ClassNotesM.D. Alumni

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

Your classmates would love to hear from you! Send a quick note to or use the online form.

Is it your reunion year?
It is if you’re a member of one of these classes: 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007 or 2012. Learn more about the 2017 Reunion Weekend on June 2–3.



John Stanley, M.D. ’51, and his wife, Carol, attended the 50-Year Association lunch, part of the 2016 Reunion Weekend.


John N. Lein, M.D., writes, “As I approach my 90th birthday, I’m not doing much besides residing on our farm and watching Claire’s horses run at the track. I, of course, take full credit for everything when the horses win.”


Tina Freed, M.D., Res. ’73 (OB/GYN), writes, “I am now 86 and live in the Timber Ridge retirement community of Issaquah, where I have happily lived now for eight years. I have used my medical background to come alongside the many folks here who are struggling with aging. Dementia is common. I have started a support group for partners of people having great difficulty dealing with their situations. It is so good to see how they help each other. I visit our hospital almost every day. I am grateful for this life, and I am grateful for the medical school which helps so many to have fruitful lives.”


Grace Holmes, M.D., is writing a book on nurses during World War I. Read more.


James H. Kauth, M.D., writes, “I am approaching my 20th year in retirement!!! And enjoying every minute of it. Still trying to stay resilient as the aging process marches on. My wife, Lee, and I are continuing to really enjoy being a part of the lives of our three local grandchildren as they are rapidly completing their high-school educations and moving on to college — at Oregon State University! Our health has continued to remain pretty stable, and we are both able to be up and taking nourishment, for which we thank the Lord!!! Blessings to all my classmates!!!”


Lawrence Knight, M.D., and Kaye Knight wrote to say that they are adjusting to the challenges of retirement. Dr. Knight retired five years ago, but was honored this year with the annual teaching/mentoring award from Idaho WWAMI. They note that their children and grandchildren continue to be a source of joy, as well as adventure.


Zaiga Phillips, M.D., Res. ’61 (pediatrics), writes, “Still enjoying my active half-time pediatric practice at Allegro Pediatrics in Bellevue. The three children are grown, and the two grandchildren (age 8 and 20) provide challenges, fun and entertainment. I am enjoying my international travels and have seen about one-half of the world’s countries, yet my native Latvia remains my favorite. The language, the culture, the restful calm of rolling hills, childhood memories, ancient history, the not-too-distant and painful occupation, and friends and relatives refresh me and summon me back twice a year.”

Back to top



Eldon Bell, M.D., went on a fishing trip to Kodiak Island, Alaska, with his son and grandson. After fishing (166 lbs. of various fish fillets), they visited a bison herd, saw wildlife and visited museums and two World War II forts. The curator at the Baranov Museum interviewed Dr. Bell for a live historical accounting and recording of his youth, spent on Kodiak Island from 1937 to 1950 with his pioneer parents, Earl and Joan “Essie” Bell. Bell’s Flats and Joan Mountain were named in their honor.


Rollin W. Odell, Jr., M.D., writes, “I very much enjoyed our 50th reunion luncheon last summer. Seeing and talking with old classmates is a special treat. Our summer at our home on the Kitsap Peninsula was especially enjoyable because of visits from family, including grandchildren Molly and Joaquin and my son, Devin, who treated us to several sails on Puget Sound. We are returning to our home in the San Francisco Bay Area (Orinda), where we will spend the winter.”

D. William Vanderweken, M.D., retired in 2000 after 37 years of family practice in Cloverdale, Calif. He says that he is now on hemodialysis, but expects many more good years ahead.


Frank Backus, M.D., Res. ’68 (psychiatry and behavioral sciences), writes, “We spent the summer in Oregon with our son, daughter, son-in-law and five grandchildren — a lot of time in Bend and a week in Waldport on the beach. We are currently enjoying a great week in Glacier National Park. We are continuing our involvement with the Thornton Creek Alliance. Life is good.”


Mark Heilbrunn, M.D., writes, “I am still working, albeit at a much-reduced schedule. Plenty of time to devote to my family, wife and children. We all engage in regular exercise; I’m trying to keep up with my sportive family. All are quite fit. Made a trip this past summer to the Big Apple. My wife and I live in Seattle; my son resides in Medford, Ore., and our daughter in Salem, Ore. I completed my pathology residency in Montreal and in Washington, D.C., and have boards in both AP/CP. I still keep active with speaking German with our neighbors. Periodically, we travel to Europe, where we have good friends in Ludwigshafen, Germany, the birthplace of my mother.”


