Meet Our Staff


Our dedicated staff is available to help you and your organization meet all of your HIV training needs.


Patrick Tranmer, MD, MPH, Principal Investigator

Dr. Tranmer is currently the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at the UIC College of Medicine and a Professor of Clinical Family Medicne. He has worked with MATEC since its inception, providing insights from family medicine and participating in training activities.  He is the Chair of the Board and immediate past president of the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians.  Dr. Tranmer has been taking care of HIV patients since 1987, and has lectured, presented, and published on the subject.  With a joint appointment in the Department of Medical Education and extensive clinical teaching experience, Dr. Tranmer bring many skills to his role as the Center's Principal Investigator.

 Nathan Linsk, PhD, Co-Founder, Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Linsk is Professor at the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Linsk is co-founder Principal Investigator for the seven state Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center and co-Principal Investigator on the six state Great Lakes Addictions Technology Transfer Center, which provide training, technical assistance and capacity building to both providers and care systems in the addictions and HIV fields. Dr. Linsk conducts research and develops service programs related to family care giving issues, program evaluation, case management systems development and health professional training. He has authored over 45 articles and four books. He heads the evaluation team for the Chicago Department of Health Ryan White CARE Title I Services, which has established service standards quality improvement models to do quality assurance and also evaluates service needs and outcomes.
Dr. Linsk has shared leadership for the Social Work Education in Ethiopia Partnership helping establish the first MSW and Ph D social work education programs in Ethiopia. He was an African AIDS Regional Research Fulbright Fellow in Ethiopia in 2006, studying the role of non-governmental organizations in decision making and community support for antiretroviral HIV medications. He is Principal Investigator on an HIV Twinning Center project partnering the Jane Addams College of Social Work and the Institute of Social Work in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to develop competencies to serve orphans and vulnerable children related to HIV. Dr. Linsk has served as co-Editor of the Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services since its inception.


Catherine Creticos, MD, Co-Medical Director & Co-Investigator

Dr. Catherine Creticos is the Medical Director of the Midwest AIDS Training + Education Center and the Chief of the Section of Infectious Diseases at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, IL. 

Dr. Creticos received her B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Chicago and completed her residency at Loyola University Medical Center and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago.  She has practiced general Infectious Diseases with a specialty in HIV medicine since 1987.  She is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois and is involved in teaching health professionals about HIV through her work with MATEC.  She is the Associate Medical Director for Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago, where she is a primary care provider for people living with HIV and is involved as the principal investigator on several clinical trials related to HIV prevention and treatment.


Barbara Schechtman, MPH, Project/Executive Director

Barbara Schechtman has served as the Executive/Project Director of the Midwest AIDS Training + Education Center since 2000 and served as the Administrative Director for the Center before that, from its inception in 1988. 
Ms. Schechtman oversees the overall development and implementation of the seven-state regional HIV training center, shepherding its growth through successful program and fund development efforts.  Ms. Schechtman has served on numerous community health boards and committees, including the Service Providers Council of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (2001-present), IDPH HIV Medical Issues Committee (1998-present), Advisory Board of the Great Lakes Addiction Technology Transfer Center (1997- present), Vice President (2002-2004) and President (2004-2006), National Association of AIDS Education and Training Centers, Chicago Area HIV Services Planning Council (1998-2002), the Statewide Title II Advisory Council (1998-2000), and Board of Directors, Howard Brown Health Center (1988-1994).  Ms. Schechtman also participated as a member of Governor Rod Blagoevich’s Transition Team Subcommittee on HIV in 2003.  Currently, Ms. Schechtman serves as the Immediate Past President and as part of the Steering Committee of the National Association of AIDS Education and Training Centers, representing the network of 15 regional and national AIDS training centers.
Prior to joining the staff of MATEC, Ms. Schechtman served in various positions at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, from 1978 to 1988.  In this work, she provided leadership for this statewide family planning agency, with 35 clinics and over 80,000 patients.  Ms. Schechtman was the Founding Chair of the Wisconsin Family Planning Association, established in 1985.
Ms. Schechtman has a Master’s Degree in Public Health degree from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.  She has participated in numerous training and policy presentations throughout her career, focusing on effective public health systems change activities.


Renslow Sherer, MD, Co-Medical Director & Co-Investigator

In addition to his role as Clinical Consultant at MATEC, Dr. Sherer is the Director of the International HIV Training Center, Section of Infectious Diseases at University of Chicago’s Department of Medicine.

