Meet Our Team

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Sajan Thomas, M.D.

Internal Medicine Program Director

Dr. Thomas completed his medical school at the University of Madras in India. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago. He then served as a chief resident in internal medicine at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago. He is board certified in internal medicine. He currently serves as the Program Director for the MacNeal Internal Medicine Residency Program. He has interests in the area of Hypertension and Diabetes and believes it is important to provide personalized care for each patient. He is dedicated in the area of resident education and with a focus on teaching residents to provide patient-centered care. 

Residency: Illinois Masonic Medical Center
Board Certification: Internal Medicine
Languages Spoken: English

Sindhu Liz Joseph, M.D.

Internal Medicine Assistant Program Director

Dr. Joseph joined MacNeal Hospital as an Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program in 2014, and has focused on residency program innovation and development since that time. She works closely with resident physicians to foster a patient-centered, compassionate, positive, and well balanced approach to patient care.

Residency: University of Texas at Houston
Board Certification: Internal Medicine
Languages Spoken: English

Farah Ciftci-Olsen, MD

Dr. Farah Ciftci Olsen graduated from medical school in Turkey and trained in Neurology before moving to the United States in 2006 to start her Internal Medicine residency at the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County. After residency graduation, she was asked to stay on as chief medicine resident and then as faculty member at Cook County, working as an attending physician for five years in the Division of Hospital Medicine and later the Division of General Internal Medicine.

During her time at Cook County, Dr. Ciftci served as a member of the core faculty and as Associate Firm Chief of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. She played a pivotal role in numerous educational initiatives in both the inpatient and ambulatory settings, serving as co-director of a resident research mentoring program, director of educational activities of the Division of Hospital Medicine, and Chair of the faculty development program for the Division of General Internal Medicine. She also created and implemented several innovative educational programs for residents including an ambulatory intern immersion rotation and addiction medicine rotation. In addition, her research work and clinical case presentations have been awarded various honors and published in several peer-reviewed journals such as BMJ, Seizure, and Journal of Neurology.

Dr. Ciftci joined MacNeal Hospital in 2016 as the Associate Program Director of the Transitional Year Residency Program and core faculty member of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Her focus is primarily in medical education innovation and faculty development to improve clinical teaching of housestaff.

As she has worked with all stages of learners in clinical medicine from medical students up to faculty, Dr. Ciftci believes in learner-centered teaching and every learner has the ability to improve and reach their goals with reflection, proper feedback, encouragement, and mentorship, regardless of whether the learner is a resident or a brand-new attending.

Melissa M. Arredondo, MD

Transition Year Program Director

Dr. Melissa Arredondo is a long-time resident of Illinois.  She graduated from medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzker School Of Medicine.  Dr. Arredondo then went on to complete a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency at the University of Chicago.  In her last year of residency, she served as the Education Chief for the Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Program.

After residency, Dr. Arredondo joined the Internal Medicine program at MacNeal as a core faculty member in 2016 and also worked as part of MacNeal's pediatric hospitalist group from 2016-2018.  As part of the Internal Medicine program faculty, Dr. Arredondo created the program's Journal Club curriculum and worked to develop the resident core lecture noon conference series.  She continues to enjoy creating and implementing curriculum and most recently is working to increase the high fidelity simulation opportunities available for residents.  Dr. Arredondo regularly cares for patients on the internal medicine inpatient service and precepts outpatient resident clinic. 

Dr. Arredondo seeks to encourage residents to maintain a sense of curiosity for new knowledge and to focus on providing patient centered care.  She also places an emphasis on encouraging the deliberate practice of self-care to promote growth as an individual.  She firmly believes that practicing the art of medicine is a great privilege and being able to sit down, engage and teach patients are the great joys in medicine.

Ann Marie Canelas, M.D.

Core Faculty

Dr. Canelas was born and raised in the Chicago-land area and attended Loyola University for her undergraduate studies and the completed medical school at University of Illinois Medical School in Chicago.  She finished her training on the east coast and has practiced internal medicine on both coasts.  She is happy to be back in her hometown working for the diverse community that she knows and loves.  She is especially sensitive to the struggles of underserved patient populations.  Education also being a love of Dr. Canelas’, is privileged to be able to incorporate cultural sensitivity into the multifaceted residency training experience for our Internal Medicine Residents in our training program.  She also enjoys her immediate and extended family, her faith, biking, and walks along some of our beautiful preserves.

Special Clinical Interests: General Internal Medicine, cardiology, endocrinology, and critical care.
Board Certification: Internal Medicine
Language Spoken: English and Spanish

Baudelio Herrada, M.D.

Core Faculty

Christine Junia, M.D.

Internal Medicine Associate Program Director

Dr. Christine Junia graduated from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas Philippines and completed her post-graduate internship from the UP-Philippine General Hospital. She completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

Dr. Junia joined MacNeal as a core faculty of the Internal Medicine Residency Program in 2016. She is currently supervising the program’s quality improvement curriculum and supplementary education provided by clinical or research electives in outside institutions. She supervises residents in inpatient and outpatient rotations and hopes to cultivate an environment of critical thinking and evidence-based medical reasoning.

Dr. Junia is committed to providing quality, patient-centered care and advocates for health equality. She is dedicated to medical education and appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with young physicians in providing holistic care.

Jennifer M. Sardone, M.D.

Dr. Sardone grew up in Ohio, attended Ohio State University for medical school. She moved to Denver for residency and worked in primary care until moving to Chicago.  She has been working at MCIM since 2012 when it opened. She enjoys working with the residents to teach them about ongoing relationships with patients, and to tailor treatment to the individual.  At home she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids, and painting.  

Special Clinical Interests:   A tough decision! She enjoys all ages (of adults!) and the variety of conditions that are seen in general practice, as well as helping to identify and overcome barriers to compliance.

Residency: St. Joseph Hospital; Denver, Colorado
Board Certification: Internal Medicine
Languages Spoken: English

Lauren M. Sullivan, D.O.

Core Faculty

Dr. Sullivan is a native of the Chicagoland area. When seeing patients with the residents she encourages them to work with the patient to create a shared plan of care. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and her dogs.  

Special clinical interests:  Preventive Medicine, Women’s Health

Residency: John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital and Rush University Medical Center Primary Care Internal Medicine, MacNeal Hospital Chief Residency
Board Certification: Internal Medicine
Languages Spoken: English 

Gene Kligman, M.D.

Chief Resident

Dr. Kligman is originally from Russia but moved to the United States when he was two years old. He grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago where he graduated from Adlai E. Stevenson High School. He attended college at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and Loyola University Chicago. In the clinic, Dr. Kligman enjoys working with residents and helping patients with a variety of medical problems. Outside of work, he enjoys running, watching Chicago sports, and spending time downtown.

Special clinical interests: Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Residency: Indiana University
Board certification(s): Internal Medicine
Languages spoken: English and Russian