Residency Class of 2020

Adena Hicks, MD, MS

Undergraduate School: University of Minnesota
Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Other: I grew up in St. Paul Minnesota in a close-knit family. I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota. During my studies, I also served as a Mentor and Education Assistant at Hospitality House Youth Direction and worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). While working as a nurse assistant I discovered my passion for medicine. After which, I participated in a semester abroad in Kenya where I learned about underserved communities, diverse communities and social systems. I then returned home and gained more experience in underserved communities while continuing to work as a nurse assistant and phlebotomist. After Graduation, I decided to take my quest for medicine on the road and I moved to Metro Detroit for more guidance and mentorship. After relocating, I went on to complete my Master’s Degree in Biology at Wayne State University. I continued working as a CNA in the Detroit metro area where she gained more experiences with caring for others and time learning where in medicine she would fit best.After graduate school, I was admitted into the Advanced Baccalaureate Learning Experience at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. The next year, I was admitted into the College of Human Medicine. There, I organized a mentor program for medical students and pre-medical students, and served her classmates as a peer tutor, study group leader and anatomy lab attendant. I also served as a learning facilitator and co-authored the curriculum for the Health Science Scholar Institute for high school students. In addition, I authored, implemented and facilitated an elective course in unconscious bias to prepare student doctors to work in diverse patient populations. I also volunteered at Flint Odyssey House, a residential treatment facility for addiction, and Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village, a center for Flint youth.The combination of all these experiences led me to decide to pursue family medicine so I can remain involved in the community and play a pivotal role in the day-to-day health of the community. I plan on having community clinics that will allow myself to treat and care for communities both in the United States and abroad. Along with community empowerment, I also love to dance, hang out and give hugs.

Vikas Jayadeva, MD, MEd

Undergraduate School: George Washington University
Medical School: University of Michigan Medical School
Other: I was born and raised in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD and took a slightly nontraditional path to medicine. I majored in Anthropology and International Affairs at The George Washington University. After college, I spent two years with Teach For America teaching middle and high school science in Philadelphia and received a Master’s in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. My experience in the classroom, coupled with my graduate work, led me to conceptualize the education gap as resulting from a medical gap. Seeing how issues of public health aggregated to prevent low income children from doing well in school was the catalyst for going into medicine. After teaching, I went back to Maryland to run a family-owned hotel, while finishing my pre-med requirements and conducting research at the National Institutes of Health. I matriculated at the University of Michigan Medical School, where my extracurricular activities were centered on ameliorating domestic and international health disparities. I decided to pursue a career in family medicine because I feel that family medicine physicians are best trained to treat patients in a holistic manner. For me, this means not only addressing the mechanisms of disease but also dealing with the personal and social aspects of the ailment. In the future, I hope to use my training to treat the underlying ailments my patients face, while addressing the population level problems impacting an individual’s health. To relax, I enjoy anything outdoors, traveling, watching movies and cooking with friends and family.

Ebony King, MD

Undergraduate School: Brown University
Medical School: Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science at UCLA
Other: I was born and raised in Los Angeles. Experiencing the strength and love of my family instilled within me lifelong principals of resilience and compassion. I attended the Archer School for Girls and was the fourth graduating class out of a total of 36 girls. I matriculated to Brown University, where striving to understand the connection of the mind and the body, I achieved a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology.In my journey to becoming a physician, I have demonstrated a commitment to leadership, investigation of health care disparities, and compassion in culturally competent care. Prior to medical school, I cultivated skills of health care advocacy, leadership, and management working at non-profit health organizations in Los Angeles. I then attended the Charles R. Drew UCLA Medical Program and was reinforced in my continued cultivation of these skills. While in medical school, I served as a Learning Skills Counselor for the UCLA post-baccalaureate program, where I mentored students in admission to medical school in; investigated health care disparities in surgery, contributing to a published review on medical outcomes of robotic prostatectomy; and continued to hold numerous leadership positions in medical school including serving as treasurer of the Student National Medical Association and most recently as newly elect Student Representative of the Association of Black Women Physicians. My professional goals are to focus on Geriatric care, continue to cultivate skills in healthcare leadership and business, and lead and collaborate on efforts to address healthcare disparities.In my free time, I enjoy jogging, dancing and cooking. Additionally, I love my family and I love dogs, and I hope to expand my family in the future.

