Dr. Paul Nguyen
Director & Founder of S.C.A.R.F.
Dr. Paul Nguyen is a board-certified cardiologist. After graduating from medical school in 1997, he completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Mercy Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Nguyen’s dedication to higher education lead him to continue pursuing his knowledge and training in medicine at The University of Missouri - Kansas City, where he furthered his expertise in Cardiovascular Medicine. From there, he attended the prestigious Mid-America Heart Institution in Kansas City and received his fellowship in Cardiac Electrophysiology (Heart Rhythm Disorders).
Dr. Nguyen is a very well-known and established physician within the areas related to the psychosocial impact of device therapies and health status outcomes. With his years of distinguished education active pursuit of knowledge and skills, Dr. Nguyen is highly known for his dedication to exceptional patient care and support of medical and clinical education.
In the past, his passion to teach lead him to establish the Cardiovascular Symposium for all the nurses and ancillary staff at various hospitals. His goal was to be able to empower them with the most recent and up to date information and strategies to optimize and deliver the best patient care available.
In 2008 Dr. Nguyen founded Elite Cardiology LLC, where he currently practices Cardiovascular Medicine. In correspondence with Elite Cardiology, Dr. Nguyen collectively works and consults with patients at Presence Health Mercy Hospital in Aurora, Presence St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elgin, Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, and at Kishwaukee Community Hospital located in DeKalb.
In 2012, Dr. Nguyen and his wife Dr. Rubina Nguyen founded S.C.A.R.F., a not for profit organization in response to overwhelming need for public education and awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest/Death. Sudden cardiac arrest kills more people annually than many major cancers combined, yet most people don’t realize it. The mission of S.C.A.R.F. is to raise public awareness about sudden cardiac death and empower the community, support cardiovascular research and to educate the next generation as well.
Dr. Nguyen is, and always will be, a lifelong student and teacher in the ambitious pursuit to spread his experience of health, hope, and life within his community.
Dr. Rubina Nguyen
Co-founder of S.C.A.R.F.
Director of S.C.A.R.F. Mentorship and Career Guidance Program
Dr. Rubina Nguyen graduated from University of Illinois School of Dentistry in 2000. Her rigorous dental training also included a postgraduate residency training and clinical research at UIC and University of Chicago where she obtained her certificate for advance training in General Dentistry. This experience helped her develop superior skills in the areas of general dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry. Postgraduate training has also provided her with experience in managing medically compromised patients.
In 2012, along with her husband Dr. Paul Nguyen, Dr. Rubina Nguyen founded S.C.A.R.F. (Sudden Cardiac-death Awareness Research Foundation) in an effort to bring awareness about cardiovascular issues. She’s currently serving as the director of the organizations Mentorship and Career Guidance Program. Each summer, Dr. Rubina Nguyen brings in 20-25 students to intern with her. Under her guidance, these students learn the challenges of treating complex medical patients while conducting guided and independent research projects. Students work alongside her the entire summer and are given an education that spans didactics, clinical observations, philanthropy, professionalism and real world topics such as finances, public presentations, legal issues …just to name a few. Keeping up with her commitment to advance the mission of S.C.A.R.F., in 2015 Dr. Nguyen founded Suburban Dental Sleep Medicine in Elgin to provide FDA approved treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA is one of the leading causes of arrhythmias that significantly increases risk of sudden cardiac death. Dr. Nguyen’s expertise is reflected by her ability to care for patients of all age groups including children.
S.C.A.R.F. is a lifelong passion for both Drs. Nguyen. Their goal is not only to save lives but also build lives. They do this by educating the public, health care providers, and the next generation of students.
Dr. Sarah Alfano
Director of Clinical Information & Telemedicine
Dr. Sarah Alfano earned her medical degree from American University of Integrative Sciences School of Medicine after graduating from Boston University with a B.S. in Psychology. She has recently begun a Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Master in Public Health (MPH) dual degree at Benedictine University.
Dr. Alfano joined S.C.A.R.F. in 2016 and quickly developed the S.T.A.Y. C.A.L.M. initiative dedicated to community education regarding sudden cardiac arrest and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Through the S.T.A.Y. C.A.L.M. initiative, technology is developing to map out public access defibrillators and provide real-time guidance for their use as needed. Her strong commitment to community education and technology has allowed her to play a vital role within the S.C.A.R.F. program. She plans to continue her work with the S.T.A.Y. C.A.L.M. initiative while frequently developing new programs to educate the community in regards to sudden cardiac arrest.
Her own experience transitioning from high school to undergraduate studies to medical school and now returning for her dual MBA-MPH degree provides a valuable resource for our S.C.A.R.F. interns and ambassadors. She plays a critical role in our career guidance and mentorship program during the summer and her availability to our students year-round is greatly appreciated. Her goal is to mentor, motivate, and support future physicians in our community by instilling within them the values of critical thinking, teamwork, and higher education.
Assistant Director of S.C.A.R.F. Mentorship and Career Guidance Program
Leslie Guerrero graduated from Northern Illinois University in May 2016. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, with an emphasis on health administration. She first interned and then started working for Dr. Paul Nguyen (founder of S.C.A.R.F.) at Elite Cardiology Solutions the entire time she was in school. In 2017, she was the youngest person to be promoted to the position of Manager at Elite Cardiology Solutions and now manages the entire practice with an efficiency, passion, and a work ethic that’s rare. During her internship with Dr. Nguyen and Elite Cardiology Solutions, she learned about sudden cardiac death and S.C.A.R.F. Given her Hispanic ethnicity, Leslie is acutely aware of the fact that the Hispanic population has a higher risk of cardiac problems and sudden cardiac death. She currently also serves as an ambassador and assistant director of events at S.C.A.R.F. Leslie wants to bring the message and advocacy of S.C.A.R.F. to help the Hispanic community, that’s currently underserved. She’s a member of the Illinois Public Health Association and Alpha Phi Omega ETA Chapter.
Student Liaison for S.C.A.R.F. Career Guidance and Mentorship Program
Assistant Director of Public Events
Millen is a graduate of Barrington High School who is currently in her second year of undergraduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she is a Biology major, Public Policy minor, and on a pre-medical track. She plans on attending medical school after college and hopes to earn both her M.D. and a Master of Public Health (MPH). Her goal is to ultimately work in healthcare reform or for non for profit medical organizations that benefit women's health.
Millen first began working under Dr. Nguyen as a S.C.A.R.F. student in 2015 and has continued to be an active member of the S.C.A.R.F. mentorship program ever since. She has researched and presented on sleep apnea, cardiomyopathy, and future cardiac technology. Her presentations including S.I.L.E.N.T. (Sleep-Apnea Infiltrating Lives but Expanding to New Treatment), H.E.A.R.T. (Higher Education Advocating for the Right Treatment), and T.E.C.H. (Technology Expanding Cardiac Health). In 2017, she developed the S.C.A.R.F. "Dance for Life" initiative, which promotes a healthy lifestyle through the use of community dance. She uses Zumba to bring the community together and advocate for the awareness of sudden cardiac death. Her latest "Dance for Life" event included four sessions of Zumba dance as well as three dance performances (Kathak, Bollywood, and Hip hop) from S.C.A.R.F. students and was open to the community free of charge.
Millen aims to ground her life in three simple yet powerful motivations. Her dream: to change the world through science, leadership, and social awareness. Her focus: education, medicine, and community service. Her hope: to have lived knowing she made a difference in people's lives. She hopes to use these three motivations to grow the S.C.A.R.F. program. She plans to continue her education in S.C.A.R.F. as a student, as well as her work in developing S.C.A.R.F.'s public relations and philanthropy events.