Our Faculty

Davis Yang, M.D.

Program Director and Chair

I’m a Chicago native, having lived near the North Shore of Chicago since I was in first grade. I have always been drawn to health sciences and computers. I studied biomedical engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston and medicine at the University of Illinois in Chicago.  In 1994, I made the fateful decision to do my residency training at MacNeal Hospital in family medicine.

Twenty-five years later, I still love MacNeal and the people here.  I have seen this program from many perspectives – as an intern, chief resident, faculty member, Center Director, and currently Program Director. My admiration and affection for MacNeal and its people continues to grow.

I am fortunate to have had many mentors during my time here, including the opportunity to be influenced by all four previous program directors of MacNeal, starting with Dr. Ken Kessel who founded the program in 1969. The legacy of the MacNeal program is important to me and I am passionate about maintaining the high caliber and tradition of our program.

I love to learn new things and to share that knowledge. I appreciate that my time at MacNeal has allowed and encouraged me to broaden my practice in areas such as leadership, informatics, colposcopy, and Medical Acupuncture. I am grateful for the chance to attend the Scholars for Teaching Excellence Faculty Fellowship at UIC and the National Institute for Program Director Development fellowship. I strive to provide the same encouragement and opportunities for our faculty and residents to constantly grow and pursue their interests and passions.

I am an unapologetic Apple fanboy and some of my interests, other than resident education, are lean process improvement, GTD, and automation of any kind.

I still live on the North Shore, in Evanston, with my wife and 3 daughters, ages 18, 15, and 8.  Two of my kids were delivered at MacNeal by MacNeal FM residents.

Yvonne T. Murphy, M.D.

Associate Program Director

I grew up in Northwest Indiana and then went downstate to Indiana University for my undergraduate degree in biology with a minor in psychology. Subsequently, I headed east to the University of Rochester in upstate New York for medical school, residency, and a two-year fellowship. In medical school, I was taught by George Engel, the physician who wrote the original paper on the biopsychosocial model of care. My residency was community-based at Highland Hospital and my fellowship focused on family therapy and faculty development.

I’ve been part of the MacNeal faculty since 2001. My passions are creating excellent residency education and teaching doctor-patient communication skills. I strive to teach residents the skills they need to help patients feel better. This includes a mix of both evidence-based medical therapies and interpersonal skills. I have developed an entire curriculum that is used at Family Medicine residency programs throughout the country to teach key communication skills.

I love working at MacNeal and being part of the faculty. I also love practicing full-spectrum family medicine. I practiced OB for 10 years and still do prenatal care, newborn care, many women’s health and other procedures as well as enjoying my complex geriatric patients and providing end-of-life care. I care for three generations of some families in our practice.

When I’m not at work, I love to walk in the woods, play with my son, or relax with my neurologist husband who also works at MacNeal. We met in the radiology reading room of the hospital 10 years ago! I am also an avid environmentalist. I drive an electric car powered by wind energy, reuse or recycle everything, and am vegetarian. 

Bobby Chan, M.D.

FMC Center Director

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, where I attended the University of Illinois in Chicago for both my undergraduate and medical degrees. Flames for life! Then I came to MacNeal to complete my family medicine residency training. I was fortunate enough to serve as chief resident alongside Dr. Bhatnagar, and became interested in teaching (and hearing myself talk), paving the way for me to join the faculty upon graduation.

In addition to my usual faculty duties, I oversee the inpatient adult medicine and ICU rotations and I have been serving as the Center Director for the past 4 years. On the hospital side, I have served on the Medical Executive Committee and currently sit on the Family Medicine Quality Assurance Committee.

My special interests include inpatient medicine, diabetes and obesity management. When not lurking under the piles of paper on/under my desk, I enjoy spending time with my family and my wife (we just celebrated our first wedding anniversary together), including: all things Disney, participating in the Girls On The Run program, Chicago Summer Dance, watching all sorts of tv -- my wife accuses me of being willing to watch anything that’s on! My latest interests include self-help/reality series and documentaries like: Hotel Impossible, Bar Rescue, Why Planes Crash, Shark Week, and anything on the Food Network and ESPN.