Nohemy Morones, MD

Undergraduate School: University of California, Berkeley
Medical School: Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Other: I was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and immigrated with my family to the United States when I was a toddler. I attended the University of California, Berkeley where I majored in Molecular Cell Biology and minored in Chicano Studies. Since my college years I had an interest in medicine and a passion for working with underserved communities. I joined Chicanos in Health Education and enjoyed working in health fairs and volunteering in the local Latino community. After graduation, I worked at Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research as a research assistant for a gestational diabetes study. I had a wonderful experience working with the participants and this reinforced my desire to pursue medicine. I attended Columbia University for medical school. I became involved in the Columbia Student Medical Outreach, a student-run free clinic that services uninsured patients. The fact that I come from an immigrant family made working at the clinic more personal as most our patients are undocumented immigrants that would otherwise not have access to healthcare. All my experiences from my undergraduate years to medical school have demonstrated the importance of access to primary care. I became interested in Family Medicine because it allows me to form long-term relationships with patients of all age groups. In the future, I hope to continue working with underserved communities and possibly getting involved in advocacy. I believe in the Kaiser Permanente model and am excited to return to the KP Family. In my free time I enjoy spending time with friends and family, cooking and playing handball and squash.

Reshma Ramachandran, MD, MPP

Undergraduate School: Brown University
Medical School: The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Other: After being born in Kerala India, I moved with my family to Miami, Florida before giving up the wonderful, warm weather to go to Brown University. After becoming exposed to advocacy around access to healthcare, I started working the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) during medical school on various campaigns from ensuring access to affordable medicines, mitigating conflict of interest in medical education, to promoting open access. After my third year of medical school, I received a yearlong AMSA fellowship to work on projects with national partners such as developing updated conflict of interest standards for academic medical centers and mobilizing students to heighten awareness on the impact of trade agreements on public health. Wanting to develop a deeper skillset in health economics and policy, I attended Harvard Kennedy School where I received a Master’s in Public Policy. Upon graduating, I received an opportunity to put my policy skills into practice through a research faculty position as part of the IDEA (Innovation+Design Enabling Access) Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Here, I could work on a wide range of topics including global health equity, antimicrobial resistance, and pharmaceutical policy, but I quickly began to miss the motivation behind my policy interests – patients. As I applied to residency, it became clear that the Kaiser LAMC Family Medicine Residency Program would not only provide me strong clinical training to better take care of patients, but also a community that looks beyond the exam room to better serve them. While at Kaiser, I look forward to continuing my roles of co-Chair of the National Physicians Alliance FDA Task Force and Drug Pricing Action Committee and board member of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) North America. In my free time, I like to do FitnessBlender, make (and eat) ice cream, and draw comics.

Janelle Rodriguez, MD, MPH, MS

Undergraduate School: University of California, Los Angeles
Medical School: Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science at UCLA
Other: I grew up in a Cuban household in Los Angeles, listening to stories about how my family’s life changed radically when they fled Cuba as political refugees. A combination of life’s experiences granted an in-depth awareness of how political and social injustices impact human behavior and health outcomes. After graduating with a degree in Mathematics from UCLA and a Masters in Biostatistics from USC, I worked as a biostatistician at a cancer comprehensive center, analyzing disease by way of tumor markers. The reported statistics highlighted the effects of unstandardized access to healthcare in disenfranchised communities. For every individual who lost his or her battle to cancer, I identified a missed opportunity to preserve someone’s life through health education and disease prevention. It was this sense of personal responsibility that led me to the CDU UCLA PRIME program where I also received a Master of Public Health in Community Health Sciences. Through my studies and former work experience, I came to realize that Family Medicine provided a multi-factorial approach towards establishing long-lasting and influential relationships with patients. By joining the Kaiser Los Angeles Family Medicine Program, I feel that I am joining a community of health professionals that believes in a patient-centered model with priority placed on quality and evidence-based practices. Outside of work, I am equally passionate about community engagement and making myself available to mentor aspiring health professionals. While relaxing, you can always find me enjoying my time cooking and sharing new recipes with family and friends.

