Frank J. Indihar, MD Fellow - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Frank J. Indihar, MD Fellow

For more information about this program please contact:

Karol Dean
Program Director, Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship

Christina Esparza-Cassidy
Schweitzer Fellows Program Coordinator

Shannon Sweetnam
Director of Development and Communications

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Frank J. Indihar, MD Fellow

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Frank J. Indihar, MD Schweitzer Fellow

The Fellowship—named in honor of Frank Indihar, MD, whose grandniece, Kelly Moore (née Koronkowski), was a 2020-2021 Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellow—was established to provide mentorship and support for those looking to make a difference in underserved Chicago communities, particularly in the fields of nursing, pharmacy, and medicine.

Kelly’s parents, Karen and Michael Koronkowski, initiated the Fellowship as donor advisees of Dr. Indihar’s charitable fund with the St. Paul Foundation.

“The Schweitzer program is in direct alignment with Uncle Frank’s dynamic commitment to mentoring future leaders, and it has been inspiring to see how Kelly’s experience as a fellow has cultivated her passion for service and for sharing the voice of vulnerable populations,” Karen shares.

During her time as a Fellow, Kelly Moore (who completed her MSN degree at the University of Illinois Chicago) connected with isolated older adults through Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly (LBFE) and explored their health concerns. Specifically, she engaged in Advanced Care Planning conversations to help older adults make their most important end-of-life wishes known.

After completing her own Schweitzer Fellowship year, Kelly continued with the program, serving as a Peer Mentor to the next cohort of Fellows. Working with a group of six Fellows, she guided their progress through the year with her characteristic ingenuity, commitment and passion for improving the lives of others. She was recognized with an award for her contributions to the 2022-2023 cohort because of her responsiveness, her practical ideas for solving problems, and her support of their Fellowship experiences.

Longtime residents of the Chicago area, Karen and Michael Koronkowski are also health care professionals. Karen is a registered nurse, board certified in hospice and palliative care. Michael is the Director of Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice at UIC, and a clinical assistant professor of pharmacy, board certified in geriatrics.

“We are thrilled to support graduate students who share our passion for equitable community health led by the principle that health care is a right rather than a privilege. We also value that the Schweitzer program fosters collaboration across disciplines, for which we are strong advocates,” the Koronkowskis share. “We’re excited to launch the Frank J. Indihar, MD Fellowship this spring, supporting two Fellows in nursing, pharmacy, and/or medicine, and we look forward to following their community projects throughout the Fellowship.”

About Frank J. Indihar, MD

Born in Gilbert, Minnesota, Frank was salutatorian of Gilbert High School, graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1973, and completed an MBA from California Coastal University in 1996. He spent many years with St. Paul Internists while also serving at Bethesda Hospital, and he completed his professional career as CEO of Bethesda Hospital and a VP of HealthEast Care System. He interrupted his medical studies to become a Major in the US Army Medical Corps and served both in Vietnam and Washington D.C. He received a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster in 1970 and was honorably discharged in 1971. He was very active in both civic and medical circles and served on the boards of the St. Paul Seminary, the Minnesota Orchestra, and Catholic Services to the Elderly, among others. He was President of the Ramsey County Medical Society, chaired the Minnesota delegation to the American Medical Association House of Delegates, published many articles on respiratory care, and was recognized as a Luminary by Metro Doctors in 2015. A true Renaissance man, Frank’s warm, affable, and charming personality endeared him to many: he welcomed strangers, built deep, long-lasting friendships, and mentored many young people.

According to the Koronkowskis, Frank was not only dedicated to his work as a physician but also delighted in mentoring prospective medical students and developing lasting friendships with them. Frank would have been proud of Kelly’s work as a Schweitzer Fellow and as a peer mentor for the program, and of the lifelong commitment to service the Fellowship nurtures.

2023-24 Frank J. Indihar, MD Fellows

Ivana Chmielewski, North Park University, Nursing and Business

Through collaboration with Swedish Hospital, Ivana will develop literacy education with a focus on mental health and social determinants of health to provide transcultural nursing resources that empower the community of immigrants, refugees, minority, and unhoused individuals in a safe community space.

Preetham Kastury, University of Chicago, Medicine

Preetham proposes to create a longitudinal community-based curriculum for older adults in the South Side of Chicago focusing on topics surrounding digital equity (digital well-being, access, safety, literacy etc.). Preetham’s project will be in collaboration with the SHARE (Supporting Healthy Aging Resources & Education) Network.