Meet The Team

Meet The Team

Meet the Women's Healthcare Affiliates Team

Download Women's Healthcare Affiliates Brochure

From Left to Right:  Robert Bonaminio, D.O.Michelle Quinn, D.O.,  Briana Bloembergen, C.N.M., Mary Kay Burke, C.N.M.,  Jessica Sulkowski, D.O. and  Travis Haldeman, D.O.

 

About Women's Healthcare Affiliates

A woman’s journey through life is full of many rich and complex experiences. We see women as more than patients, symptoms or conditions. Our practice encompasses all aspects of OB/Gyne services including high-risk and general obstetric care, gynecological health, and routine check-ups.

 

At Women’s Healthcare Affiliates you can experience a caring environment, skilled physicians, and certified nurse midwives dedicated to managing your healthcare needs at every stage of life.

 

Midwifery Program at  Women’s Healthcare Affiliates 

Midwives know that each women has unique health care needs and requires individual attention. They care for women during labor and delivery, as well as provide various types of health care for women including: prenatal, postpartum and routine gynecological services

 

Read more about some of our providers below, or learn more at the links to their physician profiles above.

 

Travis Haldeman, D.O.

Why did you decide to become a physician?
I became interested in the medical profession after I broke my arm in 5th grade.  Who would have thought an adverse life event could turn out to be so positive.  Pursuing that, I realized during my clinical rotations that orthopedics wasn’t going to be a good match for me.  This was alarming, because at the time, I thought orthopedics was my life calling.  As it turned out it was my last clinical rotation; I selected OB/GYN as my last rotation, because I knew that I would never choose that specialty.  However, after I did my first delivery, I knew this was what I was going to do for the rest of my life!

 

How did you choose your specialty?
As I mentioned after my first delivery, the question as to what medical specialty I was going to pursue was unequivocally answered. After my residency training, I thought about sub-specializing in high-risk pregnancies, and although I still have quite a passion for that, I ultimately realized that I enjoyed the surgical component of being a general OB/GYN and could best serve my patients with a general OB/GYN focus.

 

What do you enjoy most about being a physician?
I like developing long lasting relationships with my patients/families, taking care of them, and delivering individualized, personal care. To nurture them in times of sickness. Taking a patient/family through a pregnancy and having a rewarding delivery-it makes my day; I love it.

 

We know you are working with the da Vinci on minimally invasive surgeries. What do you like about using the da Vinci?
The da Vinci allows us to offer minimally invasive surgeries to a much greater number of our patients. Where we may have had to do a major surgical incision, we can now do more laparoscopically, or through smaller incisions.

 

What are patient concerns when you introduce the idea of robotic surgery? How do you alleviate those concerns?
I think that the biggest concern patients have, is “they believe the robot is doing the surgery.” They envision the robot taking over the controls, like “autopilot.” This is simply not possible. Surprisingly, many patients have heard of robotic surgery, but do not know the specifics. Once we describe how the DaVinci actually works, by reproducing the surgeon’s hand movements and translating that movement to the tip of tiny precision instruments within the abdomen, patients really seem to get excited about it. Often times reviewing the surgical procedure as it pertains to the robot, alleviates patients’ concerns.

 

What are the benefits of using the da Vinci to the surgeon?
It allows us to perform more technically complex portions of the procedure much easier. It is like having your fingers inside to manipulate suture or gently lift the ovary to inspect it more thoroughly. It offers more in the sense of technical capability.

 

What is involved in training to use the da Vinci?
To operate using the da Vinci, you have to go through an extensive series of training steps. First a physician must demonstrate a mastery in understanding all the components of the robot. This is tested and completed online. Once a physician has received a certificate acknowledging they have completed the online test, the physician will then review a series of video surgical procedures, and he/she will start logging practice hours on the robot. Having completed this first set of training steps, the surgeon will go on to train in a lab setting/using the robot to perform precise surgical maneuvers under direct guidance. After completing the lab training, the surgeon will then perform their first 3-5 surgical cases with a proctor who has demonstrated proficiency and has performed many robotic surgeries. After completing their proctored cases, the surgeon will then start scheduling cases with their usual surgical assistant.