Ramsey Salem, MD, MPH

Undergraduate School: Califonia State University San Bernardino
Medical School: University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
Other: I am a nontraditional student and my undergrad degree is in Social Work. I worked in Social Work for 6 years in San Bernardino working with children with disabilities, gang/drug prevention, and community advocacy. I completed my MPH in June of 2006 and I had some incredible mentors at LLU who inspired me to pursue a career in Global Health. I moved to San Diego in 2007 and took a job with Survivors of Torture International, a nonprofit that works with refugees and asylum seekers. My responsibilities at SOTI was Health Care advocacy/ access for our clients and coordination of a Human rights clinic that provided Medical forensics for legal documentation of asylum claims. Many physicians that I worked with in this clinic were Kaiser physicians who volunteered their free time to support and assist victims of torture in San Diego. Through our efforts together I got to know the Kaiser system well. I appreciated their approach to preventative care, physician wellbeing, and efforts at community healthI hope to be a well-rounded Family Physician. Competent in both inpatient and outpatient medicine, so that I can provide excellent care to all patients with whom I work with in the future. I would love to work with some of the underserved populations I have in the past and learn about health care policy in greater detail so that I can be an effective advocate for others.In my free time I love to spend time with my wife and kids. I'm a huge Dodger fan. I enjoy all types of sports including Basketball, Baseball, volleyball. I love to surf, mountain bike, kayak, and snowboard in the winter. I'm not good at any of them anymore because of medical school but I try.

Erica Gabriel-Tukiainen, MD, MPH

Undergraduate School: University of California, Los Angeles
Medical School: University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine
Other: I was born and raised in Finland (“the land of a thousand lakes”), and moved to Los Angeles with my mother and younger brother in 2000. I received a full athletic scholarship to play for the UCLA women’s basketball team where I served as a four-year starter and captain while completing my undergraduate studies in French. After graduation, I explored various areas of medicine and gained valuable research experience at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in physical activity promotion and obesity prevention. These different experiences not only confirmed my passion to pursue both a medical and public health degree, but also further prepared me for my journey to medical school. UCLA PRIME Program was the most natural and best choice for me because of the focus on learning skills to address underlying social and environmental factors that limit patients’ ability to make healthier choices. Now, I’m excited and honored to join the Kaiser-LA family where I hope to continue pursuing my interests in social justice, community-based work, obesity prevention and research in health disparities. To relax, I enjoy going to the gym, playing basketball, hiking, spending time with my family, catching up on Netflix and trying new crock-pot recipes.

Nancy Vo, MD

Undergraduate School: University of California, Los Angeles
Medical School: University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine
Other: My family and I emigrated from Vietnam when I was two, and I have been in sunny so-Cal ever since. I went to UCLA where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychobiology and attended UC Irvine for medical school. During these years, I explored my interest in global health by traveling to rural villages in Vietnam with a humanitarian group that collaborated with the Red Cross. Between undergrad and medical school, my interest for working with the underserved developed into a passion for social justices and advocacy as I worked as mental health caseworker, serving an economically disadvantaged community in north Orange County. What draws me to family medicine is its broad scope of training, chance to form strong, life-long relationships, and opportunities for preventative care and advocacy. I am so excited to start at Kaiser Los Angeles! On interview day, the family-like atmosphere and camaraderie among the residents were palpable, and I was impressed with the warm, supportive faculty. After residency, I am considering a fellowship in geriatrics; long-term, I would like to continue my work abroad. During my free time, I love catching the sunrise on morning hikes, digging my toes in the warm, sandy beaches of so-Cal, and traveling with friends and family.