Dennis Knutson, M.D., writes, “My wife, Mary Ann Knutson, died on Feb. 2, 2016, from a glioblastoma multiforme five weeks from the first presenting symptom. We married in the summer of 1964, following my second year of medical school, and we were married for 52 years. After additional years of military service and residency and fellowship training in various locations, we settled in Sioux Falls, S.D., where we’ve lived for 41 years. After 32 years of dermatology practice and teaching, I retired in 2007. We were blessed with two sons and five grandchildren.”

Don McClure, M.D., says, “Just beginning our 13th ‘crush’ here at Ayres Vineyard and Winery. The 2016 vintage has great promise. What a year: the 50th anniversary of my graduation from medical school and a beautiful harvest from our vineyard.”


David E. Eckert, M.D., writes, “I retired from an emergency medicine position with Kaiser in the Sacramento, Calif., area seven years ago and moved to Phoenix, Ariz., in the West Valley area. Kathi and I have been married 45 years and now reside in the Pebble Creek community in Goodyear, Ariz., where I am the president of the 600-member wine club. I am also the handicap chairman of our 350-member, nine-hole men’s golf association. Retirement is good!”

Rosemary Hunter, M.D., Res. ’68 (pediatrics), writes, “I am one month into a trial retirement. The clinic where I had been practicing child psychiatry for the past 13 years closed due to its inability to survive on low Medicaid reimbursements. So far, I like having more time with my grandchildren in North Carolina, Arizona and here in New Mexico, but I miss the brave kids and dedicated staff I worked with.”


Thomas W. LaGrelius, M.D., reports that he and his wife, Patti, were in Seattle for a few days around Labor Day. They drove around Mt. Rainier and stayed one night at Crystal Mountain and one at Paradise Lodge. They have two new grandchildren, twins Barrett Abbott and Lydia Rita Graham, who joined their two older sisters, Ellen (6) and Nora (3), five months ago. He is still practicing full-time in Torrance, Calif., and he runs the American College of Private Physicians, which had its second annual meeting in Las Vegas in September 2016.

Back to top



Greg Ledgerwood, M.D., writes, “A bucket-list event: traveled to The Netherlands to see the tulips in bloom and down the Rhine River in May. I’m ending my practice of 44 years by the end of 2016. It’s been a great, fulfilled experience. Now I’ll experience the changes in medicine through my son, Geoff Ledgerwood, M.D. ’03.”


Thomas Benedetti, M.D., says, “Retirement is good. I’m enjoying salmon fishing from my boat (the Strait Shooter) near West Vancouver Island with friends.”


Charles M. Johnston, M.D., writes, “My work has evolved from that of psychiatrist to that of being a futurist and author. I am best known as the originator of Creative Systems Theory (CST), a comprehensive framework for understanding purpose, change and interrelationships in human systems, and as director of the Institute for Creative Development, a Seattle-based think tank and center of advanced leadership training (see The concept of cultural maturity, a key notion in CST, argues that modern-age institutions and ways of thinking are not the end points that we tend to assume them to be. Rather, an important and more “grown-up” chapter in the human narrative lies ahead (see Over the last 10 years, I’ve written three new works on cultural maturity and its implications: Hope and the Future: An Introduction to the Concept of Cultural Maturity, Cultural Maturity: A Guidebook for the Future and Quick and Dirty Answers to the Biggest of Questions: Creative Systems Theory Answers What It is All About (Really).”


Betsy Evans, M.D., writes, “The memorable summer of 2016! The highlight was becoming a grandmother and welcoming grandson Finn Andrew Kuhn Foss into the world on August 9. A healthy 9-pound, 11-ounce boy joins his happy dads, Michael Foss and Peter Kuhn, who live in New York. No, I didn’t do this delivery, but I am still practicing full-time OB/GYN. Resilience! The other highlight was going to the Rio Olympics and swimming with pink dolphins in the Amazon!”


Jerris Hedges, M.D., writes, “Aloha, and sorry I missed the Class of 1976’s 40th anniversary. I have been busy running (on an interim basis for 18 months) the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine and the affiliated cancer center. We now have a new director for the NCI-designated cancer center, so I can return to my primary job. We are doing a lot of great work in health disparities research. Please drop by the next time you are in Honolulu.”