 

Why should patients choose to have da Vinci surgery?
The da Vinci allows more technically advanced procedures with the smaller incisions. Any time you can do any procedure through smaller incisions, you’re going to heal faster, enjoy a faster recovery time, and get back to regular activities faster. You will have less pain and typically less blood loss.

 

Did you ever imagine in medical school that you would be doing robotic surgery? When did it start to become a reality?
I didn’t—I’ve come through the full spectrum of robotics since I completed my residency. Initial robots in surgery came out toward the end of my residency training. These were very primitive compared to what we use them for in surgery today.

 

Where do you see robotic surgery in the future?
The advances from 1997 to now are absolutely stunning. The field has advanced so much in the past 10 years, and I believe the next ten will be very exciting to watch. Right now we are performing surgeries through 4 to 5 smaller incisions. I believe in 10 years we will be doing most surgeries through one small incision, and we will see more surgical specialties utilizing this technology.

 

 

Michelle Quinn, D.O.

What is your philosophy of care?

My goal is to educate patients regarding their diagnosis and all possible treatment options to help facilitate an individualized treatment plan.


Why did you want to become a doctor?

Since I was young, I can remember “playing doctor.”  I always had a passion to help people.  I found my strong interest for OB/GYN as I was working as an OB tech during my undergraduate training.  Specializing in obstetrics and gynecology allows me to develop life-long patient relationships.  I have the pleasure of seeing my patients through each of their pregnancies and into their postmenopausal years.  


What are your sub-specialties and health interests in regard to your patients?

In my practice I focus on general obstetrics, abnormal uterine bleeding, minimally invasive surgeries, and preventative screening for the common causes of morbidity and mortality in the U.S among females.  My goal is to educate all women regarding lifestyle modifications and preventative screening guidelines which can help reduce the incidence of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. 


How to you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

At the end of the day, there is nothing better than coming home to an energetic young son who will always brighten my day.  In addition, I regularly incorporate social events with my family and friends into my free time outside of work.


What are your hobbies and interests outside the office?

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and dining at new restaurants in the Chicagoland area.

 

Jessica L. Sulkowski, DO

What is your philosophy of care?

I believe that in order to provide the highest level of care, we must take into account all aspects of health: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. 

 
Why did you want to become a doctor?

Growing up, I was always interested in the sciences; I remember having a microscope and chemistry set to play with as a child.  I also love teaching; breaking down information in a way for someone to understand is truly an art.  Medicine allows me to continue both of these passions.  As a physician, I feel patient education is one of my most important responsibilities. 

  
What are your sub-specialties and health interests in regard to your patients?

During my training, I witnessed a shift toward more minimally invasive surgical procedures in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  The utilization of advanced laparoscopic skills and the da Vinci robotic surgical system is the direction our field is headed and I am excited to incorporate these into my practice.


How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

I am dedicated to this field, and embrace the importance of life-long learning required, but in order to be an excellent physician for my patients, I too, need to follow my own philosophy.  Achieving balance is essential.  Making sure to take care of myself, whether that means going out for a long run, reading a book, or simply getting a good night’s sleep when I am exhausted, are all things I make sure to do on a regular basis.  It is also important for me to continue to nurture my relationships; from making time to get together for dinner, to writing an email, or making a phone call, a little effort goes a long way.


What are your hobbies and interests outside the office? 
I can often be found running or cycling along our beautiful lakefront trail.   Over the past few years my interest in running has increased; after completing several half marathons, my next goal is the Chicago marathon!  I take advantage of Chicago’s amazing restaurant scene and am always trying new places.  If I am at home you can find me cooking, baking, or gardening.  As much as I love this city, I also love to travel to new places!   

