ClassNotesMEDEX Northwest Alumni

Seattle | Spokane | Yakima

New job, award, move or family addition? Your classmates want to hear from you! Let us know how you’re doing.

The ClassNotes below were received through August 2011; any received afterward will appear in the next issue.


Cathy McCurdy, PA-C (Seattle Class 11), has practiced in rural medicine for 28 years in the U.S. She’s now in another rural community: Ahuas, Honduras, a town of 1,500 indigenous people in remote northeast Honduras, an area called La Moskitia. This 150-square-kilometer area encompasses a rainforest, a savannah, mountains, and many rivers and lagoons. McCurdy works at Clinica Morava, which serves as a referral hospital for La Moskitia. The facility has its roots in a Moravian church mission in Nicaragua, founded around 1930.

Helena Fraser, PA-C (Seattle Class 16), writes, “I am in Yucca Valley, Calif., doing dermatology for a while longer. I’m going back to Ecuador this month, and I’m hoping to obtain a ‘fellow’ standing with the Wilderness Medical Society. Maybe I’ll work with tour groups abroad next summer.”

Stewart Brooks, PA-C (Seattle Class 32), writes, “I am currently working at the Texas Brain and Spine Institute in Bryan, Texas. I’m also working with three other PAs in the Central Texas Education Group, training PAs in the field of neurosurgery. Four neurosurgeons work with our group to train the candidates, who work with each neurosurgeon/PA-C team for three-month rotations. Our first candidate graduated this September, and we are currently looking at new candidates. Visit our training site at”

Kelsey Kuehn, PA-C (Seattle Class 32), is working in Minneapolis in occupational health.

Abraham Abu, PA-C (Seattle Class 33), writes, “I work for International Pain Management/Physical Medicine Group in Longview, Wash. I have practiced in this field for over eight years.”

Keith Erickson, PA-C (Seattle Class 33), writes, “I live in Camano Island, Wash. I work at Skagit Regional Clinic in Stanwood doing family practice. I have been there three years. I am also the medical director for Safe Harbor Free Clinic in Stanwood. If anybody wants to volunteer, check out”

Kevin Hall, MHSc., AA-C, PA-C (Seattle Class 33), writes, “I am amazed at how quickly the time has passed. My wife and I live in Atlanta, Ga., with our two sons. I work at Emory University Hospital Midtown, where I provide anesthesia in the operating room on a daily basis. I would like to hear from classmates (”

Lyudmila Myers, PA-C (Seattle Class 33), writes, “I have privileges at four hospitals in Reno, Nev., and work as a consultant in rehabilitation medicine with one of the leading physiatrists. I’m also working at a skilled nursing facility with an internal medicine physician, where we act as the attendings for geriatric patients requiring rehabilitation.”

Cheryl Parker, PA-C (Seattle Class 33), writes, “I am still working for Seattle Children’s and still helping USA Track & Field. I’ll be in Korea for the World Games.”

Hector Camacho Perez-Arce, PA-C (Seattle Class 33), writes, “I am practicing in a rural setting and in an urban clinic, attending almost 95 percent uninsured, underserved Latino families in a primary-care setting in Southern California. I am hoping to return to the Pacific Northwest soon and continue my mission of practicing medicine with these communities. I am open to student rotations — my clinic is large and has two other PAs willing to take trainees.”

Jody Leisholm, PA-C (Seattle Class 37), writes, “I have been practicing family medicine in Metlakatla in southeast Alaska, and I have been the diabetes coordinator for the last two years. I track the diabetes patients, ensure all native diabetes patients are registered with the Indian Health Service Diabetes Registry, complete an audit once a year, and help with our diabetes grant. It’s typically a four-provider practice (two physicians and two PAs). However, there is a very high turnover of providers. The population here is around 1,400, and the clinic is the only facility on the island.”

Devi Dawady, PA-C (Seattle Class 39), writes, “I am currently working as a primary-care practitioner at the American Lake Veterans Clinic in Lakewood, Wash.”

Lance Keck, PA-C (Seattle Class 39), writes, “I am currently working in cardiothoracic surgery at Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton, Wash., with fellow MEDEX graduate Michael Chernekoff, PA-C (Part-time Class 6). Michael and I precepted MEDEX student Erica Bottai, PA-C (Seattle Class 43), for her specialty surgery and inpatient medicine rotations. We also precepted a Pharm.D. candidate from the UW School of Pharmacy earlier this year. Michael and I work with William Reed, M.D., and Chris King, M.D.”

Aaron McCloud, PA-C (Seattle Class 39), writes, “I am working for the Optimus Medical Group in San Francisco, Calif. I specialize in internal medicine, with an emphasis on HIV care. I am also completing the process of becoming certified as an HIV specialist with the American Academy of HIV Medicine.”

