I was born and raised outside of Chicago and earned my undergraduate degree at nearby Northwestern University. Since then I have lived in and explored numerous metropolises, including New York, Mexico City, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. When I told my mother that I had an opportunity to join the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group (HPMG), she showed me a poem that I had written at age seven after a family vacation on Oahu. In the poem I prophetically spoke of my “connection to these islands.” All these years later I am humbled to call Hawaii my home.
Working in the medical field is very fulfilling. I have a strong interest in the human condition, and I appreciate the fragility of life. I chose HIV medicine as my specialty because I’m fascinated by the infectious disease process and the challenge of discovering the cause of illness. I have been inspired and encouraged to witness what was once a terminal illness evolve into a manageable chronic condition. I also feel an obligation to give back to the LGBT community. I received an alumnus of the year award for contributions to the HIV community from Loma Linda University, where I am also a visiting associate professor. My professional affiliations include the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Association for Physician Assistants in Psychiatry, and the Hawaii Academy of Physician Assistants. I am also certified by the American Academy of HIV Medicine as an HIV specialist. After assisting in numerous medical clinical trials for HIV management, I continue to be actively involved in this research effort. I also participate in continuing medical education activities directed at new treatment strategies based on evidence and current studies. HPMG providers and specialists work as a team to deliver high-quality care. They understand what it means to make the patient their priority, and this is central to my own practice. It is my belief that genuine empathic listening is crucial to a trusting patient-provider relationship. Feeling empathy for my patients helps me to connect with them more meaningfully. It allows me to more effectively empower them to meet their everyday challenges and to strive to live well-balanced, long lives.
I am a creative soul. Painting is my meditation, and the ocean is my sanctuary. I stay active by playing tennis and beach paddleball and by wrestling the ocean waves. I also love spending time with my partner and my favorite wheaten terrier, Murphy McGee.