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Medical Network


Rockford IceHogs Medical Network

The Rockford IceHogs Medical Network features two distinct divisions of physician care and medical support as part of the Chicago Blackhawks organization. The primary medical network and the secondary sub-specialty network provide the matrix of medical care necessary to uphold those standards set forth by the National Hockey League (NHL) and respectively, the American Hockey League (AHL).

The IceHogs primary medical network consists of eight of Rockford’s most elite physicians as well as the county's finest emergency medical service company. They work hand-in-hand with Athletic Trainer DJ Jones on a day-to-day basis, and as well, directly with the athletes and hockey operations staff. This team of physicians are at rink-side for all pre-season and regular season / playoff home games and as well, within their respective companies of origin. The primary medical network is directed by Dr. Geoff Van Thiel, Chief Medical Advisor and Team Orthopedic out of OrthoIllinois. 

The IceHogs Secondary Medical Network is comprised of nearly 50 local medical providers ranging from such specialties as audiology to ophthalmology. This group of specialized physicians and facilities allow the both the Athletic Trainer, and the Primary Medical Network physicians to utilize the most effective and detailed care available. The secondary medical network is an additional safety net for the athletes and hockey operations staff and is utilized in an intricate system of communication and procedural efficiency to keep in line with the demanding hockey schedule. 

The Rockford IceHogs Medical Network is unquestionably the most detailed and efficiently operated system in the AHL, and without reservation, rivals many NHL systems as well. It is the efforts of those physicians and medical facilities that keep the IceHogs on the ice, healthy, and safe.  


Primary Medical Network


Dr. Geoff Van Thiel, MD
Chief Medical Advisor/
Team Orthopedic

 Geoff Van Thiel, MD - Orthopedic Surgeon

Dr. Geoffrey Van Thiel is a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon with OrthoIllinois. He graduated with Distinction from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and then attended UCLA Medical School in pursuit of his medical degree. Following medical school, Dr. Van Thiel completed his residency at Rush Medical Center in Chicago under the guidance of some of the country’s leading sports medicine surgeons. After residency, he was accepted into one of the top sports medicine fellowships at Rush University Medical Center and currently remains on the faculty at Rush University Medical Center.

Over the years, he has received intense exposure to world-renowned surgeons in a multitude of areas including a comprehensive involvement with cartilage restoration and joint preserving surgical techniques of the knee, hip and shoulder; cutting edge procedures in shoulder arthroscopy and arthroplasty; in addition to gaining considerable expertise with hip arthroscopy. He has also had the opportunity to educate other surgeons in these specialty areas.

Dr. Van Thiel has authored over 50 textbook chapters and journal articles. His research has been included in over 60 international presentations with topics including: cartilage restoration, shoulder instability repair, rotator cuff repair, ACL repair, hip impingement treatment, complex knee ligament reconstruction, and shoulder arthroplasty. Dr. Van Thiel currently sits on the editorial board of two major orthopedic sports medicine journals.

Dr. Van Thiel’s commitment to professional sports is evident in his past involvement with the Chicago Bulls (NBA) and Chicago White Sox (MLB), and his current role with the Rockford IceHogs (AHL).

Click here to view Dr. Van Thiel's extensive profile.

Jon Whitehurst, MD
Dr. Jon Whitehurst, MD
Team Orthopedic

Jon Whitehurst, MD - Orthopedic Surgeon

Dr. Jon Whitehurst is the head of the Rockford IceHogs Medical network. The Evanston, Ill. native received his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.  Dr. Whitehurst is an Orthopedic Surgeon at OrthoIllinois, Ltd. and his practice focuses on general orthopedics with a special interest in arthroscopic surgery and sports medicine.

He is a member of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine.  

Dr. Whitehurst has published research in the Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery, Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Journal of Arthroscopy, Foot and Ankle International.

Outside of the medical field, Dr. Whitehurst enjoys spending time his family, biking, golfing, hiking and boating.

Click here to view Dr. Whitehurst's extensive profile.

