WISE Chicago


Board of Directors


James Brunner, MD
Acting Chief of Staff, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center

Dr. Brunner graduated from University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1984 and has been practicing psychiatry for 34 years.


Andrea Birnbaum, MD PhD
Associate Chief of Staff—Education, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University
Statutory Member, Board of Directors
Secretary, Board of Directors

Dr. Birnbaum is an ophthalmologist who has spent her academic career at Northwestern University, and completed a Fellowship in Uveitis at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the Associate Chief of Staff for Education at the Jesse Brown VA, handling all aspects of the relationships with our three Academic Affiliates: Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Marc A. Magill, MS
Marc A. Magill, MS was appointed as Medical Center Director at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in October of 2016.

Mr. Magill joined the VA over 32 years ago and has held leadership positions at VA Medical Centers in Grand Junction, Colorado; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Beckley, West Virginia; Danville, Illinois; Poplar Bluff, Missouri; and Columbia, Missouri. He also served in the position of Deputy Network Director for the Southwest Network, VISN 7.

Mr. Magill recently served as the Medical Center Director of Grand Junction Veterans Health Care System from June 2014 to November 2016. His responsibilities included full-line authority, direct supervision and accountability for budgeting, staffing, physical plant, equipment, security, privacy, and space resources.

His previous assignments included Acting Medical Center Director of the VA St. Louis Health Care System (VASTLHCS), a complexity level 1A, multidivisional, dual-affiliated facility with enrollment of approximately 60,000 Veterans residing in counties of Missouri and southwest Illinois. Before serving as Acting Director at VASTLHCS; Mr. Magill served in the role of Deputy Director at that facility for over two years. The total budget at VASTLHCS is more than $450 million, with a workforce of more than 2,450 staff members, and two major construction projects totaling just under $800 Million.

Mr. Magill holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Milliken University in Decatur, Illinois and a Master of Science in Health Care Administration from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas. He is a recipient of the President’s Council of Management Improvement Award, a graduate of the VHA Health Care Leadership Institute and Executive Career Field Class of 2003.

He and his wife Vicky have been married for 33 years and have two daughters, Abbey and Holly, and one granddaughter.

Mr. Magill enjoys woodworking and outdoor activities. He is honored to be part of the Jesse Brown VAMC team serving Veterans.


Robert Rosa, MD
Dean, Regulatory Affairs and Chief Compliance Officer, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Veteran, U.S. Navy

Dr. Rosa attended Yale University for Medical School, did his residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and his Fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.  He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.


Israel Rubinstein, MD
Associate Chief of Staff–Research, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center
Professor of Medicine, University of Illinois
Veteran, Israeli Army
Statutory Member, Board of Directors

Dr. Israel “Rudi” Rubinstein is a pulmonologist who has spent is academic career at University of Illinois at Chicago, with previous academic appointments at the University of Toronto, Canada, and the University of California at San Francisco. Rudi serves as Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development and Attending Physician at the Jesse Brown VA.


Kurian Thomas, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago
Neurologist, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center
Co-Chair, Jesse Brown Institutional Review Board
Chair, WISE Board of Directors

Dr. Thomas is board certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology and currently serves as an attending physician at the JBVA Medical Center. He also holds a part-time faculty position at UIC. Dr. Thomas received his undergraduate degree from Knox College and his medical degree from J.J.M Medical College in India. He completed his neurology Residency training at Loyola University Medical Center and afterwards a Fellowship in Stroke & Vascular Neurology at UIC. His clinical specialties are General Neurology and Stroke / Neurocritical Care and is primarily interested in stroke research. He is a member of Stroke QUERI (Quality Enhancement Research Initiative), a national Veteran’s Administration research team, whose goal is to reduce the risk of stroke and foster system, provider and patient processes that result in the best possible outcomes for veterans with stroke. He is involved in projects focusing on improving stroke care and minimizing post-stroke complications.