Residency Class 2019

Humberto Avila, MD

Undergraduate School: California State University, Fresno
Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Other: I was born and raised in Madera, CA, a rural town in Central California. After graduating from Fresno State, I volunteered for the AmeriCorps educating migrant farm workers in Madera County. I also worked in state and local politics. My upbringing and experiences helped me learn more about the socioeconomic determinants of health. When I enrolled at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, I was drawn to Family Medicine because of its emphasis on community involvement, preventative medicine and the opportunity to build long lasting relationship with my patients. During my time at KSOM, I was able to rotate at Kaiser-LAMC, where I experienced their world-class health care system and facilities. I also participated in Kaiser Permanente’s Hippocrates Circle, a program to encourage 7th & 8th graders from underrepresented communities to consider medicine as a career. I am very excited to start residency at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. As someone who believes that one-ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure, I appreciate Kaiser’s commitment to preventative medicine. My goals are to continue working with underserved, Spanish-speaking communities and encouraging young people to pursue medicine as a career. To relax, I enjoy spending time with friends, family, my fiancée, and our fat cat Arturo. I also enjoy playing outdoor sports, playing video games, and playing board games.

Joseph De Sena, MD

Undergraduate School: University of California, Merced
Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Other: I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in a city called Pittsburg (Not to be confused with Pennsylvania). I attended University of California, Merced and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and a minor in Education. Prior to medical school I worked at several Boys and Girls Clubs of America sites as a College and Career Coach. I went to Keck School of Medicine of USC with the goal of becoming a physician leader and mentor in an underserved community similar to one I grew up in. When time came to decide on a specialty to apply into, I remembered my Family Medicine rotation at Kaiser-LA. While there I worked in the hospital setting, outpatient clinics, on the street with the UCLA mobile clinic, and on the field with Sports Medicine Fellows. The variety of training in Family Medicine and the focus on community is what excites me the most and I cannot wait to start my training at Kaiser-Los Angeles! In the future I am interested in pursuing a fellowship in either Community Medicine or Sports Medicine. The upcoming opening of Kaiser’s Medical School is exciting and I love any opportunities to teach! When I am not reading the latest medical research articles, I enjoy practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, playing video games, and spending time with my Fiancée Samantha, my dog Leonardo, and my cat Iris.

Viviana Huang Chen, MD, MPP

Undergraduate School: University of California, Berkeley
Medical School: University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine PRIME
Other: My courageous parents traversed land and sea to make their way from China to Mexico to provide for their own aging parents. And thus began my story, born in Mexicali, Baja California, and growing up between this border city and the desert town of Brawley, California. As I left the small town for the big college city, I became a Golden Bear, and at the University of California, Berkeley, I double majored in Molecular & Cell Biology, and Spanish Linguistics & Bilingual Issues. I am also a proud alumna of the UC Davis Postbaccalaureate Program.My family’s lack of access to health care ignited my passion to advocate for, and make a difference in the lives of families like mine, and leading me to a career in family medicine. This is why UCLA’s PRIME Program was the perfect fit for my dual degrees of Doctor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Master in Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. I am so excited that with Kaiser LAMC I get to stay close to family. I certainly look forward to training alongside fabulous physician leaders, and extend the opportunities to provide excellent culturally and linguistically sensitive patient care to the community, while working towards effectively addressing disparities in health care for medically underserved populations. To relax, I will watch novelas or cute puppy videos and eat delicious foods, but I also love family ping-pong afternoons, a Latin dance or two, or catching a game of racquetball or beach volleyball on a nice sunny day.

Amarachi Okoro, MD, MPH

Undergraduate School: Stanford University
Medical School: University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine PRIME
Other: As the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, my family settled in Walnut, California, in east Los Angeles County, where I grew up with a strong sense of cultural and community values. I graduated from Walnut High School, then headed up north to Stanford University (Go Card!) where I majored in Human Biology, with a concentration in social psychology and development. What drew me to medicine most was it's ability to effect change within social justice, which lead me to the UCLA PRIME program where I also received my Masters in Public Health in Health Policy and Management. From day 1, Family Medicine made the most sense to me as it encompasses all aspects of community health and wellness, and will give me the greatest chance to address the social and structural issues associated with health inequalities. I'm excited to join the Kaiser Los Angeles Family Medicine Program and stand on the shoulders of the amazing leaders within Los Angeles community medicine! In my free time I love watching and playing sports, discovering new good eats, escaping to the beach when I can, and of course catching up on my Netflix queue.

