cLASSnOTES

1950s | 1960s| 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010–today

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

Elizabeth Peacock-Chambers, M.D. ’10, and Kyle Chambers, M.D. ’10, write, “Elizabeth has completed her pediatric training at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center and is now in an epidemiology research fellowship at Boston Medical Center. Kyle is in his fourth of five years of ear-nose-throat residency at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston and is planning on pursuing a head and neck fellowship. We welcomed a baby, Cecilia, in May 2013.”

Hana Smith, M.D. ’10, writes, “I just completed a pediatrics residency at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and now work at Friend Family Health Center, a federally qualified health center in Chicago. I am a clinical associate of the University of Chicago and attend in resident clinic once a week. My husband and I welcomed our first daughter, Ada, in March 2013.”

Lisa Tuffs, PA-C (Seattle Class 42) (2010), writes, “After graduation, I started out in the urgent care/fast track ER at Harrison Memorial Hospital in Bremerton, Wash., for a year. I moved on to Saxonbrook Medical in Crawley, West Sussex, England, which is about 30 minutes south of London. I drove the Highlands of Scotland, visiting castles and whiskey distilleries, and made a trip to the Louvre in Paris. I had settled into orthopaedics for a year in Centralia, Wash., when I met my sweetheart. She stole me away to Virginia Beach, Va., where she works for TeamHealth at three Bon Secours Hospitals. I’m enjoying my beach life, with frequent trips to colonial Williamsburg. This is an exciting time in medicine for PAs.”

Daphne Ma, Ph.D. ’11 (immunology), writes, “I have been in Peru for almost a year on a Fogarty Fellowship with the UW Department of Global Health. My project is called A Peru Unit for Neurosyphilis Diagnosis. I’m working with la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in the Institute of Tropical Medicine and a non-profit organization called Asociación Civil Impacta Salud y Educación on two different projects to study syphilis. Throughout my research, I’ve received invaluable guidance and support from physicians here in Peru and in Seattle and know this will help propel my career in the study of infectious diseases.”

Andy Powers, Ph.D. ’11 (physiology and biophysics), now works as a presidential postdoctoral fellow at the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research. Powers’ research focuses on
a protein called CDK5, a signaling molecule that participates in many aspects of normal cellular physiology but is thought to become disregulated in neurodegenerative and metabolic disorders.

William Roberts, PA-C (Yakima Class 16) (2011), and Liesel Ernst (Spokane Class 13) (2011), were married on Dec. 28, 2013, in Santa Cruz, Calif. They both practice at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Ernst writes, “How can you pass up a man in a classic 1955 Airstream? We both shared a background as professional paramedic firefighters, with many years in the fire service, prior to going to PA school. We became friends right away, but he was in the Yakima class, so it was a rotation at the VA in Boise, Idaho, that brought us together. We have been together since. I knew that he was serious about the relationship when he moved all the way to Minnesota to work at the Mayo Clinic with me.”

Daniel Capurro, M.D., Ph.D. ’12 (biomedical and health informatics), writes, “I am an assistant professor at the School of Medicine at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. I spend most of my time working on the implementation of our new institution-wide electronic medical record and clinical data warehouse, making sure that we are able to use data collected during routine patient care for research and public health. I am also a member of the board of directors of the Chilean Health Informatics Association.”

Stephanie Rubright, PA-C (Spokane Class 14) (2012), writes, “I recently relocated to the Seattle area after spending the past year working at Loma Linda University on the solid
organ procurement and transplant team. I have just started my new position on the general and vascular surgery service with Group Health. I love this position, as it offers a wide variety of roles and responsibilities, including first-assisting in the OR, rounding on the inpatient units, interventional radiology procedures and vascular clinic. I work for a wonderful group of surgeons and PAs that are mentoring and guiding me through the first years of my career.”

Brenda Wilks, PA-C (Spokane Class 14) (2012) began working in family practice and urgent care in a rural setting just north of Spokane, Wash., shortly after graduating. Recently, Wilks accepted a new position, and she now works in the dermatology center at Rockwood Clinic in Spokane.

