A graduate of Northwestern University Medical School, Dr. Polonus is a licensed clinical psychologist who has provided behavioral health services to couples and individuals for over 20 years. During this time he has been an adjunct faculty member and Associate Professor of the Northwestern University Medical School where he has taught and supervised psychiatry and psychology residents. In addition to his ongoing private practice activities, Dr. Polonus has served as Executive Director of the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Managed Mental Health Program and as Vice-President of Clinical Operations for Magellan Health Services. In these roles, Dr. Polonus developed and implemented programs serving the mental health and chemical dependency needs of over three million insured clients through contracts with BCBSIL, Aetna, Prudential, the State of Illinois, and numerous other organizations. These programs were organized around the principle of ensuring the best fit between client needs and provider skills.
Dr. Polonus has served on and chaired numerous ethics, credentialing, and quality improvement committees for Illinois psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and insurance carriers. Dr. Polonus has consulted with and provided invited lectures to professional organizations, hospitals, universities and schools. These include the Illinois Psychological Association, the American Bar Association, various BCBS associations countrywide, the American Private Practice Council, the Illinois Association of Community Mental Health Agencies, the Illinois Society for Clinical Social Work, and the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association, among others.
With training in both psycho-dynamically informed therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy, Dr. Polonus works with his clients (and the their referring physicians) to quickly address obstacles to achieving desired goals. Clients participate in formulating a therapeutic action plan with clearly defined measures of progress. Dr. Polonus uses an active problem-solving, health-based approach which capitalizes on each client's strengths to promote efficient, effective, and lasting improvements.
Dr. Polonus is in full-time clinical practice as a member of the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Medical faculty and participates in the Northwestern Healthcare Corporation (NHC) Physician Referral Service.