Phyllis Senter, M.D., retired on June 30, 2015, from her family medicine practice (a solo practice from 1980–1997; a group practice from 1997–2015) and is doing all the things she likes to do, which include singing (choral/choir, solo work), reading (historical novels), playing piano (and fiddling around with a fiddle), dancing (ballet, flamenco) and cooking/baking! She’s also enjoying being with her husband every night for dinner and travelling when they can, especially to visit new places and to see their three beautiful granddaughters.


Robert Benedetti, M.D., says, “After 31 years of nephrology practice, the first two at the University of Vermont, and the last 29 at Rockwood Clinic in Spokane, I’ve retired and moved to Carbondale, Colo., to be near my daughter, Christine, who lives and works in Aspen. Though I’m still on the board of directors for the Washington Physicians Health Program, skiing, cycling, climbing, yoga, golfing and learning Spanish now take up most of my time — as does waiting for grandchildren.”

Milton Curtis, M.D., is the medical director for Evergreen Healthcare Primary Care Clinics, with 10 clinics in east King County and Snohomish County. In June, he celebrated his 43rd wedding anniversary. He has two children and nine grandchildren who live within 20 minutes of his home in Kenmore, and he and wife, Jeannie, have been married for 42 years. Dr. Curtis has been on the Kenmore City Council for eight years, and he is in his third term. Their vision is to build a family-focused city with lots of fun and activities.

John Spencer, M.D., writes, “Judy and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this year. We’re looking forward to welcoming our 14th grandchild. I am still practicing despite a plethora of quirky EMRs. We are moving to Arizona for a .9 full-time position in November. I will be just a little south of Tucson, and I am learning to know the desert’s little ways. I am running half-marathons (and more), and I hope to have completed 9 out of 10 of the legs of the Klondike International Road Relay this fall.”

Back to top



Jimmy Chubbuck, M.D., reports that his daughter, Melissa Chubbuck, M.D. ’16, is now doing her internal medicine residency at Highland Hospital in Oakland, Calif.

E.F. Livingstone, M.D., Res. ’83 (physical medicine and rehabilitation), MSOT ’83, PMC, writes, “Loving life in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Doing electrodiagnostic medicine, general physiatry and forensic work. My son, Jason, is in his second year of medical school at the University of Texas, San Antonio. Wishing you well and God’s blessings.”


Cici B. Asplund, M.D., writes, “I hope my many ’81 classmates cheerfully excused my absence from our reunion. Our daughter, Karin, is now Karin Lammert, M.D. — her graduation day from OHSU was also June 4. We are delighted that she and our son-in-law, Kevin Lammert, M.D. ’16, matched in Salt Lake City. Randy and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary later this year. Future family gatherings may turn into our own version of an interdisciplinary group, as our son Steve’s wife, Melanie, is starting her second year in her DPT program in the other Washington. Back home in Wenatchee, after 25 years of family practice, I have re-purposed myself: I am now doing special projects for our Confluence Health group, including team-based communication skills practice and beginning advance care planning teamwork. I’m not exactly a re-tread, and not retired, but re-purposed. ‘Tis a good thing to be doing!”

Neil Hampson, M.D., writes, “My new murder mystery — about an ecoterrorist in Seattle killing people who are not green — was published in June. It is titled Cherry Red and is available online. It has a strong medical theme and is set in Metropolitan Hospital in downtown Seattle.”


Sharon Dietrich, M.D., writes, “I have been retired for five years now. Life is good. I have time to pursue my interests, including hiking, traveling and photography. My five grandkids and two great-grandkids are the loves of my life. It was an honor and a privilege serving as a physician in a rural area for 25 years, but I do not miss it. I still follow medical news and updates, though.”

Frank James, M.D., Res. ’87, is dedicated to international health care. Read more.


Capt. Dana Covey, M.D., M.Sc., FACS, writes, “I transitioned from the Navy to the orthopaedic surgery faculty at University of California, San Diego, two years ago. In addition to academic medicine, I enjoy outdoor activities with my family.”

John Jarstad, M.D., recently sold his Evergreen Eye Center practices after 26 years and accepted a position as an associate professor of clinical ophthalmology and director of cataract and laser surgery at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. He’s enjoying the return to academic medicine and recently lectured as a visiting professor at Our Lady of Fatima University on his specialty of robotic femtosecond laser cataract surgery. His research involves the treatment of keratoconus using dietary riboflavin and natural UV light. His daughter, Allison Jarstad, is chief resident in ophthalmology at the SUNY Syracuse campus and will soon begin a cornea transplant fellowship.


Randall Fowler, M.D., Res. ’88 (family medicine), and his wife, Keri, welcomed their first grandchild, Jamisen Lee Craney (E-38), son of their daughter, Katrice.