Forbes Innovator
Jeff Kidd, Ph.D. ’10

Named a member of Forbes Magazine’s inaugural class of “30 Under 30” in the science and healthcare category in 2011, Jeff Kidd, Ph.D. ’10, says, “I was surprised when the reporter from Forbes contacted me. It was definitely unexpected.”

Now 31, Kidd doesn’t know who nominated him for the special issue of Forbes, which recognizes young innovators, but he was thrilled with the honor. He received another major recognition in 2011, when he was among the first group that received Early Independence Awards, granted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Originally from Ohio, Kidd received a B.S. in biology from Case Western Reserve with minors in math and computer science, and he earned a Ph.D. in genome sciences at UW Medicine, where he investigated human genome variation under the mentorship of UW Professor Evan E. Eichler, Ph.D. Kidd is now an assistant professor of human genetics with his own lab at the University of Michigan. “My lab is particularly interested in how the history of different populations relates to genetic diversity today,” he says.

Luis Manriquez, M.D. ’13, and his wife welcomed twins — Frances and Javier — in January. The family lives in Portland, Ore.

James Noonan, PA-C (Seattle Class 45) (2013), writes, “Since graduating this past August, I’m just settling down after the whirlwind of the certification exam, a cross-country road trip/move, finding a new apartment, and starting as a new provider with my former employer, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP). I started at BHCHP in 2006 as an AmeriCorps member, spent four years there as a case manager, and am now back next to my old desk as a PA at the Barbara McInnis House, a medical respite facility for homeless patients that are too sick for the shelters but not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital. In this 104-bed facility, patients receive short-term medical management (the average length of stay is two weeks) for acute medical issues, such as post-op care or a frostbite injury, and/or exacerbation of chronic medical issues, such as deteriorating congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, uncontrolled hypertension or diabetes. Soon, in addition to working in the medical respite unit, I will start to develop a panel of primary-care patients who I will see in one of BHCHP’s shelter clinics. While I already miss the Northwest, I am glad to have the opportunity to work with an organization nationally recognized for providing the highest quality care for homeless people and learning from the mentors and patients who inspired me to be a PA. I feel well-prepared by the MEDEX program to start to provide quality care to these medically complex and undeserved patients. And, in many ways, I feel I’m fulfilling the goals that I went to MEDEX to achieve. I’m doing justice to the primary-care stipend I was fortunate enough to receive while at the University of Washington.”

Pam Voltz, PA-C (Seattle Class 45) (2013), writes, “Post-graduation, I returned to Salem, Ore., to continue to work with underserved community members. I am a cardiothoracic surgical PA-C by day, and at night and on weekends, I’m the CEO of a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit called Without Strings (withoutstrings.org). I founded the organization, which holds preventative healthcare events. Every person involved in our organization is a volunteer, including myself. I have had more than 400 healthcare volunteers (R.N.s, PA-Cs, M.D.s, D.O.s, CNAs, etc.) donate their time or services over the past four years. We just completed our fourth winter vaccine clinic, providing influenza, tetanus and pneumonia vaccines to community members in an outdoor clinic setting. We are now gearing up for our fourth annual Feet on the Street clinic, which provides foot care, wound care and footwear to low- and no-income community members. We also run a large dental clinic every year; I rent two dental vans and partner with the dental school at Oregon Health & Science University (and their faculty) to provide restoration and/or extractions. What’s unique about Without Strings is that all of our “street clinics” are held under the Marion Street Bridge, and the clinics truly are without strings. We don’t ask questions, and we offer assistance to any guest visiting our events. I have aspirations of obtaining funding to begin a mobile primary-care clinic, and I continue to work on grants with that goal in mind. I remember a question I was asked when I applied to MEDEX: ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ My reply then and now is this: ‘under a bridge practicing medicine to improve access to underserved communities.’”

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