Our Physicians

Amer Kassar, M.D.

Amer Kassar was born in Damascus, Syria in August 1977. Amer grew up in Damascus and decided to become a physician when his father was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer; another deciding factor was that his older brother, Mohamed, was already attending medical school. Being fascinated by hormone interactions and their complexity with diseases, he chose endocrinology as his specialty.  After graduating from the University of Damascus School of Medicine in April 2001, Dr. Kassar went on to complete his postgraduate education at the Internal Medicine Residency Program at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, MI. In June 2009 he completed his Fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, LA.  He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, with a subspecialty certificate in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. He is one of three brothers to become a physician, migrate to the United States and establish a private medical practice in Northwest Indiana; his two brothers are Mohamed and Samer Kassar, his twin. He is affiliated with Community Hospital (Munster, IN), St. Catherine Hospital (East Chicago, IN) and St. Mary Medical Center (Hobart, IN). He currently resides in the Chicago area with his wife, Lumai, and their 3 children – Majed, Miar and Alyana.  He is bilingual, speaking Arabic and English. He loves playing soccer and traveling.

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Jacquelyn Franzen

FNP-C

Jacquelyn Franzen graduated from Indiana University in 2006 with a Nutrition Science degree. She then went on to further her education and earned an accelerated nursing degree from Purdue University in 2007. Jacquelyn worked as a registered nurse for 6 years in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Anne & Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She graduated in 2012 with her Masters in Nursing from Purdue University. Jacquelyn worked as a nurse practitioner for Minute Clinic for 6 years before joining GN endocrinology. Jacquelyn is married and lives in Schererville with her husband Scott and their two children-Grayden and Everett.

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Victoria Barajas

FNP-C

Victoria has been a nurse practitioner for 7 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Indiana University Northwest in 2005. She first began her nursing career on the medical surgical unit at St. Mary’s hospital in Hobart Indiana then moved on to the Intensive Care Unit at St. Catherine’s hospital in East Chicago Indiana. She then went on to pursue her master’s degree in Nursing at Purdue University Calumet and graduated in 2012. Victoria has worked as a nurse practitioner in the outpatient family office setting, occupational health, and CVS Minute clinic. She joined GN Endocrinology in 2016. Victoria resides in Crown Point Indiana with her husband and two young daughters. She loves spending time with her family, cooking, baking, tending to her garden and staying physically active.

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Lisa Poradzisz

FNP-C

Lisa has been working for GN Endocrinology as a nurse practitioner for the past year. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Purdue University, West Lafayette in 1998. She started her nursing career in cardiology at the University of Chicago hospitals, and then proceeded to practice at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, Indiana as medical-telemetry nurse. The opportunity to teach arose, and she been functioning as a certified diabetes educator for the last 12 years. She decided to pursue her master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner from Purdue University Northwest in order to have a larger impact on her patients’ lives. Lisa lives with her husband and three children. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, spending time outdoors, and going to concerts

Kirsten Betkowski

FNP-C

Kirsten Betkowski, RN, MSN, FNP-BC is a board-certified family nurse practitioner. Kirsten graduated from Governor State University in 2014, where she received her Masters of Science in Nursing. In addition to practicing Endocrinology, she has experience practicing Dermatology, Family Medicine, and Diabetes Education. Prior to becoming a nurse practitioner, Kirsten was a registered nurse in Chicago for 5 years. She currently lives in northwest Indiana with her husband and two small children. Kirsten is certified by The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the Society of Nursing in Advance Practice.