Despite the traffic and parallel parking, we live in Chicago, but are looking to eventually move back to my roots in the burbs. I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of the MacNeal family for 8 years and look forward to many more.

Alina Merrill, D.O.

Osteopathic Program Director

After completing family medicine residency at Beth Israel in New York City, I worked at a community clinic in Chicago for three years practicing full-spectrum family medicine including obstetrics. I have always enjoyed teaching and was even a substitute teacher in my hometown of San Diego.

I studied medicine at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and was a chief resident at Beth Israel in New York and now hold the position of Osteopathic Program Director at MacNeal. I love the variety of my job at MacNeal Family Medicine. On any given day, you may find me teaching a group of residents on labor and delivery, leading an osteopathic hands-on workshop, or supervising a wide variety of procedures in our procedure clinic at MacNeal. I also really enjoy learning from the wide cultural diversity of patients and staff that we have at MacNeal. I speak both Russian and Spanish.

On days off, if my nose is not buried in a book, you may either find me crossfitting or in Oak Park hanging out with my family swimming, ice skating, bowling, or playing tennis.

Edward C. Foley, M.D.

Director of Faculty Development Fellowship

I was born and raised in Chicago where I attended the University of Chicago for both my undergraduate and medical degrees. I completed my family medicine residency at the Rush-Christ Family Medicine Program where I became interested in teaching and served as chief resident. To pursue this interest in teaching, I completed a two-year family medicine faculty development fellowship at St. Margaret Memorial Hospital in Pittsburgh, where I also obtained a MPH degree in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health.

Before coming to MacNeal in 2000, I served as faculty at two family medicine residency programs and was the founding program director of the Rush-Copley Family Medicine Residency Program in Aurora, IL.

In addition to my usual faculty duties, I oversee the scholarly activity projects of the residents, the geriatric rotation, journal club, and the house call program along with Dr. Bhatnagar. I started and direct the faculty development fellowship here at MacNeal. On the hospital side, I have served on the Medical Executive Committee and currently am the chair of the Family Medicine Quality Assurance Committee and the Faculty Development Committee.

My special interests include evidence-based medicine/information mastery, preventive health care, geriatrics, house calls and research.

I live in Wheaton with my wife. I have two adult children, a son-in-law, and a two-year-old grandson. I play handball and ride my bike for exercise and dabble in stamp collecting, model railroading, and sports memorabilia for relaxation.

Yesenia Yepez, M.D.

Director of Medical Student Rotations

My parents emigrated from Colombia separately and met in New York City, where I was born and raised. Knowing how much they sacrificed to provide a better future for their families back home and for their family in the U.S. has made me especially sensitive to the struggles of underserved patient populations.

After training at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, I pursued a career in family medicine as the ideal specialty to care for the underserved. As part of the West Suburban Family Medicine Residency Program in Oak Park, Illinois I had the great pleasure of caring for a large Latino-immigrant population on the West Side of Chicago at a Federally Qualified Community Health Center. I remained at the center while completing a Maternal Child Health Fellowship in high-risk and surgical obstetrics and then lovingly served as their Medical Director for the next 10 years.

It has been such a privilege to be involved in resident education over the course of my career and to watch my investment in resident education blossom into the development of amazing, service-oriented, generous physicians. This desire to mentor and teach new physicians is what brought me to the MacNeal Family Residency Program.

At MacNeal, I continue to care for underserved patient populations, including a vibrant Spanish-speaking community. I still enjoy delivering babies and training a new generation of family medicine physicians to do the same. I enjoy the full-scope of family medicine, in the hospital and in the office, especially women’s health procedures, and diabetes care. I am passionate about patient education and empowering patients to strive for wellness. I enjoy living in Berwyn, the community we serve, with my husband and our precious little boy.

Aaron Lee, D.O.

Director of Sports Medicine Fellowship

Though I was born north of Chicago, I grew up in the Cleveland area. I spent most of my youth playing soccer, and any other sport I could find – all the way through college. After completing a psychology degree with a neuroscience minor at Miami University in Ohio, I spent two years working as a therapist on an adolescent psychiatric unit before finally applying to medical school.