Raymond Park, DO

Undergraduate School: Johns Hopkins University
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences
Other: I was born in Seoul, Korea and raised in the OC. After completing high school at University High, I moved to Baltimore receiving Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University. Doing clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, I grew my passion for medicine; returning to Southern California for my medical education at the WesternU. Word I like to use to describe myself is a “strategist.” I always strive to find the most effective and efficient way of achieving a goal and plan the best method. I also enjoy providing such guidance and passing my knowledge, in forms of doing research, teaching and volunteering. Such trait led me to become a family medicine doctor. Being in the primary care would allow me to grasp the broadest spectrum of medicine and pass it on to my patients and general public. My professional goal is to first become a competent, skilled physician. Secondly, I would like to dedicate my skills in strategizing as well as passion for teaching onto betterment of healthcare system. I am sure at Kaiser Los Angeles I will be able to achieve both. I enjoy variety of hobbies from traveling with my friends and family to playing video games and strategic board games. When I am not out and about, I relax at home reading novels and listening to classical music.

Jonathan Richina, MD, MS

Undergraduate School: University of California, Berkeley
Medical School: Drexel University College of Medicine
Other: I was born and raised in the small farming town of Sanger in the great San Joaquin Valley of California. I graduated from U.C. Berkeley as a student athlete majoring in integrative biology and played for the men's division 1 water polo team and then ventured to Philly where I received a Master's degree for studying the U.S. health care system before completing medical school at Drexel University. Intermixed with my studies, I gained a few years of enterprise and entrepreneurial business experience that opened my eyes and gave me a different lens to see the health care system through. Through my studies and work experiences, I grew passionate about primary care and about finding new ways in our evolving health care system to combine medicine, technology, and entrepreneurial business to help patients in need and make a difference in the lives of many. Many of my passions and interests parallel with Kaiser Permanente's philosophy and I am thrilled to be calling Kaiser Sunset home for residency. I consider family, friends, food and health as top priorities of mine and will typically find ways to combine them to help relax and have fun.

Raquel Rodriguez, MD, MPP

Undergraduate School: Harvard University
Medical School: Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science at UCLA
Other: Born in Mexico DF and raised in San Diego, California, my interest in medicine was ignited by early experiences with healthcare disparities in my community. I attended Harvard College and concentrated in Human Evolutionary Biology with a secondary field in Psychology. After college, I spent time working with a Boston-based organization aiming to improve educational opportunities for immigrant students. Happy to return to the warm, California weather, I matriculated in the UCLA/CDU Medical Education Program. Throughout medical school I participated in efforts to improve the healthcare outcomes of Los Angeles communities, including as co-director of the Lennox Health Fair. In an effort to further my knowledge for improving healthcare systems, I enrolled in the Luskin School of Public Affairs as a dual degree candidate and completed a Masters in Public Policy. I hope to combine my policy education with my medical training to innovate improvements in health care delivery, preventive care, and medical education. Aside from my interest in medicine, I enjoy exploring design concepts, reading about technology, and participating in water sports.

Rima Shah, MD, MPH

Undergraduate School: Boston University
Medical School: Boston University School of Medicine
Other: I was raised in Danvers, MA and have stayed close to home for most of my schooling. After attending Boston University during my undergraduate years, I earned an MPH at The Dartmouth Institute (TDI). While at TDI, I explored my interest in global health by travelling to rural mountain villages in Honduras with a community development collaborative. I returned to Boston University for medical school, eager to learn from the ethnically diverse, medically complex, and vulnerable populations of Boston. While I have loved growing up on the East Coast and have learned a great deal, I could not resist the chance to continue my medical training with the passionate people I met at Kaiser LA Family Medicine. Family Medicine, with its holistic approach to the entire family and focus on preventive health, was a natural fit for me. I look forward to working with and learning from the diverse communities within LA and at Kaiser! Long-term, I hope to continue focusing on empowering vulnerable populations. Much of my time relaxing is spent eating or cooking good food with friends and family, reading, playing a board game, or exploring my surroundings!

