The Chicago's 1997 Big Hearts for Young Heroes; and The 1995 Pan-Asian American Award. He lives in Chicago with his wife and three young children.

representative jonathan carrollRepresentative Jonathan D. Carroll - Director

Jonathan Carroll currently serves as the state representative for Illinois' 57th House District. He decided to serve because the Representative cares about his community. Jonathan wants to ensure that his children see the better side of politics and learn to love the state as much as he does. In addition to his work as a state representative, Jonathan helps individuals with various cognitive challenges like ADHD meet personal, professional and educational goals. As a certified Special Education teacher, Jonathan has been helping individuals his whole career. The Representative is a lifelong resident of Illinois. Jonathan's passions reflect the community: creating jobs, reducing Illinois' massive property tax burden, ensuring great schools, sensible gun control and protecting a woman's right to choose. Jonathan received a B.A. in Communications from DePaul University in Chicago and a M.A. in Learning Disabilities from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. Jonathan lives with his wife Katrina and two children in Northbrook, Illinois. 

Kiran ChekkaKiran Chekka, MD - Director

Kiran Chekka, MD, is a Fellowship Trained Interventional Pain Physician and Double Board Certified Anesthesiologist. Dr. Chekka was accepted into the prestigious Pennsylvania State University-Thomas Jefferson University accelerated medical program directly from high school. After completing his medical education at Jefferson Medical College, he completed Anesthesia residency training at Northwestern University and then completed a pain medicine fellowship at Northwestern during which he served as Chief Fellow.

Dr. Chekka then served as an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University for four years. During this period, Dr. Chekka published original research and abstract publications in Acute Pain Medicine, Regional Anesthesia, and Chronic Pain Medicine. Dr. Chekka presented original research for four straight years at the prestigious American Society of Regional Anesthesia and the American Society of Anesthesiology annual meetings. He has a wide-ranging scope of research experience including work on original research in the treatment of Post Herpetic Neuralgia, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), osteoarthritis and low back pain. Dr. Chekka specializes in the use of implantable devices and modern minimally invasive techniques to treat spinal pain

Dr. Chekka has a real passion for educating future doctors, improving institutions in the developing world and volunteering internationally. Dr. Chekka’s goal is to become a full time medical volunteer specializing in rapid response disaster relief. He has taught Ultrasound guided procedures and lectured at the University of Texas, University of Rwanda, Nepal Orthopedic Hospital, and the Sri Lankan Society of Anesthesiology. Dr. Chekka has volunteered with several NGOS over the years including Operation Walk Chicago,, and Global Medicine Inc. Dr. Chekka is an expert in Ultrasound and Fluoro scope which are essential to the safe practice of medicine both at home and abroad.

As one of the first graduates of a multi-disciplinary pain fellowship, Dr. Chekka truly believes in a compassionate team approach to treating chronic pain. He focuses on functional restoration and improvement of quality of life as well as reduction of pain.
Dr. Chekka is now spearheading the Premier Pain Specialists Clinical Trials Program. Currently, PPS is working to improve patient care with cutting edge research on back pain, sciatica and arthritis.

joseph christofanelliJoseph Christofanelli - Director

Joseph is a Senior Manager with Ernst & Young LLP in the Business Incentives Practice for the Chicago and Indianapolis Offices and possesses over 25 years of incentive experience. Joseph has specialized in negotiating both global and domestic business incentives for corporate clients. Additionally, Joseph has assisted clients in securing and implementing green sustainability incentives.


Over 20 years (1984 – 2005) in the public sector, Joseph has negotiated and implemented over $250 million of incentives for companies in a variety of industries. Joseph specializes in identifying state and local incentives, structuring incentive negotiations, and implementing a variety of public financing and tax incentives. Joseph has worked with small businesses and Fortune 500 companies as well as several public sector entities.

During his tenure in the public sector, Joseph was responsible for implementing tax increment financing, enterprise zone, sale tax abatements; job tax credits programs, job training grants and alternative financing structures for developments. Joseph also coordinated and reviewed numerous municipal bond issues including general obligation, tax increment financing, and industrial revenue bonds.


Joseph is a graduate of Governors State University with a Master of Public Administration. In addition, Joseph received a Bachelor of Science from Illinois State University.