I completed my medical training at the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, where I met my wife – she was at the cadaver next to mine in anatomy lab, but I still managed to notice her. We both completed our internship year at Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago. Though she moved on to Loyola, I continued my training at Illinois Masonic for my family medicine residency, and was chief resident in my final year. Having been a lifelong sports devotee, and finding athletes to be the most interesting and yet somehow maddening patients, I went on to complete my sports medicine fellowship training at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

Upon completion of my training, I accepted a position at the MacNeal Hospital Family Medicine Residency as core faculty and as the Associate Program Director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship. Now in my fifth year at the program, I am in charge of the musculoskeletal curriculum for the residency, and have been the Program Director of the fellowship for the last four years. I was drawn to MacNeal because of its long history of excellence in both family and sports medicine, and because of the quality of the residents that I met here. Since coming here, I have come to truly appreciate the staff at MacNeal and my fellow faculty – their dedication to resident education, and the feeling of family that they foster have really made an impact on me. I love teaching our residents, and they are often the best part of my day.

You’ll find that I am always up for a conversation. About anything. It’s a hobby, or a vice – I’m not sure which. I am an avid reader – both of books and of current events. Don’t tell my patients, but I love TV. And food. Really greasy fast food. I pack my and my wife’s lunch every day – but with nice healthy stuff (you can tell my patients that). When I am not at work you will usually find me spending time with my family – mostly chasing around my two sons, aged 2 and 5 wishing that I had time to get back to playing my guitar.

Amy Harrison, M.D.

Director of Women's Health Fellowship

I grew up outside of Boston and did my medical training in Philadelphia. Following my Family Medicine Residency and Faculty Development Fellowship, I spent five years as Assistant Director, helping to start up and teach at a new family medicine residency program in Minnesota. Joking that I moved to Chicago for the good weather, I joined MacNeal's faculty in 2000 as the Women's Health Fellowship Director. I continue to enjoy MacNeal because the learners are here because they want to learn, and the teachers are here because they want to teach. Besides women's health and obstetrics, I have professional interests in evidence-based medicine, adolescent health and preventive medicine.

A self-described environmental nut, I look for ways to lessen my impact on our environment, while enjoying cooking and growing a variety of flowers, tomatoes, and berries. In the summer, I love to swim outdoors, find beautiful beaches to lie on, and explore new areas and cultures through travel. I live in nearby Oak Park where I enjoy the weekly farmers market; the outdoor concerts and dining opportunities; the close proximity to all that Chicago offers; and I am continually amazed by the ways in which my children are turning into young adults.

Rupal Bhatnagar, D.O.

Recruitment Director

I grew up in southeast Michigan, and while I went to MSUCOM for medical school, let there be no mistake that I bleed maize and blue always. I am a Michigan Wolverine at heart as that is where I did my undergrad.

MacNeal holds a very special place in my heart. During medical school, I spent four months in the Chicagoland area doing FM rotations, and I fell in love with MacNeal and was fortunate to be able to do my residency here. As a resident, a desire to teach emerged that motivated me to pursue and complete a combined faculty development fellowship at MacNeal and UIC. As part of my fellowship training one of my major accomplishments was to develop the robust OMT curriculum currently in place.

Aside from OMT, I love working with residents in a multitude of settings from doing home visits to presenting interactive conferences and lectures while on service. I truly feel honored to be a part of the team that helps develop the incredible family physicians of the future.

Having been a graduate of the program, I have a special interest in residents that train here, and have been a part of the recruitment committee since I was a resident and now serve as the Faculty Recruitment Chair. I also wanted to spend time working on continuing to help improve our rotations, and am currently able to do so as the Program Evaluation Committee Chair. On the hospital side, I am also the head of the hospital Forms Committee.

Outside of work, most of my time is now spent with my son Niam who was born at MacNeal! During the fall you can find me cheering on my beloved Michigan Wolverines. I also love to shop, watch tv (currently my guilty pleasures include Scandal, Nashville and House of Cards), explore new places in the city with my husband, and plan our next vacation! 

Nereida Esparza, M.D.

Curriculum Director

Born in Chicago, I spent the latter half of my childhood in Berwyn. After completing medical school at the University of Chicago – Pritzker School of Medicine, I decided to return to Berwyn to complete my training at the MacNeal Family Medicine Residency Program. I have always had a strong interest in women’s health and completed the Women’s Health Fellowship at MacNeal.