Meghan YDeen, MD

Undergraduate School: Wheaton College
Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Other: My parents raised my younger sister and me in Chino, CA - a suburb of Los Angeles best known at the time for dairy farming and a small diner with legendary biscuits and gravy. The highlights of my childhood include meeting my husband at age six and watching my family receive medical care for chronic conditions that ultimately inspired me to become a physician myself. I attended Wheaton College in Illinois where I studied biology, survived a few blizzards, and through my job as an assistant resident director discovered my passion for work that promotes physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. As a medical student at USC I knew family medicine was for me when I saw this integrated approach to wellness in the work of physicians I met through the California Academy of Family Physicians. Whether through direct patient care, advocacy, or education, my goal during residency is to explore how I can best contribute to the work family physicians are already investing in our communities. I hope I will constantly grow in my ability to empower my patients and find ways to incorporate teaching into my professional life. In addition to my work, some activities I find particularly life-giving are prayer, gardening, yoga, and taking friends on walking tours of Los Angeles with my husband.

Residency Class of 2021

Veronica Aguilar, MD, MPH

Undergraduate School: University of California, Los Angeles
Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine
Other: I was born in El Salvador and was brought to the United States as a child. I was raised in South Los Angeles where I have done most of my community work which includes tutoring at the Watts Labor for Community Action Committee, HIV counseling through the Charles Drew University HIV program, providing medical assistance through the Medical Reserve Cops in Los Angeles, amongst many other roles in clinics and hospitals where I have had the opportunity to educate, treat, and provide preventative services to community members. I attended UCLA where I majored in Biology and then spent several years doing clinical research where I had the opportunity to work with diabetic patients and their families. I then completed my Master’s in Public Health degree at Charles Drew University and received my medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign. I participated in the Integrated Health Care Program at Kaiser Permanente after my first year in medical school, then finished a Family Medicine rotation during my fourth year and fell in love with Kaiser’s holistic approach and preventative medicine. All of these experiences and the love for medicine have created a passion for serving others as a family physician. As a National Health Service Corp (NHSC) scholarship recipient I will continue to work in underserved communities after my residency program. My mission is to provide high-quality health care with compassion to all patients ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics. I enjoy working with all family members and want to build a connection that promotes continuity of care. I am a proud mother of two and enjoy being involved in their activities. I also enjoy jogging and recently started traveling.

Brian Gandara, MD

Undergraduate School: University of California, Los Angeles
Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Other: I was born and raised in Los Angeles nearby Kaiser Sunset. The son of immigrant parents who emphasized education I knew at a young age I wanted a career in medicine. I studied at UCLA, still a UCLA fan and true bruin, and majored in physiological science and minored in music history. During my undergraduate education I conducted research on breast cancer drugs to extend life in certain late stage breast cancers. In addition I enjoy giving back to underserved communities through outreach programs, health fairs, and mentoring. I love the integrative approach in family medicine and the emphasis on preventative care and advocacy. I’m excited to see how emerging technology and genetics along with developing healthcare policies will be integrated into medicine and patient care. In addition to medicine I enjoy spending time with friends, family, and loved ones. I like hiking, running, cooking, and exploring new places.

Lidia Liang, DO

Undergraduate School: University of California, Los Angeles
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences/College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
Other: I was born in China and immigrated to the United States in elementary school. Growing up, I moved a great deal with my family. From urban Beijing to agricultural districts in the Midwest to the suburbs of California, I experienced healthcare disparities first hand. I attended UCLA where I majored in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology and volunteered as a research assistant for medical pharmacology, served as a CPR/First Aid instructor for the community, and a caseworker for the UCLA Mobile Clinic. Throughout medical school, I continued to work in free clinics and participated in research initiatives aimed to investigate the increase of STDs among the incarcerated adolescent population in the inland empire. I witnessed how social determinants of health leading to health inequity impacted an entire community’s quality of life. These values are became the core upon which I am drawn to family medicine. Built upon fostering relationships to care for a broad array of shifting needs within any community, family medicine not only draws upon my past, it reveals an exciting future. A training program that emphasizes patient advocacy and community engagement, Kaiser LA allows me to establish long-lasting connections whose foundation is cemented in community-centered care. Outside of medicine, I love animals (especially dogs), traveling, good coffee, fresh uni, camping, fishing, and beach sports.