Gabriel Lee, M.D., Res. ’88 (internal medicine), writes, “I went to a remote part of China in March this year on a photography workshop, and it was wonderful to see villages that have not been spoiled too much by tourism. In July, my daughter and I went to Cooperstown to witness Ken Griffey, Jr., being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. I have been a cardiologist at Group Health since 1993, and I recently took on an administrative role as the assistant physician-in-chief for medical specialties in the Tacoma area.”


W. Conrad Liles, M.D. ’87, Ph.D., Chief Res. ’90 (internal medicine), Fel. ’94 (allergy and infectious diseases), is featured in a UW Department of Medicine story about the skiing accident last April that nearly cost him his life. He credits the clinical care he received, as well as advances in research, with saving him. Read the full story.


Merilee D. Karr, M.D., writes, “As a science journalist, I published an article about the science and politics of how indoor air became so much more polluted than outdoor air. Asthma, cancer, endocrine disruption, oh, my! The magazine is Metroscape, and it goes to urban planners, public health folks and elected officials around the Northwest and around the world.”

Mark Mayhle, M.D., has been elected to the board of directors of Arbor Vita Corporation ( AVC is a biotech company based in Fremont, Calif., and its products include tests for cervical cancer and avian flu. The company’s founder and CEO is Peter Lu, M.D. ’88, Res. ’89 (internal medicine).

John Mihalik, M.D., writes, “After finishing the Group Health FP residency in ’91, I did rural medicine in Northern California, first as the director of a clinic for farm workers and then in my own rural practice until 2003. I then joined Kaiser Permanente (KP), and, for the last 13 years, I have worked as a hospitalist and chair of the ethics committee. KP provides me with a great practice environment and time off to volunteer in global medicine. I recently completed my 21st mission to the rural Dominican Republic, serving the people living in the campo of El Naranjito near the Haitian border. My daughter, Amanda, was 2 when I started medical school. She is now also a physician. I’ve attached a picture of her son, my grandson, Miko. Who knows, perhaps a third-generation physician in the making!”

Brent Rich, M.D., ATC, is starting his 12th year as the sports medicine fellowship director for Utah Valley Sports Medicine and his 12th year as a team physician at Brigham Young University after 10 years with the Arizona Diamondbacks and 10 years with Arizona State University. Sixteen years ago, he was a team physician for the United States Olympic team in Sydney. He is recovering from B cell lymphoma, but doing well. “Go, Cougars! Go, Dawgs!” he says.

Shannon F. Stromberg, M.D., writes, “I’m living with my two kids and partner in the mountains of New Mexico. I am also the director of psychiatric clinical services at the University of New Mexico.”

Carl Tubbs, M.D., writes, “Well, I am up to about 5’9” at this point, having lost some ground to the weakest but most persistent force in the universe (is it slouching or gravity?). A change in practice from Minnesota to Colorado has provided for much more opportunity to catch some astrophotography, do some great hiking and learn about local geology. Glaucoma still fills the days, but opportunities for medical and surgical research remain rewarding, and meetings with ANSI and ISO concerning standards for implantable ocular devices provide for regular experiences with scientists much brighter and persistent than myself. Our boys are doing well — one is a pilot and the other just completed his first year in OHSU’s School of Dentistry. Christine has reinvented herself as a consultant for non-profits, organizing boards and helping with direction. The days continue to flow by in increasingly quick succession without the old capaciousness that boredom once allowed. But a nice nap from time to time is still a good idea. Hope all of the class is doing well, and that a reunion may bring us together in the near future. Let’s convene again at Mark’s place!”

Back to top



Chris Covert-Bowlds, M.D., writes, “My wife, Debi, and I (mostly Debi) are helping Skagit Valley farmworkers in their union-related efforts to get fair wages and working conditions at Sakuma Brothers Farms with Families Unidas por Justicia. I just bicycled the STP in one day, 205 miles in 14 hours. Drafting is key! Our daughter, Sarah, will play saxophone with the band-circus MarchFourth in a cross-country tour, then rejoin her regular group, Hot Damn Scandal. Our son, Steven, just started a great video game programming job at Big Fish. Enjoying CMEs in Hawaii. I’m biking to work 12 miles every day at Group Health in Bothell; we’re down to one family car. I’m also doing public speaking about climate change impacts on health with Physicians for Social Responsibility.”

