A practice like Illinois Retina Associates requires not only excellent physicians, but a dedicated team of administrative professionals working behind the scenes. This includes overall administrative functions, such as financial management, strategic planning, personnel management and office operations. The goal of this team is to provide an environment that’s conducive to referrals, as well as excellent patient and employee satisfaction. These individuals, along with the entire Illinois Retina Associates team, dedicate countless hours to the smooth operation of this renowned retina practice.

Robert Lea, MBA, Practice Administrator
(708) 915-6808
Robert J. Lea, MBA, joined Illinois Retina Associates as CEO in May 2022. Robert oversees all operations at Illinois Retina including its over 150 employees, 12 physicians, and 12 locations. Prior to joining Illinois Retina, Robert served as Practice Administrator for Retina Center Northwest in Silverdale, Washington starting in 2013 and Operations Manager for Wellish Vision Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada starting in 2006.
Robert holds an MBA from UNLV and speaks fluent Spanish. He is currently a member of RetNet, ASRS, AAO, and ASOA; he has presented at various local and national association meetings as well as serves on various administrative boards. Robert is a talented speaker, enjoys volunteering with youth and scouting organizations, and making memories with his wife and three children.

Rossana Agron, District Manager
(312) 726-4949

Rossana is a District Manager responsible for two of our Chicago locations: 25 E. Washington (Chicago Loop) and Lincoln Park . She joined Illinois Retina Associates in 1988 as a front-desk employee and worked her way through the ranks to the position of District Manager. Rossana also heads up clerical operations and external communication for the practice.

Cynthia Holod, RN, BSN, District Manager
(708) 877-4337

Cindy is the District Manager for two locations of Illinois Retina Associates. She joined the practice in 1987 as a surgical scrub nurse. Cindy oversees our Skokie and Libertyville locations. She is a registered nurse and holds many other responsibilities within the practice, including overseeing clinical operations and assisting with diagnostic coding issues.

Lynn Ruiz, District Manager
(708) 647-9211

Lynn joined Illinois Retina Associates in 2008 and is the District Manager for our Flossmoor and Orland Park locations. She began her career in the Central Billing Office and went on to become the manager in 2010.  . She is the Safety and Privacy Officer for the practice and serves on the Corporate Compliance Committee in that role. Lynn also continues to assist in Central Billing operations when needed.

Mary is the Manager of our Central Billing Office. She joined the practice in 1999 as a front-desk employee and then moved to the Central Billing Office. Mary is responsible for coordinating all billing for Illinois Retina Associates, including the practice’s five different Medicare regions, numerous insurance companies, and hospital or physician-based organizations. She also serves on the Corporate Compliance Committee.


Debbie Zelinski, District Manager
(708) 877-4346

Debbie is the District Manager for our Joliet and Hinsdale locations. She joined Illinois Retina Associates in 1998 as a front desk employee. In 2002, her position changed to Financial Assistant when she started working on patient and insurance collections along with her other clerical duties. In 2004, she took on the responsibility of being the Laser Safety Officer for our practice. Since 2005, Debbie had assisted the manager when the manager was not on the premises. In 2021, she was promoted to the position of District Manager. Debbie serves on the Corporate Compliance and Quality Improvement committee. Additionally, she is responsible for the off-site storage of all Corporate and Patient Records and oversees their databases. Debbie has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Francis and was previously a school educator.

Jill Vander Woude, District Manager
(708) 877-4343

Jill joined our management team in February 2022. She is the District Manager of the Munster, IN and Harvey locations. Jill first began working at Illinois Retina Associates in 2014 as a front desk employee, and soon thereafter transitioned into a clinical role. She found her true passion when she took on a financial role, spearheading our benefits investigation process. Jill continues to be involved with benefit investigating, and is our practice’s HIPAA Compliance Officer and Civil Rights Coordinator, therefore serving on our Corporate Compliance and Quality Improvement Committee.

Joanna Chmiel, MBA, Director of Marketing and Professional Relations
(708) 877-1250

Joanna joined Illinois Retina Associates in 2018 and serves as the Director of Marketing and Professional Relations for the practice. She works closely with providers referring patients to our physicians for retinal diseases. Joanna has an extensive background in healthcare management and administration and has been working in the medical field since 1997.