Nancy Nasrawin, MD

Undergraduate School: University of California, Berkeley
Medical School: University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
Other: My hometown is Bakersfield, CA where my parents settled our family after immigrating from Jordan many years ago. From the Central Valley I went to the University of California, Berkeley to attain my Bachelors in Public Health. After graduation, I went back to work for the Department of Public Health Services of Kern County (DPHSKC) as a Health Educator and Community Project Coordinator. I focused primarily in low-income neighborhoods helping to provide nutrition education and grassroots level community organizing to promote healthier living at multi-factorial levels including education, policy, and the built environment. In addition to those efforts, I also headed the Worksite Wellness program for DPHSKC, serving over 300 county employees. From these experiences, I learned that good health is a collaborative effort and we can all work together to foster better outcomes for ourselves, for our families, and for our communities. With this mindset, I went to the University of California, San Francisco for my medical degree, where I continued to clarify my personal perspective on medicine inevitably leading me to Family Medicine. I believe people need an integrated approach to their health, tackling the variety of different contributing factors that play a part in who we are and how we have come to be. As humans we are not siloed individuals but rather we are complex psychosocial beings ingrained in a complicated overlapping set of relationships starting with our friends and family to our work/school to the greater community at large. As such, I am passionate about patient-centered, highest quality care with a consideration of the broader context of my patient’s lives. I am elated to join the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles team who share my same goals to provide holistic and compassionate care for our patients and our community. When not practicing medicine, I spend my time with family and friends, dancing quite a bit of salsa, reading, and exercising.

Natalie Nguyen, DO

Undergraduate School: University of California, Irvine
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences/College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
Other: I was raised moving from state to state every few years, and learned the distinct charms of all four regions of America. Family Medicine thus became a natural fit for me, since I am continually given the privilege to potentially serve any person within this melting pot of a nation and create long-term, meaningful relationships. As a undergraduate student clinical researcher at the University of California, Irvine, I formed a similar appreciation for the vast array of clinical diagnoses that can be ultrasound-guided. At the Western University of Health Sciences, I started an unprecedented ultrasound curriculum in order to continue advocating ultrasound’s revolutionary utilization in its patient interactiveness, healthcare delivery, and potential worldwide accessibility. These same sentiments in support for ultrasound usage were echoed by physicians in Southeast Asia during a Global Health Medical Mission. I am extremely pleased to say that ultrasound is now incorporated within the WesternU medical school curriculum. My second passion as a physician is to deliver compassionate patient care, and so I introduced the Gold Humanism Honor Society chapter at my medical school to recognize the importance of excellent future physician leaders. I feel extremely blessed to join Kaiser Permanente and its great network of individuals who are also passionate about delivering well-rounded, evidence-based care and advocating for their patients. The Kaiser Los Angeles Family Medicine Program serves such a diverse population, and I am excited to call it my new home! I am usually found jamming at a music concert, discovering a new food spot, or catching up with my favorite shows, but I can truly say I can enjoy just about anything. The world is my oyster, and I just want to share it!

Martha Salas, MD

Undergraduate School: University of California, San Diego
Medical School: Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
Other: I was born and raised in a large but close-knit family in San Diego. I attended UC San Diego and majored in Human Development and minored in Organic Chemistry. During this time, my passion for working with medically underserved populations motivated me to volunteer as a Spanish translator and patient assistant in several community clinics in San Diego. After college, I took the opportunity to explore continuing education in the real estate and insurance field as a course coordinator. My interest for the sciences ultimately persisted, and encouraged me to delve into research regarding the relationship between chronic unpredictable stress and its effect on the endocrine system at UCLA’s Center for Neurobiology of Stress. After matriculating into Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, I wanted to continue my involvement within the community and serving those with minimal access to healthcare. Our free community clinics around the city allowed me to continue translating and I was chosen to serve on the executive board for the Community Health Clinic where I was instrumental in raising funds for our facilities. My family was influential in my decision to pursue medicine. Because of them, I feel I can connect with a diverse set of patients of all ages and stages. I am excited to join the Kaiser-LAMC program, where I will not only cater to such patients but also create long-lasting relationships with them. In my free time, I enjoy visiting museums, traveling, and exploring different ethnic cuisines with my husband. I have travelled to all but 3 continents (the rest of which is on my bucket list).

