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 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.

Sneha Shah, DO

Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences
About Me:
Other: I went to Western for medical school, where I discovered I could draw from my past experiences to find innovative ways to connect with patients from all walks of life. While completing my intern year at White Memorial, a community hospital in the heart of East Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to provide healthcare to an incredibly diverse and underserved patient population. My training there provided me with a unique, hands-on experience that I know will to allow me to work seamlessly in any community or location.Family medicine offers us a chance to care for all types of people and diseases in culturally rich communities. I’m excited to join this group of like-minded individuals at Kaiser who are passionate about providing healthcare to vulnerable patients and their families, both locally and internationally. In my free time, I love to travel, read, wine taste, and continue my never-ending quest to find the best nachos in LA.

Residency Class of 2022

Johan Clarke, MD

Graduate School: Georgetown University
Medical School: Georgetown University School of Medicine
Other: I was born and raised in Rockville, MD just outside of Washington, DC. In college I fostered my interests in the humanities and social justice. I graduated with an English major and started to bring theories I learned in my undergraduate education into medicine during medical school. I built my empathy skills by incorporating art and medicine through writing, reading, and visual arts. It was there I also started bringing my interests in social justice into activism, particularly from a healthcare perspective. Working with underserved populations became very important to me and I spent a lot of my clinical time learning how to best work with patients that are often neglected by the medical community. My biggest passions in family medicine are comprehensive and appropriate primary care for the LGBT community including gender affirming care, maternal healthcare, and comprehensive family planning. I'm excited to join the KP family to learn how primary care can best be used to help underserved patients in all aspects of their health and how primary care can be used to fix more systemic health disparities. When I'm not working in the hospital, I love watching the latest films, exploring the robust LA theater and concert scene, hiking or biking along the beach, and reading whenever I find the time.

Cassandra Colwell, MD

Graduate School: University of California, Berkeley
Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Other: I was raised in a small town in West Marin County where I learned a passion for healthy food, the outdoors, and alternative medicine. After high school, I stayed in the Bay Area to attend UC Berkeley for my undergraduate degree. I studied Molecular Environmental Biology and worked with nonprofits to help promote food waste reduction and supply excess to those in need. After college, I spent a year working at The Cedars of Marin, a day program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There, I practiced flexibility, compassion, and gratitude, and learned the importance of accommodating individual needs. I attended medical school at Keck School of Medicine of USC where I continued to advocate for patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Working at County Hospital, I witnessed firsthand the many inequities within the healthcare system. I was inspired by the physicians and staff that fought to overcome these disparities. I knew that I wanted to be part of a specialty and program that emphasized the importance of addressing the systemic issues. Now that I am in residency, I look forward to forming longitudinal relationships with my patients and focusing on a holistic approach to health. I am passionate about nutrition and exercise and you can often find me on a run or attending a local yoga or cycling class. In my free time, I enjoy going to concerts, picnics at the park, beach days, and spending time with my favorite people.

Taisha Husbands, MD

Graduate School: Southern Methodist University
Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Other: I was born and raised on St. Thomas, a beautiful island in the middle of the Caribbean. Most women in my family worked in K-12 education, so it came as a fun surprise when I expressed an interest in medicine at a young age. To help me explore this, my mom enrolled me in the STEMM PREP Project, a 10-year longitudinal program based in the continental U.S. with a mission to increase the number of traditionally underrepresented minority students entering STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math, medicine) careers. The support I received through this program highlighted the important role mentorship plays in the lives of young people. As such, I acted as a peer mentor throughout undergrad at Southern Methodist University and became an instructor for the middle school portion of the STEMM PREP Project the summer prior to starting medical school. While at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, I was appointed my class’s rep for the AAMC Organization of Student Representatives. This role allowed me the opportunity to network and collaborate with colleagues from other institutions across the U.S. on programming to improve the experience of medical education. I ultimately chose to pursue a career in family medicine because of its holistic approach to caring for patients, emphasis on long-lasting relationships, and opportunities for patient education and advocacy. What attracted me to the Kaiser Permanente LAMC Family Medicine Residency Program was its connection to the community, strong leadership development, and the diversity of both patients and providers. After residency, I hope to continue to work in mentorship and medical education. In my free time, you can probably find me bingeing Netflix and spending time with family and friends. If you have suggestions for TV shows, let me know!