I have really enjoyed growing within MacNeal FMR and have always loved to teach. I am excited to join the core clinical faculty here at MacNeal. In my spare time, I love to spend time with my extended family, travel as much as possible, watch the Chicago Bears play football, read a great book, swim, or work on arts and crafts at home.

Being a bicultural and bilingual provider, I continue to have strong ties to the Berwyn community and love to serve the underserved population of MacNeal. I hope to continue to provide exceptional medical care to the community in which I grew up and continue to live in with my husband and extended family.

Tamajah Jordan, MD

Clinical Core Faculty

As a native of New Orleans I am still perfecting my gumbo recipe. I love my hometown and attended college there at Xavier University of Louisiana while working weekends as a hostess and completed my B.S. in Biology with a French minor.

After joining the class of 2004 at Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, I explored my interest in Family Medicine at Grady Memorial, the county hospital. I knew I wanted to work with underserved patients in a primary care setting. I loved the variety of experiences this amazing specialty offered, especially in Obstetrics. I completed my Family Medicine residency in 2007 in Ventura, California at the Ventura County MedicalCenter and served as Chief Resident during my third year. As a Spanish-speaking provider I embraced the Latino community and worked with my colleagues annually to set up health screening at the local Farmer’s market.

In my effort to serve in a more culturally diverse, urban underserved setting I accepted a position on the West Side of Chicago as a Maternal Child Health Fellow at the West Suburban Medical Center and a wonderful Federally Qualified Health Center in the area. I was blessed to be trained in high risk and surgical Obstetrics and to serve as Co-Director of the fellowship for several years. I felt so energized as I shared concepts with the students, residents, and fellows. I subsequently served as the medical director of one of the FQHC sites for three years. I am excited to join the Core Faculty ofMacNeal’s Family Medicine Residency as I continue to teach new physicians and students, provide obstetrical and medical care to patients in the Chicagoland area. My insatiable desire for travel and international medical missions keeps me going. I have spent time serving in Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Malawi. My goal is to visit one new country each year.

I still consider myself a newlywed even though I have been married over a year.MacNeal has a lot to do with our love story since a former Family Medicine resident introduced us on FB after realizing that my husband was one of her Peds attendings. When I am not at work I am usually at home laughing with Corey as we watch shows like “Whose Line.” I enjoy walks along Lake Michigan, playing tennis near our home in the Oakland neighborhood, and plan to work on my salsa moves so I can keep up with my salsero spouse. My DC and Marvel comic IQ is on the rise and I hope to attend my first C2E2 convention in 2018.

Blanca Baldoceda, MD, MPH

Clinical Core Faculty

My passion for working with the underserved and improving the health of populations developed during my undergraduate years at Vanderbilt University.  After college, I did a year of service work with AmeriCorps working on environmental justice and lead poisoning prevention in the Little Village community.  My mentors during my year with AmeriCorps were family physicians who were caring for their patients and community.  I went in to medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago committed to becoming a primary care physician.

My family medicine training was done at the Cook County Family Practice Residency & the California Hospital Medical Center/USC Family Medicine Residency.  After residency, I returned home to Chicago to work at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) serving a predominantly Latino population.  3 years into my professional career I decided to pursue a degree in public health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health with a focus on global health & community health.  After getting my MPH, I returned to my FQHC and helped develop a global health program that involved both residents and attending physicians and also became the director of the community medicine & leadership fellowship.  

One of the things I love the most about Family Medicine is the opportunity to be able to pursue many different interests.  I have had the opportunity to be part of the first free standing birth center in Illinois as their medical director.  And as medical director at an Iora Health primary care clinic I was in a value based care model.  I have always enjoyed teaching and I am excited to join such a vibrant community of learners and teachers.   I also look forward to serving a diverse patient population and providing full-scope family medicine. 

Outside of work I spend my free time with my daughter and husband.  We are big fans of the Brookfield Zoo, local parks, and ice cream.  

