Infectious Diseases

Faculty and Staff


Susan Swindells, MBBS, is Medical Director of the HIV Clinic at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and is the Terry K. Watanabe Professor of Internal Medicine in the Section of Infectious Diseases. She is also Director of the UNMC Ryan White Part C Program, the Nebraska AIDS Drug Assistance Program, and the Nebraska AIDS Education & Training Center. A native of England, Dr. Swindells earned her medical degree from University College in London in 1977, with postgraduate training in England and at the University of Washington in Seattle. She has been involved in HIV care since 1988. A clinician and active researcher, Swindells has been principal investigator on many clinical trials. She is on the leadership of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group of the National Institutes of Health. An active teacher on the UNMC campus and outside, Swindells has published multiple articles in scholarly journals, and both contributed to and edited textbooks.

Uriel S Sandkovsky, MD joined the HIV/Infectious Diseases team in July 2009. He graduated from Universidad Maimonides in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Hospital General de Agudos Ignacio Pirovano in Buenos Aires Argentina and obtained the degree of Specialist in Internal Medicine from the Universidad de Buenos Aires. He then moved to New York where he completed a residency in Internal Medicine at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center/Columbia University of Physicians and Surgeons and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Montefiore Medical Center of The Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. His main research interests are HIV pathogenesis, antiretroviral resistance and opportunistic infections. Other interests are Gram negative infections/antimicrobial resistance, infections in transplant patients, HIV clinical pharmacology and HIV in the aging population.
Sara Hurtado Bares, MD joined the HIV/Infectious Diseases team in July 2013. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Amherst College, Dr. Bares obtained her M.D. from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. She trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago where she was an intern, resident, and chief resident. Following her residency, Dr. Bares stayed on at the University of Chicago to complete a fellowship in Infectious Diseases. Her clinical and research interests include HIV prevention and treatment, HIV in women, and HIV in pregnancy.
Jane Wolbach-Lowes, PharmD joined the HIV/Infectious Diseases group in November 2012. She graduated from Creighton University School of Pharmacy in 1990. She previously worked at the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) in Denver. Jane provided services to HIV patients in Colorado by managing an HIV pharmacy at UCH. Jane’s primary role in our program is to offer medication education and support to patients so that they can be successful in adhering to their HIV medication regimen. She will also provide drug information services to our clinic providers. Jane will be working with the Nebraska AIDS Education and Training Center (NAETC) to improve the antiretroviral medication knowledge of pharmacists in Nebraska so they may better serve their HIV patients.
Nurse Practitioners
Ann Fitzgerald, APRN, MSN has been a HIV clinic nurse practitioner since 1995, giving her a wealth of experience in caring for persons with HIV/AIDS at all stages of disease. Having many years of experience in the clinical setting as well as a nurse educator, she enjoys teaching and is committed to patient education and health promotion activities. Ann is actively involved in the Nebraska AIDS Education and Training Center, providing training to our healthcare professionals.
Frances Van Meter, MSN, APRN, returned to our HIV program as a nurse practitioner in 2000. She had previously worked as a registered nurse in the HIV clinic from 1993 to 1996. Van Meter brings more than 30 years of nursing experience to her clinical position, most of her time at UNMC in various departments in clinical and administrative roles. Frances currently serves as research coordinator of clinical and translational research as well as a clinical care provider in the HIV clinic.
Christine Di Masi, APRN, MSN, joined the HIV program in October 2010. She previously worked at Midwest GI Associates as a nurse practitioner, from 2007 to 2010. She received her BSN from Marquette University in May 2000 and MSN from Creighton University in May 2006. She was a volunteer at the Nebraska AIDS Project for five years doing outreach HIV testing. Christine plays a role as clinical care provider, educator, and is involved in clinical research. She is committed to working with her patients as a member of a dedicated team in order to provide quality care.
Registered Nurses  