Since 1982, Dr. Sherer has been a primary caregiver for persons with HIV disease in Chicago and is a recognized leader in HIV prevention, care, research, training, and health policy.  He has extensive experience and expertise in HIV primary care, adherence to anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and in model care programs for women and children, people with chemical dependency, and the medically indigent.  He has been active in HIV clinical research and in the design and implementation of clinical trials, in HIV prevention programs, and in local and federal policy on HIV disease.  He has numerous national and international publications on the clinical and social impact of the HIV pandemic.  With Ron Sable, he founded the first HIV clinic at Cook County Hospital in 1982, and then led the clinical team which designed the CORE Center, a model ambulatory facility for HIV and related infectious diseases which opened in Chicago in October, 1998.
He is a member of the US HHS HIV/AIDS Treatment Guideline Panel and the ART Guideline Panel in China.  In September, 2003 he became the Director of HIV/STI/TB for Project HOPE and he joined the faculty of the Section of Infectious Diseases at the University of Chicago.  Since then, he has led health worker trainings in China, North Africa, the Western Balkans, and the Americas, he has implemented micro-credit and health education programs for orphans and families with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas, and he has led HIV prevention and stigma reduction programs around the world.


Mona Van Kanegan, DDS, MS, Dental Director

Dr. Van Kanegan is the Dental Director for the Midwest AIDS Training + Education Center. 

Dr. Van Kanegan received her D.D.S. degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Dentistry in 1995, as well as an M.S. in Biochemistry.  Dr. Van Kanegan has made numerous presentations at local, state and national meetings on the topics of HIV and homeless patient care, as well as worked on development of partnerships to introduce or expand oral health programs.  In addition, Dr. Van Kanegan has provided in-services to individuals and teams seeking to provide oral health care to HIV positive persons.
Memberships include:  American Dental Association, Illinois State Dental Society, Chicago Dental Society and the National Network for Oral Health Access.  She serves on the ISDS Access to Care committee, IFLOSS coalition, Alliance of Community Health Centers, Dental Electronic Health Record System, Heartland Alliance Cabinet, chair of the Heartland Health Outreach Quality Management Team, and chair of the finance committee of the Daystar School Board.
Dr. Van Kanegan is currently Director of Dentistry, Heartland Spang Center for Oral Health, which serves HIV/AIDS impacted individuals, homeless and low-income community residents.  She is a practicing clinician and focuses her practice at the school-based health center at Senn High School in Chicago.   In addition, in her position as a Director of Dentistry, Dr. Van Kanegan is responsible for the running of five Heartland Spang Center for Oral Health clinics.  She is also adjunct faculty, University of Illinois College of Dentistry.

Ricardo Rivero, MD, MPH, Illinois Site Director

Dr. Ricardo Rivero is the Illinois Site Director for the Midwest AIDS Training + Education Center. 

As Illinois Program Director at MATEC, Dr. Rivero oversees planning and implementation of MATEC program activities within Illinois and implements regional interventions and program promotion on a local level throughout Illinois.  He has worked in HIV/AIDS prevention for over 10 years, with a special interest in HIV/AIDS prevention and intervention in Hispanic communities.

Prior to his work at MATEC, Dr. Rivero was an HIV Prevention Network Senior Associate with the American Red Cross, where he worked with Red Cross HIV/AIDS program development, implementation, and evaluation.  Dr. Rivero received his MD from the University of Los Andes School of Medicine in Merida, Venezuela and his Masters in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Amanda Wilkins, MPA, Regional Assistant Director

Amanda Wilkins is the Regional Assistant Director at MATEC, serving as a liaison to regional subcontractors, overseeing activities in the seven Local Performing Sites (LPS), and providing support to the Executive Director on grant development and Center planning. 

Over the last 10 years her passion for working with people impacted by HIV/AIDS has provided her with extensive experience coordinating educational programming. Ms. Wilkins previously worked with the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association and the MATEC- WI LPS. Her interest and experience in developing local and regional programs led her to work with pediatricians, community and tribal health centers and other health care professionals to increase their capacity to care for those impacted by HIV/AIDS. She is also a volunteer with Camp Heartland, a camp and life enhancement charitable program for children impacted by HIV/AIDS. 


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