Scott Trenhaile, MD
Dr. Scott Trenhaile, MD
Team Orthopedic

Scott Trenhaile, MD - Orthopedic Surgeon

Educational History-Medical Degree: University of Iowa College of Medicine; Orthopedic Surgery Residency: 
St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital/Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons;  Arthroscopic Surgery and Sports 
Medicine Fellowship:  Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center                                                                                                                                                                 

Employment History /Career Path – Experiences/Special Interests, Focuses:  Rockford Orthopedic Associates, Ltd. – 2004 - Present  Additional:  Clinical Assistant Instructor of Surgery – University of Illinois College of Medicine, Rockford (Current)

Rush University Medical Center Residency Program (Current): Adjunct Clinical Instructor -Midwestern University

Practice focus on arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder, elbow, knee and the treatment of sports/ or activity-related injuries.

Research/ Journal Articles/ Publications (Also include membership to organizations/committees): Research publication in American Journal of Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Techniques in Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Foot and Ankle International. Member, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Member; American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. Member, Arthroscopy Association of North America. Member, Mid-American Orthopaedic Association. Member, Illinois State Medical Society. Member, Winnebago County Medical Society                                                                            

Interests outside of work/hockey (hobbies, etc..): Enjoys playing hockey, golfing, skeet shooting and spending time with family. 

Personal Origin (Native of...), family etc… Originally from Iowa.

Click Here to view Dr. Trenhaile's extensive profile.

Jason Riesinger, MD
Dr. Jason Riesinger, MD 
 Head of Emergency Medicine & Primary Care

Jason Riesinger, MD - Emergency Medicine

Educational History – Bachelors Degree:  Northwestern University (1999); BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders –Graduated with Honors-  Med School- University of  Illinois College of Medicine- Rockford (2004) Residency: University of Illinois, Chicago – Emergency Medicine Residency 2007 Board Certified in 2008. 
Employment History /Career Path – Experiences/Special Interests, Focuses:
  OSF St. Anthony Medical Center- Emergency Dept. 2007- present 

Special Interests/Focus – Sports Medicine, Cardiology Member; American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Member; American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) 

Interests outside of work/hockey (hobbies, etc..): Enjoys playing soccer, exercising and spending time with family and friends.  

Personal Origin (Native of..), family etc…. : Originally from Niles, Illinois outside of Chicago, currently resides in Roscoe. Married to Katy.

Click Here to view Dr. Riesinger's extensive profile.

Dr. Troy Shaffer, MD
Emergency Medicine

Troy Shaffer, MD - Emergency Medicine

Educational History –  Augustana 91', Midwestern University  (Med School/Residency) 95’ 99’

Employment History /Career Path – Experiences/Special Interests, Focuses:  RMH

Interests outside of work/hockey (hobbies, etc..): Dr. Shaffer enjoys sports, skiing and working out in his free time.

Personal Origin (Native of..) , family etc…. : Originally from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Lived in both Minnesota and Illinois. Dr. Shaffer and his wife, Seema, have two children.



Dr. Robert Escarza, MD
Emergency Medicine

Robert Escarza, MD - Emergency Medicine

Educational History – University of Iowa, B.A. in Biology/Literature; University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Employment History /Career Path – Experiences/Special Interests, Focuses:
Rockford Memorial Hospital Emergency Department – 15 years
Former Medical Director of REACT Air Transport – 5 years

Interests outside of work/hockey (hobbies, etc..): Dr. Escarza enjoys playing golf and all sports, listening to music, and learning to skate!

Personal Origin (Native of..) , family etc…. : Cuban-American, native of the Quad Cities (Moline)

Dr. David Tartaglia, DDS
Team Dentist

David Tartaglia, DDS.

Educational History – Bachelors Degree:  Creighton University Omaha, NE; BS in Biological Sciences–- Creighton University School of Dentistry (1997) Internship in Oral and Maxofacial Surgery @ University of Nebraska ---Misch Institute for Implant Dentistry Fellowship- 2010 

Employment History /Career Path – Experiences/Special Interests, Focuses:  Riverside Dental 

Special Interests/Focus – Aircraft; following completion of undergraduate studies began career in aviation from 1986-1993. Was type rated in several corporate jets. 

Interests outside of work/hockey (hobbies, etc..): Enjoys music, golf, hockey and anything related to family 

Personal Origin (Native of..) , family etc…. : Native of Rockford and currently resides in Poplar Grove. Married to wife, Jill – proud new owner of Great Dane- Mesa. 