 

 

Mary Kay Burke, C.N.M.

What is your philosophy of care?

My goal is to offer my support and guidance to women so they can make informed decisions regarding their healthcare. The term “midwife” means “with woman” and it is a privilege to care for women in all the different stages of their lives. It is my hope that all women have a meaningful birth experience—one that empowers them and allows them to transition to motherhood with happiness and confidence.

 

What is the number one advice/tip you give your patients for healthy living?
There are so many benefits to breastfeeding, both for the new mom and the baby. I would never want anyone to feel pressured if it’s not comfortable, but if new moms are even remotely considering, I encourage them to give it a try. And my tip for all women is to do a monthly self breast exam. It’s such an easy thing to do, yet often overlooked.

 

What is the best thing Little Company of Mary has to offer patients?
Little Company of Mary is all about what is best for our patients. Our staff is professional, caring and compassionate. Little Company of Mary offers the best that technology has to offer while providing a safe, caring environment. I can’t imagine working anywhere but here. Employees often joke that once you work at Little Company of Mary, you never want to work anywhere else. There is so much truth to that statement.

 

If you hadn’t become a nurse, what would you be doing?
I’ve been a nurse for the last 26 years, so it’s hard to imagine doing anything else. But I could see myself as a police officer. We live in such a violent society—it’s so unsettling. I would work in areas like domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.

 

What are your hobbies and interests outside of the office?
I love reading and gardening. I just started experimenting with different forms of yoga. I also enjoy learning about aromatherapy and homeopathic treatments. And I love spending time with my family. My first grandchild is due in March—very exciting!

 

Why did you decide to become a certified nurse midwife?
I’ve spent the last 16 years in Labor and Delivery, and I’ve loved it from day one. Bringing a new life into the world is such a sacred event—it is an honor to be part of the experience. Women are so much stronger than they realize! I truly enjoy being a participant of women’s birth experiences.

 

How did you choose your specialty?
After spending so much time in labor and delivery, it seemed like a natural transition progressing to nurse midwifery. There are many women looking for a more natural approach to birth. I am so glad we can offer these services at Little Company of Mary.

 

What do you enjoy most about being a midwife?
It has been wonderful meeting so many new people who are passionate about their families and their desires to be healthy, happy and empowered.

 

 

Briana Bloembergen, C.N.M.

What is your philosophy of care?
I hope to form a trusting and compassionate relationship with each patient in which their differing life experiences and circumstances are acknowledged and respected. I will work to provide an emotional, spiritual, physical, and psychological presence during labor and through adequate and appropriate education, I hope to empower women to take charge of their own health and provide an environment that promotes health throughout the lifespan.


 

Why did you want to become a nurse midwife?

I was a labor and delivery nurse prior to becoming a midwife and knew from day one that I found my passion in assisting women through birth. Pregnancy and birth are such an awe-inspiring event in a woman’s life and I feel blessed to be allowed to participate in their experience.

 

Why do you think midwifes are making a comeback?
I think many women are looking for a more holistic, individualized approach to childbirth. The Midwifery Model of Care emphasizes the normalcy of pregnancy and birth and offers women an alternative to the medical model.

 

What are your sub-specialties and health interests in regard to your patients?
I enjoy assisting women with family planning, breastfeeding support, and basic health and well woman care.

 

How to you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
I love what I do and I feel so fortunate to be able to make a living following my passion of caring for women, but I recognize that in order to provide the best care possible, I must also take time to care for myself. I try to eat well, exercise, get a good night sleep, and spend quality time with my husband and daughter when I am home so that I am energized both physically and emotionally for those middle of the night deliveries!

 

What are your hobbies and interests outside the office?
I mostly enjoy spending time with my husband and daughter. We love to stay active and spend time outdoors when Chicago weather cooperates. We also love to travel to new places and experience different cultures. When I am home, I enjoy cooking, baking, and reading.

 

Call today to schedule an appointment at 708.636.9205.

 



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