Paul Zimmer, M.D., MPH, writes, “Unfortunately, I missed the class reunion. I have resigned my position as medical director at the Kodiak Community Health Center in Kodiak, Alaska, and took a job with the U.S. Department of State. I will be relocating to Abu Dhabi on June 1 and will be serving as regional medical officer there for the next two years. My wife, Tia Leber, will accompany me. We have two children, Daniel, 20, and Anelise, 22.”


Angeles Alvarez Secord, M.D., is working in gynecologic oncology at Duke University.


David A. Ballance, M.D., has been at Family Health Care in Boise, Idaho, for 19 years.


Edward Johnson, M.D., has been appointed chief medical officer for Providence Health Care in Stevens County, Wash.

April Wazeka, M.D., writes, “I am working as a pediatric pulmonologist in New Jersey. My two girls keep me busy. I would love to hear from classmates at”


Lisa Sferra, M.D., Res. ’99 (internal medicine), was featured on KUOW in September, talking about her farm. Someday, she hopes to offer therapeutic riding at the farm, and she’d love to hear from any UW School of Medicine alumni who have experience in this area or a shared interest. Learn more at

Back to top



Elliott H. Sohn, M.D., Res. ’02 (internal medicine), Res. ’07 (ophthalmology), is a clinician-scientist focusing on the retina at the University of Iowa. He was recently tenured to associate professor and now directs the retina fellowship program. Over the past few years, he has reduced his clarinet playing to start racing cars!


Geoff Ledgerwood, M.D. ’03, a second-generation alumnus, practices urology in Colorado.


Joseph T. Ho, M.D., Ph.D. ’04 (neurology and behavior), says, “After being away for a number of years completing a neurosurgery residency and a neurointerventional fellowship and working in L.A., I am excited to have moved back to the Pacific Northwest. I am now in Olympia, Wash., working at Providence St. Peter Hospital as director of endovascular neurosurgery. We are offering a whole new technology to Olympia and the surrounding region that was not previously offered. We are able to treat aneurysms, AVMs and other cerebrovascular disease using less invasive endovascular means as compared to traditional open surgical techniques.”


Deepti Gupta, M.D., and her husband welcomed their son, Akash, into the world on Feb. 1, 2016.


Gemma O’Keeffe, M.D., and Chris Giedt, M.D., write, “We’re working as hospitalists in a critical access hospital in Port Townsend, Wash. We have three kids from age 18 months to 9 years. Still enjoying the beauty of the Northwest and the bounty from the ocean and mountains that sustains our family and fills our freezers.”


Earl Chester, M.D., writes, “I’m moving back to Big Sky/WWAMI country after residency and fellowship and one year of private practice in Tennessee. We can’t wait to be back amongst the mountains and never-ending vistas!”

Lance Hansen, M.D., and his wife, Joni, welcomed Anders into their family on Feb. 10, 2016.

Anna Knisely, M.D., writes, “I’m very excited to announce that I have returned to Seattle to join Swedish as an otolaryngologist specializing in rhinology and skull-base surgery. I am thrilled to be back in the area!”

Back to top



Linda Ding, M.D., writes, “I just started at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, as an assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Acute Care Surgery and Burns. I’m enjoying the white-sand beaches and eating shrimp and grits given any chance to do so. Visitors are welcome, especially during Mardi Gras!”

Jenny Trieu, M.D, and Marc Schwartz, M.D. ’14, Ph.D. ’13 (immunology), recently welcomed baby Luke into their family.


Daniel W. Robinson, M.D., writes, “I finished my emergency medicine residency in 2014 and accepted a fellowship position at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in simulation medicine and medical education. I am close to completing a master’s of health professions education at UIC. I completed my fellowship in June 2016, and I accepted a position as an assistant professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Emergency Medicine.”


Kevin Fiori, Jr., M.D., MPH, and Jenny Schecter will be honored with the 2016 Sargent Shriver Award from the National Peace Corps Association in recognition of their non-profit organization, called Hope Through Health. The organization focuses on providing assistance for women, children and individuals living with HIV/AIDS. The Sargent Shriver Award is the Peace Corps’ highest honor for former volunteers. Read more at


Vanessa Maycumber, M.D., and Thomas Wright were engaged on Aug. 17, 2016. They are planning a wedding in Spokane, Wash., on May 27, 2017.

Back to top

Connect With Us

Help us go green

Help us go green
Update your email address

Send a ClassNote

Send a ClassNote
Send an update

Write the editor

Write the editor
Tell us what you think

Make a Gift

UW Medicine UW School of Medicine

Box 358045, Seattle, WA 98195-8045 206.685.1875 |