Angela Felton-Coleman, MSN, RN was recruited to the UNMC HIV Program in August 2012 as a study coordinator. A native Omahan, she received her Bachelor's of Science in Nursing from Clarkson College and recently received her Master’s of Science in Nursing in 2012 from the College of Saint Mary. She has been employed at The Nebraska Medical Center since 2007, first as an RN on the Neurological Sciences Unit, then as a Nurse Case Manager for the departments of Academic and Private Neurosurgery, Private Neurology, Transplant Nephrology, and Urology. Angela is a volunteer at the Nebraska AIDS Project and is committed to the health and well-being of our patients as well as our community. 
Daniel Cobos, RN, BSN, MPH was recruited to UNMC in 1996 as a study coordinator. Daniel currently holds the position of Outreach Coordinator for our program. A major part of his role is to insure patients remain in care and to facilitate patient visits. He also coordinates our outreach clinic in Grand Island. He is bilingual in Spanish and well respected in the Latino community. A volunteer at NAP for more than 17 years and at One World (formerly Indian-Chicano Health Center) for 7 years, he is very committed to his work and to our patients. 
Lucinda Kustka RN, BSN, CCTC attended nursing school at Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and graduated in 2000. She worked in Kansas City for two years on a nephrology/metabolic floor, then she did some travel nursing and came back to Omaha in 2003. She worked in Liver Transplant at UNMC for eight years, and then started with the HIV team in August of 2011 as the Clinical Nurse Coordinator. One of her passions is working with immunocompromised patients and educating them on how to manage their health. 
Patient Outreach Specialist  
Laura Krajewski, MPA joined the HIV team in 2013 as the Patient Outreach Specialist. A Nebraska native, Laura returns to Omaha after working at an AIDS Service Organization in Massachusetts the past eight years. She received her undergraduate degree from Doane College, her master’s degree from Clark University and also served in the Peace Corps in Kazakhstan teaching English to high school students. She is interested in the social impact HIV/AIDS has not only on those individuals living with the disease, but as well as in the community. 
Case Managers  
Tacy Slater, MSW, MPH joined the HIV team in July of 1999 as a case manager and coordinator for the Ryan White Part C Program. Prior to joining our team Tacy worked as a case manager at the Nebraska AIDS Project for 5 years providing client-centered services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Tacy is strongly committed to quality care and access for our patients and always goes the extra-mile for patients, partners, relatives, and family members. Tacy received her Masters degree in Social Work, going to school while working full time in our program. 
Jeremy Johnson, MSW joined the HIV team in October 2005 as a social worker and coordinator for the Nebraska AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). He received his Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Denver, Colorado. Prior to working with us, he was the Southwest Iowa case manager for Nebraska AIDS Project. He is committed to working with this population of clients and greatly enjoys being a part of the team. 
Renae Furl, BA joined the HIV team in August 2007. She received her BA from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and was employed as a case manager with the Nebraska AIDS Project for nearly five years. After time at home to raise her family, Renae has returned to HIV care excited for the opportunity to assist clients with identifying resources to fit their needs. Her position is titled "Patient Resource Specialist". 
Laboratory Technician  
Sebrina Taylor has been a laboratory technician at UNMC since 1990, and has worked with the HIV Team since 2001. She is responsible for collecting, processing, and shipping and handling of all laboratory specimens. 
Administrative Staff 
Deanna Hansen has provided support as an Administrative Assistant to the UNMC HIV Program since 1992 and has been at UNMC since 1990. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1986. Her responsibilities include correspondence, meeting scheduling, preparation of reports, grant and manuscript submissions, regulatory documents, and travel arrangements. 
Deborah Justesen is the HIV Program Assistant, provides support services for all HIV Program-related projects and programs, including assisting in the preparation and tracking of all materials submitted to the Institutional Review Board for new and on-going clinical research being conducted by the HIV Program, program data collection and management, budgetary management, and day-to-day operational activities. She is also the Project Coordinator for the Nebraska AIDS Education & Training Center (AETC). Deb has worked at UNMC since 1984 and with the HIV Program since 2004 
Richard Murcek, the team’s Data Manager, is returning to UNMC after working for 3 years in Creighton University’s Grants Administration office as the Assistant Director and 3 years with the Nebraska Arts Council as the Accounts Manager. He has worked in various administrative research roles with UNMC for 10 years, starting out in the Eppley Cancer Institute and concluding with the Department of Pathology and Microbiology. During his absence from UNMC, he has received a BFA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in studio art with an emphasis on drawing.