Dr. Jennifer Swoyer, DO, Chief Medical and Population Health Officer (she/her)
Dr. Swoyer has worked in the western suburbs of Chicago for the past 25 years providing full-spectrum family medicine services, including prenatal care. Most recently, from the La Grange Family medicine residency program, where she was most recently the Residency Program Director. Dr. Swoyer has worked with the Pillars Community health organization in various roles over the past 20 years. After receiving her Medical Degree from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1996, Dr. Swoyer graduated from the La Grange Family Medicine Residency Program in 1999.
Her passion for the whole person and whole family care is the perfect energy for Pillars to continue to align medical, dental, and behavioral services for all patients. Dr. Swoyer deeply believes technology and medicine are the ideal complements to help individuals and families optimize their health and wellness.
Dr. Berenice Lopez, DDS, Chief Dental Officer (she/her)
Dr. Berenice Lopez was inspired to pursue dentistry after participating in an undergraduate summer internship in the College of Dentistry at the University of Illinois. Upon completing her undergraduate degrees in Biology and Spanish at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she returned to UIC and completed a Doctorate in Dental Surgery. Dr. Lopez has dedicated her career to community service, working as a Clinical Professor at UIC and as a General Dentist at community health centers. In her spare time Dr. Lopez is an outdoor enthusiast. She enjoys hiking and cycling with her husband and two kids. Dr. Lopez is an avid gardener and has a knack for handcrafts such as crochet and sewing.
Dr. Iffath Hussain
Dr. Iffath Hussain is a board-certified family medicine physician who strives to provide high quality evidence-based care to patients of all ages. Dr. Hussain received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from DePaul University. She was awarded her Medical Doctorate from Ross University School of Medicine and went on to complete a Family Medicine residency at St. Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center in Chicago, IL. Dr. Hussain strives to deliver high quality evidence-based care while also educating and guiding her patients. She is passionate about preventative health, diabetes management, and empowering her patients with the tools they need to live a healthier life.
Ryan Alderman, LMFT, Chief Behavioral Health Officer (he/him)
Ryan Alderman is responsible for clinical leadership of the Health Center Behavioral Health Program, which provides case management and brief therapy for the substance use and mental health treatment needs of Pillars Community Health patients. Ryan has worked at Pillars Community Health and its predecessor organizations since 2011, both as a therapist and administrator of various behavioral health programs. Ryan received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Religious Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, his master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from The Family Institute at Northwestern University, and a certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Notre Dame.
Jennifer Kernes, DO (she/her)
Dr. Jennifer Kernes is a board-certified family medicine physician who provides care for people of all ages. Dr. Kernes received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Athletic Training from North Central College. She was awarded her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Touro University Nevada and went on to complete a Family Medicine residency at AdventHealth Hinsdale Family Medicine Residency in Hinsdale, IL. Dr. Kernes strives to create a safe space where patients can feel heard and seen. She is passionate about women’s health and maternity care but is excited to provide top of the line care to all areas of medicine.
Alexandra (Allie) Treviño, PA-C
Allie Trevino earned her Master of Medical Science degree in Physician Assistant studies from Midwestern University in Downers Grove, IL. She has been providing healthcare to underserved communities with a focus on primary care since 2015. She is bilingual in Spanish and English. Her special interests include diabetes management and weight loss. In her spare time, Allie likes to spend time with her family, garden, and hike nature trails.
Adilene Briceño, RDH
Adilene Briceño was born in Mexico and grew up in the Melrose Park, IL area. She joined Pillars Community Health in 2019. She has a passion for dentistry and educating patients about their oral hygiene care. Adi received her dental hygiene degree from Fox College in Bedford Park, she also has an AAS degree in early childhood education from Triton College in River Grove. Adi is fluent in English and Spanish.
Dr. Daphne Tessalee, MD
Dr. Tessalee is a part-time Family Practice & Obstetrics physician at Pillars Community Health providing patient services here since August 2014. After receiving her medical degree from Rush Medical College in 1994, Dr. Tessalee graduated from Rush-Illinois Masonic Family Medicine Residency in 1997. She continued with the program an additional year as a Fellow, developing more intensive skills in obstetrics and teaching. Dr. Tessalee is also the Center Director at La Grange Family Medicine Center.
Sandra Araiza, NP-C
Sandra Araiza, NP-C is a family nurse practitioner at Pillars Community Health. She delivers personalized care as a family nurse practitioner to patients of all ages. Sandra began working as a registered nurse at our predecessor organization Community Nurse Health Center in 2013. In 2018, she received her Master of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain University and also became board certified as a family nurse practitioner. Sandra is committed to delivering evidence-based, culturally competent care from a trauma-informed approach personally tailored to each one of her patients. Virtually for your convenience and in-person, Sandra is part of a team whose overall goal is to strengthen and promote the health of Chicago’s westside communities whom we serve.
Paul Pedersen, LCSW, Behavioral Health Consultant (he/him)
Paul Pedersen is responsible for providing brief intervention counseling to patients of all ages who experience symptoms indicating mental health or substance use concerns. Paul has been a therapist with Pillars Community Health since October 2017. He previously worked in substance use treatment programs in Illinois and Texas. Paul received his BA from the University of Texas at Austin and his MSW from the University of Texas at Arlington.
April Kerulis, SBIRT Case Manager (she/her)
April Kerulis is responsible for screening health center patients for behavioral health needs and connecting patients with behavioral health services. She graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Social Work. Her previous professional experience in social services has focused on residential settings, either providing care and resources to pregnant/parenting teenagers or working with/advocating for older adults in skilled nursing/long-term care.
Maria Marquez, SBIRT Case Manager (she/her)
Maria Marquez is responsible for screening health center patients for behavioral health needs and connecting patients with behavioral health services. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Dominican University. Her previous professional experience involves providing holistic care to children and college-aged adults. Maria is bilingual in English and Spanish.