Sridevi Korand, MD

Graduate School: University of Southern California Los Angeles
Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Other: I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley after my parents moved to LA from India. I stayed in Los Angeles and studied Neuroscience at USC. The passion I have for connecting with the people around me grew through several opportunities for community involvement that I had found at USC. Through Teach for Los Angeles, I tutored and got to know many elementary school children from the USC area. As a director for Camp Kesem, I led a team to fully plan and fundraise for a free camp for children affected by a parent’s cancer. My favorite part of Camp Kesem was getting to be a camp counselor and spend all day bonding with these kids and giving them the chance to just be a kid. I grew so much from this experience and learned what it feels like to work tirelessly for the people and causes I care about. In medical school at USC, I continued to pursue my interest in community involvement and working with kids and adolescents. I did this by organizing a summer program called Camp Neuro for local high school students, as well as serving as a mentor in the community through Violence Intervention Program. I fell in love with Family Medicine because of the connection that can be built with patients while guiding them to achieve their long term health maintenance goals and addressing both physical and mental health as well as social and community factors contributing to their well being. I am so grateful and excited to be joining the wonderful KP LA family and hope to continue pursuing my wide range of interests including mental and behavioral health, addiction medicine, adolescent health, women’s health, and community involvement. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends, going on taco finding adventures, having picnics at the park, and petting other people’s dogs.

Jessica Leder, DO

Graduate School: New York University
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences/College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
Other: I was born in Southern California. I have since had the pleasure of living across the country from the mountains in Colorado to the heart of Manhattan. A sense of adventure is always close to my heart. Some of my own health issues inspired a curiosity in science and a desire to better understand the intricacies of the body. After working as an Emergency Medical Technician, I worked for a Family Medicine practice and found the joy of studying medicine for me. Family Medicine doctors connect with the person and the story. We can improve health outcomes with culturally competent, preventative care. While preparing for medical school, I worked on public health outreach projects in Brooklyn and Harlem, New York to increase healthcare access and improve outcomes for vulnerable populations. In addition, I did research to understand barriers to healthcare for women. While in medical school, I served as a Teaching Assistant for Essentials of Clinical Medicine and look forward to being involved in medical education, especially with the new Kaiser Permanente medical school starting soon! I served as head of the Women’s clinic offering free exams and education for underserved women and took classes to become a Nutrition in Medicine Scholar. I’ve done a variety of things and I love the variety that Family Medicine has to offer. One of the many reasons I am excited to be at KP LA (in addition to the great people!) is the patient centered medical home concept, with an emphasis on patient respect, dignity, and compassion. I hope to incorporate my interest in women’s health, preventative medicine, nutrition, wellness, and an understanding of the social determinants of health in my practice. When I’m not working, I like hiking, fitness, the great outdoors (kayaking, river rafting, backpacking… I’m there), a good book, Netflix, baking yummy snacks, exploring new cities, and giving time to my family and friends.

Bianca Lizarraga, MD, MPH

Graduate School: University of California Los Angeles
Medical School: University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine
Other: Home grown in East LA! I made the close yet far move to UCLA to complete my bachelor’s degree in Psychobiology. Treating patients with chronic conditions and increasing access to preventative care in underserved communities are my passion. For my medical school education, I joined the UCLA Program in Medical Education (PRIME), a dual degree program founded on the values of leadership, advocacy, and equity in health care. For my masters, I wanted a better understanding of the systemic challenges in providing care for underserved patients and thus, I obtained an MPH with a focus in health management and policy. During my masters, I had the opportunity to travel to Japan for a health policy project and Haiti to provide accessible primary care. As a first-generation medical school, I also helped establish the first-generation medical student organization at UCLA and continue my passion for mentorship. I chose KP Los Angeles because of the compassion and comradery of the people who work here and the diverse patient population they serve. What better place to train than in an organization that places primary care at the forefront. During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching Netflix, and eating popcorn.

