About

Our History

Midwest Occupational Medicine was founded in 1992 by George Dirkers, M.D., in Wood River, Illinois, after recognizing the need for quality medical care for local businesses and industries, originally serving the local refineries, power industries, and manufacturers. Midwest operated for five years out of a small office previously occupied by a marine supply company before expanding into their own building, which broke ground in 1997.

With the launch in 1992 of Midwest’s medical branch, Midwest Occupational Safety was also formed to supply local contractors with assistance in OSHA safety compliance and to supply needed safety personnel for industrial and construction jobs. Midwest’s medical branch and Midwest’s safety branch merged in 1996 into Midwest Occupational Medicine, LTD. 

Midwest Occupational Medicine steadily grew to serve surrounding steel and chemical plants, trucking firms, schools and municipalities, hospitals, nursing homes, and an ever-widening list of manufacturers. The injury management business continued to expand. In addition to full OSHA compliance exams, respirator and fit testing, Midwest Occupational Medicine added services such as DOT exams, full service drug testing, on-site evaluations, and much more.

Midwest continued to expand with temporary and permanent on-site staffing, including physician, nursing, EMT, and clerical staffing for industrial clients, supplying staffing for heavy manufacturing, chemical plants, food manufacturers, and others. 

Midwest Occupational Medicine began 24-hour physician on-call injury management when approached by clients with the need to deliver responsive, effective ways to maintain physician-to-physician contact on more serious injuries that required employees to be evaluated at outside facilities. This on-call service continues to grow as Midwest now services clients throughout the United States and abroad.

In 2015, Midwest Occupation Medicine opened our office in Collinsville, Illinois, in conjunction with the American Allied Safety Council (AASC) and Teksolv to consolidate and expedite medical evaluations, substance abuse testing, and safety training for trade union workers, from single workers to large groups .

Midwest Occupational Medicine continues to grow, most proudly by word of mouth from one client to another.

Our Team

George Dirkers

MD

Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering  /  Washington University St. Louis

Doctor of Medicine  /  Saint Louis University

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Dr. Dirkers received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St Louis, then worked in Missouri and California for Consolidated Aluminum, and in St Louis for Ralston Purina. Prior to his professional degrees, Dr. Dirkers also worked as an apprentice electrician in IBEW Local 1 in St Louis.

He then received his MD degree from Saint Louis University, followed by a Residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

He was in private practice of Internal Medicine in Alton, Illinois, where he also began seeing occupational patients at the local refinery. This prompted a switch to full-time Occupational Medicine, and ultimately to founding Midwest Occupational Medicine.

Dr. Dirkers has served as medical director for multiple national companies and is a member of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Dr. Dirkers has served on a wide variety of medical and community boards, including being President of the Council for Medical Affairs for the Illinois State Medical Society, has been a member of the board for Wellspring Resources (Centerstone of Alton) Community Mental Health Center, and has been a member of the Arts Committee for the City of Creve Coeur, Missouri. He volunteers weekly for brush and woods cleanup in a local park.

Dr. Dirkers has delivered medical care on international mission trips, including multiple trips to impoverished areas of Honduras and Peru, indigenous areas of Venezuela, and isolated areas in the mountains of Nepal.

In his spare time, Dr. Dirkers likes to play guitar, paint, garden, learn foreign languages, and ride his Harley.

Panayiotis Ellinas

MD/MPH

Bachelor’s in Bio-Inorganic Chemistry  /  Swarthmore College

Medical Degree  /  Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Masters of Public Health  /  University of Arizona College of Public Health

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Dr. Ellinas received his Bachelor’s Degree in Bio-Inorganic Chemistry from Swarthmore College, then received his Medical Degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, followed by his Masters in Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of Arizona College of Public Health. He has completed residencies in both Preventive Medicine and Radiation Oncology.

Dr. Ellinas worked in a refugee camp in the border jungle of Cambodia and Thailand in 1998 as Medical Director of the American Refugee Committee (ARC), treating the local people mainly for land mine injuries and malaria. In 1999, he was Medical Director of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in the Balkans during the Kosovo Crisis.  He subsequently served as Head of Mission of the World Health Organization Humanitarian Mission to Albania until he returned to the US with his family in 2002, moving to Arizona in 2003.

Dr. Ellinas worked for many years caring for the underserved on the US-Mexico Border in Douglas, AZ, and concurrently served as Cochise County Health Department Medical Director. He ran a free clinic for the indigent and homeless in a slums of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, and has also served as a Biotechnology Consultant. He still holds appointments as Clinical Associate Professor of the University of Arizona College of Medicine in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Family & Community Medicine.

Dr. Ellinas served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Medical Corps (2002-2012), served as US Army Surgeon General Subject Matter Specialist in Preventive Medicine, Second Medical Brigade Subject Matter Expert in Bioterrorism, and was deployed twice to military action in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2011, he was deployed to Malawi, East Africa to take part in a US Army military training and humanitarian mission.

Dr. Ellinas is fluent in Spanish, German, Greek, Albanian, the Cypriot dialect, and has a working knowledge of Italian.

In 2016, he moved with his family to the beautiful Midwest to join Dr. Dirkers at Midwest Occupational Medicine.

In his spare time, Dr. Ellinas is a purveyor of quality movies, food, and wine.

Lynn Brown

MSN  /  APRN  /  FNP

Masters of Science  /  Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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Lynn A. Brown, MSN, APRN, FNP, earned her advanced Family Nurse Practitioner degree in 1998 from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, graduating in the Masters of Science in Nursing program. She had received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Webster university in 1989 after finishing her basic nurse training at Lutheran Medical Center School of Nursing in 1979.

Ms. Brown worked as a Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care and Coronary Care Units. She became charge nurse in Medical/Surgical ICU.

After this, she moved to Missouri to help launch a new psychiatric facility – the Oakwood Hospital (now Royal Oaks Hospital) in Windsor, MO, which treated adolescent, preadolescent, and adult psychiatric patients, serving as the adolescent charge nurse and patient care coordinator. She helped implement SOCS Therapy (Situation, Options, Consequences, and Simulations) for inpatients, and led individual and group sessions.

She returned to the Cardiology Department in Illinois, working for seven years in the Cardiac Catheterization lab as a scrub and circulating nurse, while regularly performed EKGs, Holter monitoring, stress tests, and assisting with transesophageal echocardiograms.

After receiving her advanced Nurse Practitioner degree, Ms. Brown helped with the development of a outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program in Alton, Illinois, performing the needed pre-assessment and exercise programs, and developing educational classes and materials. She was responsible for developing an EECP (enhanced external counter pulsation) program for patient with congestive heart failure and angina, and helped manage the outpatient care pacemaker clinic.

Ms. Brown then worked for over three years in the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Oxygen Clinic, caring for patients with chronic wounds, non-healing surgical wounds, burns, abscesses, diabetic ulcers, venous ulcers, and pressure ulcers. She utilized advanced dressings, including wound vacs, collagen and silver-based dressings, and bioengineered skin substitutes, such as Apligraf and Dermagraft.

Ms. Brown help launch the Occupational Medicine program at Alton Memorial Hospital, working there for three years before joining Midwest Occupational Medicine in 2010.

She enjoys camping and taking her horses on long trail rides.

Contact Us

Corporate Office

(618) 251-5202

Billing

kharlan@midwestoccmed.com

dgarner@midwestoccmed.com

Mike Crowe | General Manager

mcrowe@midwestoccmed.com

Jim Chiappa | Client Services Director

jchiappa@midwestoccmed.com

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