Black Lung Center of Excellence Staff

Black Lung Clinic Program Staff-Bob-Cohen

Robert Cohen, MD, FCCP
Principal Investigator, Black Lung Clinic Program

Dr. Cohen has been the medical director of the Black Lung Clinics Grant at John H. Stroger Cook County Hospital since 1993 and at the University of Illinois at Chicago since August 2013, where he is also Clinical Professor. He has also served as the medical director of the Black Lung Clinics Coalition since 1995. He has a broad background in public health, occupational lung disease and has served as PI, or Co-PI on projects funded by the NIH-Fogarty Center for International Health, NIOSH, HRSA, Alpha Foundation, U.S. Department of Labor Division of Coal Mine Workers Compensation Programs. His research focuses on respiratory disease in populations of occupationally exposed workers.
Dr. Cohen has consulted with several agencies of the United States government in areas of mining-related health issues including the U.S. Centers For Disease Control as a member of the Mine Safety Research Advisory Committee, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, and the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the National Academies of Science/Institute of Medicine, and consultant to the Mine Safety and Health Administration reviewing mine disasters.
He has also worked on international projects including the National Institutes of Health’s John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences on projects in Ukraine including respiratory disease in Coal Miners in the Donetsk and the outbreak of an environmental lung disease in the city of Komsomolsk. Dr. Cohen is the Co-Director of the Black Lung Center of Excellence.

Cecile Rose, MD, MPH
Co-Investigator, Black Lung Clinic Program
Dr. Rose is a Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary and Occupational Medicine) at National Jewish Health and the University of Colorado Denver, and has a secondary appointment at the Colorado School of Public Health. Dr. Rose is board certified in Internal Medicine, Occupational Medicine, and Pulmonary Disease. She has been the Medical Director of the HRSA-funded Miners Clinic/BLCP since 2003. She has a long-standing interest in occupational and environmental lung diseases, with a particular focus on hypersensitivity pneumonitis, pneumoconiosis, and military deployment-related lung injury, including diagnosis, causation, treatment, and prevention. Dr. Rose is Co-Director of the Black Lung Center of Excellence and has been recognized as one of the Best Doctors in Denver and Best Doctors in America® for a number of years.

Black Lung Clinic Program Staff-Leonard-Go

Leonard Go, MD
Co-Investigator, Black Lung Clinic Program

Dr. Go is an Attending Physician at John H. Stroger Cook County Hospital, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. He is board certified in Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care Medicine, and Internal Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Illinois, performed his residency at the University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center, and his fellowship at Northwestern University. Dr. Go has provided screening care to miners in the UIC-SHS Springfield Black Lung Clinic at Central Counties Health Center. He is also a Co-Investigator for the Black Lung Center of Excellence.

Kirsten Almberg, PhD, MS
Assistant Director of Research Evaluation, Black Lung Clinic Program

As Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation, Kirsten is responsible for managing and executing epidemiologic studies of occupational lung diseases both nationally and internationally. Her work includes analyses of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, progressive massive fibrosis, and other coal mine dust lung diseases among coal miners regionally, nationally, and internationally. Specifically, her focus has been on linking state and national databases that contain health information on U.S. coal miners to more fully understand the development and progression of disease, including factors most associated with developing disease.

Dolores Weems, MA
Project Coordinator, Black Lung Clinic Program  

Dolores is the Program Manager for the Black Lung Center of Excellence and the University of Illinois at Chicago-Shawnee Health Service Black Lung Clinics Program. After 15 years of managing asthma education, outreach, and multicenter research projects, Dolores joined the Black Lung Clinics Program. She brings more than 20 years of experience in planning, coordinating, and implementing community health programs with diverse populations. Dolores holds a Master of Arts in Human Services from the University of Illinois and uses her knowledge of pulmonary health to assist coal miners and their families. She also utilizes her emotional intelligence to collaborate with disparate organizations to provide resources and services through the Black Lung Clinics Program and the Black Lung Center of Excellence.

Lauren Zell-Baran, MPH
Epidemiologist, Black Lung Center of Excellence

Lauren is an Epidemiologist at National Jewish Health (NJH) in Denver, Colorado and a graduate student at the Colorado School of Public Health pursuing a Ph.D. in Epidemiology with a focus on environmental and occupational health. She is a spirometry technician and travels with her team at NJH to mining communities in Colorado, Arizona, and Wyoming as part of the Miners Clinic of Colorado outreach clinics. Her role in the Black Lung Center of Excellence is primarily database management as well as recruitment and interviewing of research participants.

Graduate Assistant, Black Lung Center of Excellence

Kendall Burton, BA
Graduate Assistant, Black Lung Center of Excellence

Kendall is a joint Masters in Social Work (MSW) and Public Health (MPH) candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is studying Health Policy and Administration and Mental Health, concentrating in healthcare administration, program evaluation, and clinical interventions in mental health. Kendall received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in History, from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2016. Her past research has focused on mood and anxiety disorders, healthcare, and refugee health. She places an emphasis on advocating for client interests, ensuring that clients are informed of their options, culturally-sensitive care, and data collection. She has experience using programs such as SPSS and SAS to analyze data and working in hospital, research, and non-profit settings. In 2017 she presented at the 2017 UIC Minority Health Conference with her work on accessible interventions for low-income populations with depression and anxiety. Her experience working with vulnerable populations, assessment, and her knowledge of health justice are combined to maintain and enhance the Black Lung Center of Excellence.

Graduate Assistant, Black Lung Clinics Program

Cortney Alleyne, BS
Graduate Assistant, Black Lung Clinic Program

Cortney is a Masters of Public Health candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is studying community health sciences concentrating on violence studies, public policy, and population health. She has research experience focused on population health, such as Sickle Cell Disease and chronic health conditions for uninsured minorities. She has a passion for working with disadvantaged populations to promote health equity and resilience. Working at the Black Lung Clinics Program, she utilizes her experience with graphic design, Microsoft word, problem-solving, and coordination to complete projects and promote community among the Black Lung Clinics.

UIC MidAmerica Center for Public Health Practice
Housed within the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health, the MidAmerica Center for Public Health Practice (MCPHP) collaborates with local, regional, and national partners to improve population health through public health workforce development.
Devangna “Guddi” Kapadia, Assistant Director at MCPHP, and Michael Yen, IT Manager at MCPHP, provide training and web support for the Black Lung Center of Excellence.