Faisal Merchant, DO

Graduate School: University of California, Berkeley
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences/College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
Other: I was born in Mumbai, India and moved to Nairobi, Kenya at the age of four where my family and I lived for five years. We immigrated to the United States and settled in beautiful Southern California and haven’t felt the urge to move since. I attended U.C. Berkeley and majored in Molecular and Cellular Biology and in Cognitive Science. At Cal, I was heavily involved in the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. I attended weekly workdays where I served food and shared meals with local community members, mingled with seniors and helped replant their gardens, and occasionally helped build homes in Oakland and San Francisco for low-income families. My passions for service, preventative medicine, and healthy living led me to pursue a career as a physician. I attended medical school at Western University of Health Sciences where I was able to focus my passions while leading The Sports Medicine Club. I also participated in a class global health trip to Peru where I conducted preliminary health screenings for local children and adults and led workshops that focused on primary and secondary prevention of illnesses endemic to the region. I'm ecstatic to join the Kaiser LA family and am looking forward to practicing evidence-based medicine and serving an extremely diverse population. In addition, I hope to continue pursing my interests in sports medicine, preventative medicine, and global health. In my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family and friends, going to the gym, playing basketball, and catching up on many years of missed TV shows and movies.

Krista Ring, MD

Graduate School: Stanford University
Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Other: I was born and raised in a large, multi-cultural family in Sacramento, California. I developed a passion for healthcare as a child while helping my grandmother care for my elderly great-grandmother and volunteering in hospitals and convalescent homes once she passed away. After high school, I attended Stanford University where I studied Human Biology with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health. Exploring the mechanisms behind health disparities in the United States both strengthened my interest in primary care for underserved populations and explained trends I've seen in my own family and community. As a believer that education is key to good health, I have been a teacher and mentor for students from low-income and minority communities through programs such as Breakthrough Sacramento and Kaiser Permanente's Thrive Academy. Throughout medical school, I also organized and taught health courses to formerly gang-affiliated adults at Homeboy Industries. I am very excited to join Kaiser Permanente as a Family Medicine Resident to build a solid foundation in holistic, evidence-based medicine. I also look forward to participating in community outreach, advocating for health equity, and mentoring future physicians. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family, watching Netflix, cooking Creole food, going to hip hop and R&B concerts, and exploring all of the delicious restaurants in Los Angeles.

Caroline Shang,MD

Graduate School: Columbia University
Medical School: Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Other: I was born in Boston after my parents immigrated from China, and grew up on the East Coast. While studying Biomedical Engineering in college, I also enjoyed tutoring students in music and mentoring in pipeline programs. After graduating, I made the leap and moved across the country to Los Angeles to teach high school Biology and Physics in an inner-city school. During my time here, I fell in love with my kiddos and confirmed my passion to serve others. I taught my students not only the rigorous education standards, but also found myself adding lessons that focused on healthy habits. It was very difficult for me to turn a blind eye while my students were eating hamburgers and Hot Cheetos for lunch and not sleeping well at night. I realized the importance of the social determinants of health and its impact on their educational potential. I wanted to tackle this problem from multiple angles, which propelled me to attend medical school and be more prepared to educate my patients regarding their health problems. During medical school, I continued these interests by participating in interprofessional health fairs and teaching classes about health prevention. Family medicine is the perfect fit for me because I can continue community work, particularly for underserved populations, focus on health prevention, and learn more about public health and health policy. I am excited to pursue these interests at Kaiser Permanente LAMC! In my free time, I enjoy taking pictures, watering my plants, going to comedy shows, and having picnics with loved ones.

Community Medicine Fellow/Junior Faculty

Rima Shah Leclere, MD

Medical School: Boston University School of Medicine
Residency Training: Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles Medical Center, Family Medicine

Where are our recent graduates?

Alumni Doc 2017-2018