Kimberly Farnsworth, PA-C (Seattle Class 39), writes: “I work at Tripler Army Medical Center in Oahu, Hawaii — in orthopaedics in a large facility attached to the VA. I see a variety of patients, including active duty, reserve and dependents. Interestingly, there are other MEDEX Northwest alumni working on the island; Matt Ota, PA-C (Seattle Class 39), and Catherine Harris, PA-C (Seattle Class 34). Matt is working in research and ER medicine, and Catherine works with me at Tripler in nephrology. Matt, Catherine and I met up with Gino Gianola, PA-C (Seattle Class 8), MEDEX Northwest didactic faculty member, and his wife while they were vacationing here. I’ve had an interesting experience in Hawaii. Access to care and healthcare coverage is at a premium. Many people here on the island do not have a job, or have limited income, or no health coverage.”

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Anthony Walker, PA-C (Spokane Class 1), writes, “I am back in federal service — as a civilian — with the Department of the Army. I work in the emergency room at Fort Riley in Kansas.”

Christopher Gunderson, PA-C (Spokane Class 4), writes, “I have been working at the family medicine residency in Boise, Idaho. My wife and I stay busy raising our four children. I’m contemplating going back to school, but I’m having too much fun playing drums in a rock-and-roll band.”

Laura Triphahn, PA-C (Spokane Class 6), writes, “I am still working full time in nephrology in beautiful North Idaho. I bought a road bike last year and have enjoyed riding my bike when the weather is nice. I’ve also been playing tennis and captained a USTA team. We finished in the top four in our division, and we traveled to the Tri-Cities to play in a regional event.”

Joseph Joslyn, PA-C (Spokane Class 7), writes, “I work in Portage, Wis., in the emergency room and in urgent care. I just moved here from Montana, where I was working in family practice. I serve in the Air National Guard as a PA (Capt.) in Madison, Wis. In January 2011, I returned from a six-month deployment in Afghanistan, where I worked in an air evacuation squadron based out of Camp Bastion, Helmand Province.”

Aura Tinsley, PA-C (Spokane Class 7), writes, “I moved home to Lake Chelan, Wash., and found a position at Columbia Valley Community Health. Our main clinic is located in Wenatchee, Wash., with a satellite clinic in Chelan. I worked in family medicine for two years and then transitioned to our urgent-care department in Wenatchee to fill an organizational need. I am so grateful to work for an innovative and forward-thinking organization that works very hard to fulfill an important mission. I look forward to returning to family medicine when the opportunity presents itself within our organization. My very-soon-to-be husband, Eric, and I look forward to travel and mission work abroad.”

W. Aaron Agan, PA-C (Spokane Class 9), writes, “I am working in family practice in Covington, Wash. PA life is excellent!”

Kim Deprati, PA-C (Spokane Class 9), writes, “I have been working in an internal medicine clinic in Sequim, Wash. I am also volunteering at the local free clinic twice a month.”

Tammy Scott, PA-C (Spokane Class 9), writes, “I am happily working in family practice at Mountain View Family Medicine and Obstetrics in Missoula, Mont. In October, it will be three years. I am also currently precepting a soon-to-graduate MEDEX student! My husband, Rod, and I celebrated our 30th anniversary in Hawaii in February, and we hope to travel to Colombia in 2012 to visit our exchange student, who lived with us for the 2009–2010 school year.”

Patty O’Keefe, PA-C (Spokane Class 10), writes, “This is an exciting time for me as a PA! I am getting ready to go on a medical mission to Bolivia as part of a team with Project Helping Hands ( We will spend two weeks in the remote areas of the Pando District, holding medical clinics, teaching and otherwise helping in any way we can. We will travel up Rio Othon, which I understand is a tributary of the Amazon, and stop at villages along the river. After I return from Bolivia, I am going to Midway Atoll in the Pacific to work as the health-care provider on the island. It’s a wildlife refuge, so I will provide routine and emergency care to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service workers and anyone else who’s in the middle of the Pacific and happens to stop by needing medical care. This assignment is my first as an employee of Remote Medical International, a company based in Seattle.”

Jennifer Eickstadt, PA-C (Spokane Class 12), writes, “I am working in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, at Bonners Ferry Family Medicine with Dr. Troy Geyman. It is a small rural health clinic and very busy.”

Ben Hogan, PA-C (Spokane Class 12), writes, “I am now employed as an orthopaedic PA with the Steadman Clinic in the Vail-Frisco area of Colorado. I work for Drs. Tom Hackett and Randall Viola. My focus has been in ski trauma and sports medicine.”

Carrie Conley, PA-C (Spokane Class 12), writes, “Since graduating, I have been working with a vascular surgeon and a general surgeon on the Olympic Peninsula in Aberdeen, Wash. As I write this, however, I am preparing to move to the North Pole, Alaska, to start at Midnight Sun Family Medicine. I am very excited by the move and new job.”

D. Rochelle Linscott, PA-C (Spokane Class 16), retired on July 4, 2011, after working for Group Health since 1984. She is planning lots of travel, including short-term mission trips.

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John R. White, Jr., PA-C (Yakima Class 3), Pharm.D., writes, “I was appointed interim chair of the Department of Pharmacotherapy in the College of Pharmacy at Washington State University in February 2011.”


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