Click Here to view Riverside Dental Center.

David Dimke, DMD
Dr. David Dimke, DMD
Team Dentist

David Dimke, DMD.

Educational History –Auburn High School; Economics Major Knox College; DMD General Dentistry Southern Illinois School of Dental Medicine

Employment History /Career Path – Experiences/Special Interests, Focuses: Practicing dentist at Riverside Dental since 2005 and for many years to come. Practice ranges from general dental care (crowns, tooth colored fillings, root canals) for children and adults to sedation dentistry for implant placement and wisdom tooth removal. 

Research/ Journal Articles/ Publications: Member of the American Dental Association; Illinois State Dental Society; Winnebago County Dental Society; Academy of General Dentists; Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implatologists. 

Interests outside of work/hockey (hobbies, etc..): Hobbies include golfing, weightlifting and spending time with family – which includes three standard poodles, one of which is a therapy dog at Riverside Dental. David has been involved with IceHogs since UHL days in 2005 and really enjoys the sport and the organization.  

Personal Origin (Native of..) , family etc…. : Born and raised in Rockford and currently live in Roscoe.

Click Here to view Riverside Dental Center.

Dr. Brant D Hulsebus,
Team Chiropractor

Brant D. Hulsebus, DC LCP CCWP

Educational History –Umass-Amherst/NIU BS-PreMed, Palmer College of Chiropractic DC, earned post graduate certification in LCP Chiropractic Philosophy, and CCWP certified Chiropractic wellness lifestyle.

Employment History /Career Path – Experiences/Special Interests, Focuses: Hulsebus Rockford Chiropractic Clinic.  Specializing in wellness.  Serves as team chiropractor for the Rockford Foresters.  Brant also volunteers at East High School as well. 
Research/ Journal Articles/ Publications Vice President of the Illinois Prairie State Chiropractic Association, he also 
serves as Legislative chairmen, Medicare director, and conventions.  Board of directors of the ICA (International 
Chiropractic Association) Wellness council.  Locally Strategy Team member and founding member of Next Rockford.
Interests outside of work/hockey (hobbies, etc..): Brant enjoys playing hockey, where he serves as team captain of a park district team.  He also likes watching Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and White Sox.  

Personal Origin (Native of..) , family etc…. : Rockford boomeranger. Brant has lived in Evanston, Western Massachusetts, DeKalb and Quad cities as well. 

Click Here to view Dr. Hulsebus' extensive profile.

Jeff Stringer, NR-EMT-P
Dr. Jeff Stringer, NR-EMT-P
Paramedic/Director of
EMS Services

Jeff Stringer, NR-EMT-P

Educational History – A 1981 graduate of Harlem High School, entered into the EMT-Basic program though Rock Valley College graduating in fall 1981. Jeff remained a basic EMT till graduating from OSF St. Anthony Paramedic program in 1984. He obtained Critical Care Paramedic certification in 2007. Jeff also helps teach EMT’s & Paramedic for Rockford Health System as an instructor in classes such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, International Trauma Life Support, CPR, and Firefighting classes.    

Employment History /Career Path – Experiences/Special Interests, Focuses: Jeff started his EMS career as an EMT with Swenson Ambulance in 1980. He was hired at Metro in 1985. Worked as Flight Paramedic with OSF Lifeline Helicopter from 86’-92’.  From 94’-99’ he worked as a 911 dispatcher with the Rockford Fire Department all the while still working part time for Metro. In 1999 came back to Metro full time as their Operations Manager. Since 1981, have been a volunteer firefighter with several area fire departments such as North Park, Harlem-Roscoe, Rockton, and currently is a Captain with the Loves Park Fire Department. During the summer months Jeff also works as a NASCAR official and Safety Crew member at the Rockford Speedway.

Research/ Journal Articles/ Publications (Also Include membership to organizations/committees):   Adult advisor for the Blackhawk Area Boy scouts/Sea Scouts. Served on the committee Operation Heartbeat which helped increase public awareness of Automatic External Defibrillators.
Interests outside of work/hockey (hobbies, etc..):  When not working, Jeff enjoys music, movies, scuba diving, amusement parks, camping, playing golf, and spending time with family and friends.