  • Chairman - Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce (2006)
  • Vice Chair Economic Development - Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce (2003 & 2004)
  • Board Member - Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce
  • Board Member - Illinois Chamber of Commerce (2006-2011)
  • St. James Hospital and Health Center Planning Committee and Board
  • South Suburban Mayors and Mangers Association
  • Illinois Development Council
  • Illinois Tax Increment Finance Association
  • American Planning Association
  • Governor State University Business & Public Administration Advisory Group

charles gold

Charles H. Gold, PhD - Director




  • PhD American Literature, Washington University, 1997, MA English, University of Missouri, 1960, AB Washington University, 1956
  • Director, Capital Planning, Columbia College Chicago, 1997-2000
  • Executive Director. Diabetes Institute Foundation.
  • Senior Counsel, John Grenzebach & Associates, 1985-87, fund raising consulting
  • Vice President for Development, Michael Rees Hospital & Medical Center, 1979-85
  • Director, Office of Research & Sponsored Programs, Northwestern University, 1970-79
  • Also taught at Washington University, Northwestern, State U of New York, and the Newberry Library Seminars program.
  • Book reviews, usually four to six times a year: Chicago Daily News, 1970-71, Chicago Sun Times, 1977-98
  • Retired.

mark grachMark Grach, MBA - Director

Mark Grach, MBA, has served as the Chairman of ACCESS TO CARE, a Cook County funded private public partnership to deliver health care services to the working poor of suburban Cook County. Grach is also past chair of the Health and Life Sciences sub-committee of the Union League Club of Chicago and also served as a board member on the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago, a CDC accredited organization. He has been a member of the Rotary Club of Chicago since 1984. Mr. Grach presently serves as Treasurer of the Cook County Health Foundation, while also serving as a Member of the Board of Governors of The Institute of Medicine of Chicago.

Joining the Board in 2013, Mark brings extensive experience in Health Care Organizational Management, Physician/Hospital/Insurer Relations, Health Plan/Managed Care Development and Marketing. Mr. Grach has served as an advisor to Medical Schools, Health Care Institutions, Local, State, National and International Governments.

anne jacobsonAnne Jacobson, MD, MPH - Director

Anne Jacobson is a Board Certified Family Physician, consultant in Medical Humanities and Narrative Medicine, writer, and editor. She graduated with honors
from the University of Wisconsin Medical School and completed her residency training at West Suburban Family Medicine Residency. She practiced full scope
Family Medicine with Obstetrics for many years with the Ambulatory and Community Health Network (ACHN) of Cook County, working primarily with immigrant, Spanishspeaking communities. She left the County health system for two years to complete a Community Health Fellowship at PCC Community Wellness and a Master’s in Public Health at the University of Illinois – Chicago. She returned to the Cook County ACHN and continued to practice Family Medicine in health centers in Cicero and Chicago;
became Medical Director at the Cicero Health Center of Cook County; and served as the Director of Primary Care, supervising health care providers and program implementation across the extensive network of ACHN Primary Care health centers.

Having studied and integrated narrative and qualitative research techniques in her Fellowship and Master’s studies, and already a published writer herself, she began to
explore ways to more formally integrate writing and medicine into her day-to-day professional work. She is now the Associate Editor at the Hektoen International
Journal of Medical Humanities, where she works with a diverse group of international authors and readers. She also is working to develop programs that use narrative
and qualitative methods to address significant issues in healthcare today from the perspective of patients and healthcare professionals. She is interested in health
literacy, global health, healthcare access and quality, and wellness promotion and burnout prevention for healthcare providers.

She continues to write extensively on topics medical and non-medical, and enjoys travel, hiking, reading, and music. She lives with her husband and two children in Oak Park, Illinois.

Renee McCarthyReneé Reifsteck McCarthy, JD - Director

During the last 18 years, Reneé Reifsteck McCarthy has served the University of Illinois, first as Senior Associate University counsel (1999-2016), and more recently, as the Director of Medical Student Learning Environment.

As Senior Associate University Counsel, Reneé provided advice and counsel to faculty, staff, and administration at all levels, up to the President and the Board of Trustees, on a variety of legal issues including unlawful discrimination and harassment, compliance with Title IX, 1st Amendment protections of free speech, religion and association, as well as students’ rights to due process, equal protection, privacy and safety/security. She sat on a number of committees during her tenure in University Counsel’s office, such as the President’s Task Force on Prevention of Sexual Misconduct/Violence, and Student Response and Threat Assessment Teams. In addition, she assisted with the development, drafting and implementation of a number of campus policies and procedures involving students and medical/dental residents, including the Sexual Misconduct Policy, Degree Revocation Policy, Student Records Policy and Student Academic Grievance Procedures.

