I was born in Anchorage, Alaska to two adventurous parents. We moved to Holualoa on Hawaii Island when I was six years old to start a coffee farm. Growing up there gave me a sense of community and a love for the people of Hawaii. My mother started out her career in special education and remained in the field of education for over 40 years. Her dedication to empowering others was an inspiration to me. My father's military service instilled in me the values of honor and integrity. The examples my parents set led me to pursue a career in medicine. I graduated from the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine, did a combined medicine and surgery internship at the University of Hawaii Transitional Residency Program, an ophthalmology residency at Loma Linda University, and a glaucoma fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.
Both my family and my faith have taught me how important it is to serve others, and the privilege of practicing medicine allows me to do that every day. As a child, I suffered from two separate vision-threatening injuries. I experienced the fear of wondering if my vision would return and the value of having a doctor who was both professional and caring.
I gave a report on glaucoma at the Bascom Palmer Resident Research Day and I published a case report on fungal infection in the eye on EyeNet, the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s monthly magazine.
Constant communication with colleagues in academic medicine is important to remaining at the forefront of medical research. New ideas and techniques are constantly discussed and reviewed in the academic literature. I also read professional journals, attend medical conferences, and take continuing education courses.
I left Hawaii for my medical training but it was always my hope to return and give back to the communities that have given so much to me. To do so as a member of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group is a special blessing.
My philosophy is largely based in my faith. To me that means that every person is unique and valuable. I do my best to care for my patients in the same way I would care for my mother, father, or sister. Also, growing up on Hawaii Island has given me an appreciation of the importance of tradition and personal beliefs. I do my best to understand these in order to provide the most appropriate and effective care to each of my patients.
To maintain my physical health I hike, run, swim, surf, lift weights, and paddle. To stay mentally healthy, I read, play ukulele, visit museums, and attend interesting events. I nurture my spiritual health by spending time with my family on Hawaii Island, volunteering with charities and attending church.
I love to try new foods, and I love to travel. Thankfully, these two activities often go hand in hand! You might even catch me cooking on occasion, though I would not subject many other people to my culinary experiments.