Marissa Sanchez, MD, MS

Undergraduate School: University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Medical School: University of California, Davis, School of Medicine
Other: I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, in a close-knit Mexican family. The lack of healthcare and resources in the community is what first interested me in the field of medicine. In high school, I obtained a Certified Nursing Assistant License and worked caring for the elderly population in East Los Angeles. I further pursued my interest in medicine at the University of Southern California and obtained a B.S. in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention as well as an M.S. in Global Medicine. During this time, I sought opportunities to promote and provide health education for the local communities. I then participated in the UC Davis School of Medicine Post-baccalaureate Program, where I found advisors, learned about the application process and took courses to better prepare me for the rigors of medical school. Before enrolling in medical school, I worked as a Women’s Health Case Manager at the Davis Community Clinic, where I had the opportunity to practice preventative and community medicine with an underserved population. As a medical student at the UC Davis School of Medicine, I continued to work with underserved communities and also volunteered my time mentoring students interested in medicine. After many years of preparation and aspiring for a career in medicine, I am excited to continue my work as a Family Medicine Resident Physician at Kaiser Los Angeles. I hope to inspire others to pursue their passions and will continue mentoring the next generation of physicians. In my free time I enjoy watching Netflix, doing outdoor activities, and spending time with family, friends and my dog Venus.

Kimberly Vu, MD

Undergraduate School: Stanford University
Medical School: University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine
Other: I grew up in Orange County in a community of predominantly Vietnamese and Latinx immigrants, and although I am an only child to refugee parents, my large extended family was my village. At Stanford University, where I majored in biology, I was heavily involved with the Stanford Vietnamese Student Association, domestic violence awareness, ethnic minority activism, and Vietnamese medical interpreting at a Stanford-run free clinic in San Jose. During medical school at UC Irvine back home in Orange County, I further developed my interests in advocacy, free clinic work, and organized medicine with the California Academy of Family Physicians. I am drawn to family medicine from my experiences highlighting not just the importance of primary care, but also the amelioration of social inequities that contribute to health disparities. I am thrilled to join the Kaiser family due to countless role models in the faculty and residents, camaraderie, commitment to community health, and leadership in many areas of healthcare. My goals after residency are to continue work in advocacy, organized medicine, inpatient medicine, and teaching medical students. I am interested in either geriatric or community health fellowships. During my free time, I enjoy playing with my adopted dog Benji, baking, traveling with friends and family, leisure reading, and TV show binging.

Nathaniel Yuan, DO, MBA

Undergraduate School: Pitzer College
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences/College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
Other: I was born in sunny Southern California blessed with a zeal for using my hands in playing the violin, piano, and trumpet. Music was my first Boy Scout merit badge, but I explored other hobbies and professions through dozens of other merit badges as an Eagle Scout. Through these experiences, I decided to devote my life to serving others in health maintenance and disease prevention. My studies in Human Biology and minor in music at Pitzer College has so then emphasized my life theme of primary care medicine. I organized regular performances of music therapy for convalescent homes and ventured with medical missions to underserved villages in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Hong Kong. Inspired by the hands-on healing of my great-grandfather who was a compassionate Osteopathic physician, I attended Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. Here I learned not only the foundations of medicine, but also musculoskeletal treatments through osteopathic manipulation. In between my studies, I sought to further my leadership skills via completing a Masters in Business Administration with a focus on Health Management. Now joining the Kaiser family, I am excited to start my career in medicine and embrace health advocacy within my community, church, and local sporting events. The inauguration of Kaiser School of Medicine excites me to one day help lead through academic teaching and clinical research. Further down my career, I desire to focus my patient care on the elderly through music therapy. During my free time, I enjoy building/repairing things and cycling along with triathlons and mud-runs with friends.

Community Medicine Fellow/Junior Faculty

Andrea Yanez, MD

Medical School: University of California, Davis, School of Medicine
Residency Training: Long Beach Memorial

Where are our recent graduates?

Alumni Doc 2017-2018