Animal Health Council

Animal Health Council (AHC)

The Animal Health Council comprises a group of medical doctors and veterinary specialists who have volunteered to assist Lincoln Park Zoo’s veterinary team in their areas of expertise.

Specialties include anesthesia, trauma and critical care, dentistry, dermatology, nutrition, endocrinology, gastroenterology, surgery, gynecology, internal medicine, pediatrics, neurology, nephrology, radiology and imaging, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pulmonary care and urology.

The Animal Health Council meets annually for clinical discussions and research and clinical updates.

Here's one of the AHC Stars in action:

Dr. Mark Steinberg consults with Lester E. Fisher Director of Veterinary Medicine Kathryn Gamble, D.V.M., on the care for baby gorilla Nayembi.

Mark J. Steinberg D.D.S., M.D., FACS

For 30 years, Mark Steinberg, D.D.S, M.D., has practiced as a board-certified specialist in oral and maxillofacial surgery. He began his studies and completed his medical and dental degrees on the east coast. However, he then made the move to Chicagoland where he became a consultant to Lincoln Park Zoo’s veterinary services team.

Before entering private practice in 2007, Dr. Steinberg was chief of the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and full professor of surgery at the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine. He’s lectured on this specialty nationally and internationally. Standard oral surgical procedures he would perform include wisdom-teeth removal and dental implants. However, he also performs more complex facial surgical procedures, including treatment of facial cysts and tumors, nerve repair surgery and trauma and facial-reconstruction surgery.

Dr. Steinberg has a strong commitment to community service. He has helped the Chicagoland community by volunteering surgical services to the Illinois Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped. He has also participated in many medical missions abroad, performing cleft lip and palate surgery for underprivileged children in Central and South America.

His expertise in the management of facial trauma and reconstruction of facial deformities made him an excellent consultant during gorilla Nayembi’s serious facial fracture in 2013. The problem that the infant gorilla sustained is rare in pediatric patients but had to be managed to prevent obstructed nasal breathing or inhibition of future facial growth. Veterinarians successfully managed the injuries with a surgical procedure not unlike that performed on human patients. Nayembi has healed well and was re-socialized with the other gorillas in her family.

Besides working with animals, who are very interesting patients, Dr. Steinberg feels the best part of being a consultant for Lincoln Park Zoo is working with a great team of veterinary specialists. He says their knowledge of so many different species and dedication to the animals in their charge is amazing.