In her current role as Director of Medical Student Learning Environment, Reneé serves as a neutral and impartial resource for medical students, faculty, staff and administration on all four UI COM campuses to address student mistreatment and other learning environment concerns. She developed and implemented the UI COM Positive Learning Environment Policy, as well as the processes for reporting student mistreatment and other learning environment concerns including the online reporting portal. Reneé also sits as an ex-officio member of the College-wide Committee on Instruction and Appraisal.

Reneé earned both her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Illinois. She completed a 40-hour mediator training course through Northwestern School of Professional Studies, as well as Title IX coordinator training through the National Association of College and University Attorneys. Reneé is licensed to practice law and in good standing with the State of Illinois and the Northern District of Illinois. She is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association.

Reneé is married to Declan, a dentist and graduate of University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. They reside in Glen Ellyn, Illinois with their three children, where Reneé serves as secretary of the Glen Ellyn Working Ladies (GEWLS), a group of working mothers sharing their diverse skills and talents to empower and support one another and the community.

Gerald StapletonGerald R. Stapleton - Director

Gerald Stapleton has held leadership roles in the field of education since the 1970s having first been appointed as a middle school principal in 1975 after 7 years of teaching in the public schools of northern Indiana and earning a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Purdue University. After additional studies in educational leadership at Purdue and serving as a principal in a private school in Hinsdale, Illinois, Mr. Stapleton took on leadership roles in corporate training where he was regional manager for training operations for two national retail organizations.

In 1999, Mr. Stapleton joined the Department of Medical Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Medicine and took on the challenge of creating an online Core Curriculum intended to prepare UIC’s medical residents to meet the general competencies requirements established by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The program was recognized by the Sloan Consortium as the most outstanding online program in 2002 and was adopted by more than 25 Graduate Medical Education programs across the country from New York to Hawaii with a total enrollment over 18 years of more than 15,000 residents over the next 18 years.

As Director for Distance Education and Faculty Associate in the UIC COM Department of Medical Education, Mr. Stapleton also guided the development of numerous other educational programs at all levels of the health professions education continuum dealing with such topics as environmental medicine, geriatrics, patient safety, quality improvement, health policy, global studies, and telemedicine. Mr. Stapleton has been at the forefront of research and application of cutting edge educational methodologies such as the use of web-based learning, video conferencing, simulation, virtual patients, active learning, and virtual reality in the design of courses for health professionals.

Mr. Stapleton is currently pursuing a PhD in Curriculum Studies with a focus on Health Professions Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His dissertation topic is centered on the teaching and evaluation of medical professionalism. Other professional activities include his leadership role in the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) where he is currently a member of the Internal Relations Committee and Chair of a special interest group focused on the integration of serious game design and virtual environments in educational activities for the health professions. Mr. Stapleton has presented his research at both national and international forums and in several medical education journals.

Mr. Stapleton’s wife, Mary, is currently retired after serving as an administrator at The Avery Coonley School in Downers Grove, Illinois for over 20 years. Together, they serve as captains for a team of volunteers who provide shelter for homeless individuals in Chicago’s western suburbs. They are the proud parents of Andy and of Elizabeth (Vincenty) and have 5 amazing grandchildren.



deanna shoss

In memory of Richard Kohan

Richard Kohan served The Portes Foundation in support of its work in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention for over 40 years. After serving as a trustee for several years, Mr. Kohan had been Chairman of The Portes Foundation since 1976. During the more than 30 years as Chairman, the operating Portes Center became The Portes Foundation moving its emphasis from performing cancer prevention and health maintenance screening to encouraging and supporting research in the fields of health maintenance and disease prevention. Mr. Kohan leaves behind many friends and accomplishments.

Tribute to the memory of Richard Kohan, from the eulogy by our President, Allan Carroll.

deanna shoss

In memory of Richard Kalish 

Richard Kalish had received The Portes Foundation Lifetime Service Award for his excellence in health promotion through contributions in the areas of disease prevention and the remediation of disability and human suffering. Mr. Kalish leaves behind a wealth of family and friends who loved and laughed with him.