Meet The Team

Meet The Team

Meet the Women's Healthcare Affiliates Team

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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.



Jessica L. Bender, D.O.

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.


Call today to schedule an appointment at 708.636.9205.




Family Birth Center Classes

Sibling Preparation

6:00PM - 7:30 PM



Support Groups

Breast Feeding Support Group

11:30AM - 12:30 PM



Family Birth Center Classes

Birthing Basics

10:00AM - 12:30 PM

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