Infectious Disease services

Ridgeview’s Infectious Disease specialists diagnose and treat all kinds of infections. These include illnesses caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.

Our specialists have extensive knowledge in the use of antibiotics and treatments.

Most of an infectious disease specialist’s work is done behind the scenes. They investigate different types of germs carefully, make a diagnosis and develop a plan to treat a patient’s disease. Infectious disease specialists commonly work with the patient’s primary care physician to develop a treatment plan that best suits his/her needs.

What is infectious disease?

Infectious diseases are caused by germs. You can get infected by touching, eating, drinking or breathing something that contains a germ. Infectious diseases can also be spread through animal and insect bites, kissing and sexual contact. Vaccines, proper hand washing and medications can help prevent infections.

When should you see an Infectious Disease specialist?

Many common infections can be treated by your personal physician. Your doctor might refer you to an Infectious Disease Specialist when:

  • An infection is difficult to diagnose
  • An infection is accompanied by a high fever
  • A patient does not respond to treatment
  • A healthy person plans to travel to a foreign country or location where infection risk is higher
  • Treating illnesses becomes a part of a patient’s overall care, for example, a patient with HIV/AIDS

What will your visit with an Infectious Disease specialist be like?

The specialist will review your medical data, including any imaging, blood work or culture data. The specialist may also perform a physical exam to help determine the cause of the problem.

The infectious disease specialist will often order laboratory tests including bloodwork, samples of other body fluids, as well as cultures from wounds. A blood serum analysis can help the specialist detect antibodies that indicate what type of infection you have.

Treatments consist of medicines – usually antibiotics – to help battle the infection and prevent it from returning. These medicines may be given to you orally (in the form of pills or liquids) or administered directly into your veins, via an IV tube.

An Infectious Disease specialist may also recommend a vaccination regimen for you and your children. One of the best strategies for preventing infectious diseases is immunization. Ask your doctor for advice about other things you and your family can do to prevent infectious diseases.

About Ridgeview’s physicians

James Currie, MD, is board certified in Infectious Disease and Internal Medicine. He has professional interests in infectious diseases, diabetes, heart disease, hepatitis, COPD and HIV and oversees infection control activities system-wide at Ridgeview Medical Center. 

Elliot Francke, MD, is board certified in Infectious Disease. He earned his doctor of medicine from Northwestern University and completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital and his fellowship in Infectious Disease at Columbia College in New York. He oversees Antimicrobial Stewardship at Ridgeview Medical Center.

Laurie Grotzinger, PA-C, is board certified as a Physician Assistant and has professional interests in skin and soft tissue infections, bone infections, joint infections, respiratory tract infections, abscesses, fungal infections and recurrent urinary tract infections. She provides services at Ridgeview’s Wound & Hyperbaric Healing Center and enjoys diagnosing and treating a wide variety of infectious disease.