Tuwanda Williamson, MD

Clinical Core Faculty

Born in Delaware and bred in the Chicago area, I stayed in the Midwest and obtained my B.A. in biology, chemistry, and Spanish from Hope College and my medical degree from the University of Michigan. I took a break from the snow and completed my residency training in sunny, Ventura, California through the Ventura County Family Medicine Residency Program. I am passionate about immersing myself in different cultures, languages and people groups. This is why international service has been such an important part of my life, training and career. I have studied, conducted research, and provided routine and emergent medical care in various countries in South America, Central America, Africa and the Caribbean.

During my longest international experience in Rurrenebaque, Bolivia I served as the medical director for two years. I worked and lived among the Northeastern Bolivian Amazonian communities as part of an innovative health project providing basic health care, education, training, and potable water to isolated, indigenous people groups.

When I returned to the U.S., I remained committed to serving underserved communities and have volunteered as the medical director for more than a decade for the Bolingbrook Christian Community Clinic, a volunteer clinic serving uninsured patients in Will County.

I also enjoyed over 10 years as physician in a Federally Qualified Community Health Center on the Westside of Chicago serving a mostly underserved, Spanish-speaking population. This experience allowed me to combine my love for teaching as faculty, in association with West Suburban Family Residency Program. It was so fulfilling to teach family medicine residents about social justice, health equity, social determinants of health, and sustainable primary care in underserved communities, that I found it vital to introduce the same principles to future physicians at even earlier stages in their training. This is why I was an eager advocate for a progressive curriculum in medical humanities, as a Faculty Clinical Instructor for the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Now I continue to enjoy teaching and mentoring resident physicians as well as caring for an underserved community, as Clinical Faculty at MacNeal Family Medicine Residency Program. In my personal time, I enjoy running after my young son and making him laugh. I enjoy bicycle riding, continuing to travel nationally and internationally, and exploring the many wonderful ethnic restaurants throughout our diverse city.

Brian M. Ralston, MD

Community Faculty/Sports Medicine

I started at MacNeal in 1994 as a sports medicine fellow, and have been here ever since, serving as both community-based faculty for the residency and lecturer for the sports medicine fellowship.

I am originally from Virginia,  received my undergraduate degree from MIT, attended medical school at the University of Virginia, and completed a residency in family practice at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. 

I have a part-time administrative role at MacNeal as the Chief Medical Information Officer, in which I help optimize our information systems for patient safety, quality of care, and provider efficiency. I was a former President of the MacNeal Medical Staff.

My activities outside MacNeal include charitable work volunteering as teaching faculty at a free medical clinic in Chicago, and also working with a group of physicians who travel annually to Honduras to provide medical care to underserved people. I am co-author of two books for men about pregnancy, and a child’s 1st year of life. I also play guitar and sing in a band.

Residency: University of Wisconsin, Madison

Special Interests: Sports and fitness, Family Medicine teaching

David Levy, M.D.

Community Faculty

Dr. Levy is presently the President of the medical staff at MacNeal Hospital. His professional training includes a fellowship in Family Medicine Faculty Development at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He spent four years in private practice before joining MacNeal.

Medical School: Temple Medical School, 1984

Residency: Family Medicine: Highland Hospital / University of Rochester

Special Interests: Inpatient Medicine, Occupational Medicine

Mithi Janakiram, M.D.

Community Faculty

Danielle Bass, MD

Community Faculty/Sports Medicine

I was born and raised in Florida but after medical school decided to leave the nice warm weather, buy a winter coat and move to Chicago!  I love living in Chicago and enjoy the food, culture and music the city has to offer.  Plus, a short drive outside the city takes you to many outdoor activities both in the winter and summer.  

Prior to moving permanently to Chicago, I completed my medical training at Florida State University.  While in medical school, I completed a 4 week rotation at MacNeal and loved it, so I was excited when I matched at MacNeal for residency.  Afterwards, I went to O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, California and completed a Sports Medicine Fellowship.  Currently I work at Weiss Hospital while also working as the Associate Program Director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship at MacNeal. I really enjoy working with the MacNeal residents and fellows discussing musculoskeletal cases.  They are also able to cover sporting events with me. This includes football, hockey and baseball games along with attending high school and college training rooms.  

When I am not taking care of athletes. I enjoy spending time around Chicago with my husband and 2 kids.