Personal Origin (Native of..) , family etc…. : Born and raised in the Rockford area, currently resides in Loves Park. Jeff is the oldest of 3 siblings. Parents Jerry and Karol still live in Machesney. Brother Brad and his wife Angie live in Rockton. Sister Tracy and her family live in Gardner, KS.



Secondary Medical Network
 Orthopedic Subspecialties 
 Dr. Jason Davenport  OrthoIllinois- Non-OP Sports Med
 Dr. J. Earhart / Dr. J. Blaumburg
 OrthoIllinois- Ortho Trauma 
 Dr. Edric Schwartz  OrthoIllinois- Orthopedist (Hand) 
 Dr. Scott Ferry  OrthoIllinois- Pediatric Orthopedics 
 Dr. Brian Braaksma
  OrthoIllinois- Spine/Pain Mgt.
 Dr. Ryan Enke  OrthoIllinois- Spine/Pain Mgt. 
 Dr. Chris Silva / Dr. Fred Sweet  Rockford Spine Center - Ortho Spine 
 David Rezin  OrthoIllinois- Rehab Coordinator
 Andrew Sestak  Rockford Orthopedic Appliance - Certified Orthotist 
 Rick Allen
 Rockford Orthopedic Appliance - Certified Orthotist
 Dr. Mary White / Dr. W. Bush
 Julie Burns / Alex Cotie  Sport Fuel, Inc. - Nutritionist 
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Holistic Medicine 
 Brian Allen, DC. ART. CSCS.  Team ART Specialist (Bannockburn Chiropractic and Sports Injury Center)
 Primary Care & Family Medical 
 Dr. JJ Perez / Dr. Brian Johky  RHS- Emergency Medicine
 Dr. Dennis Norem  RHS- Internal Medicine 
 Dr. Robin Borchardt  OSF- Occupational Health 
 Dr. Jonathan O'Neil  RHS- Neurologist/SD 
 Dr. Richard Fessler  NWU- Neurosurgeon 
 Dr. Elizabeth Pieroth  Neuropsychologist 
 Dr. John Lind  Rockford Radiology - Radiologist 
Forest City Diagnostic Imaging Center
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 Mark Cherney, RPh.  CVS Pharmacy - Pharmacy CEO 
 Greg Keuter  Sportpham/MORE - Chairman/Rep. 
 Dental/Oral - Maxillofacial 
 Dr. Edward Rentschler ROMS- Oral-Maxillofacial 
 Dr. Matt Bruksch
ROMS- Oral-Maxillofacial
 Dr. Timothy Thiesen Orthodontics 
 Plastic/Rec. Surgery 
 Dr. Pedro Rodriquez
 Plastic/Recons. Surgeon
 Dr. James McAdoo  Plastic/Recons. Surgeon 
 Dr. Landon Pryor  Transformations Plastic Surgery
 Eye Care 
 Mitul R. Vakharia, M.D. NewVisionLogo.jpg
 Dr. Paul Christensen
 OSF-RC- Cardiologist
 Dr. Mark Hiser  OSF-RSS- Cardiologist 


James F. Gary, LCPC

Mental Skills Coach 
 Specialized Care 
 Dr. Jon Ferguson  Otorhinolaryngology 
 Dr. Joy De Leoz / Shannon Taylor, PA-C  OSF-S - Dermatologist 
 Charles Frey, DO  OSF-S - Allergist 
 Michele Jones  OSF-S - Audiologist 
 Dr. Michael McCarthy  Surgical Associates of Northern Illinois
 Advanced Medicine 
 Dr. Zeenat Parveen
 OSF- Endocrinologist
 Dr. Ajaz Khan  OSF- Hematology/Oncology 
 Dr. Aaron Shiels  RGA- Gastroenterology 
 Dr. Doug Roegner  RUA- Urologist 
 Dr. Richard Olson  OrthoIllinois- Rheumatology 
 Dr. Michael Kitka  ASR- Vascular Surgeon 
 Dr. Kendall Boone  ASR- Vascular Surgeon 
 Dr. Jonathan O'Neil
 RHS- Pulmonology
Keri Knutson

 Ahimsa - Yoga with Keri

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