I was raised in the Virgin Islands and went to the University of Arizona, Tucson, where I received an undergraduate degree in accounting as well as my medical degree. While in Arizona, I missed the island lifestyle of my youth. On a visit to Hawaii in 1992 it was love at first sight, and I’ve never looked back.
As an undergraduate I took a course in emergency medical technology that eventually led me to become a paramedic. While working in ambulances and helicopters, I enjoyed caring for sick and injured people and thrived on the fast-paced environment of pre-hospital medicine. My desire to contribute even more led me to medical school and a career in emergency medicine. Because of my love of the outdoors I did additional specialty work in disaster medicine, wilderness medicine, and high altitude medicine. This work led to expeditions in Southeast Asia, Samoa, the Philippines, Nepal, Tibet, Mt. Everest, and Bhutan. My administrative duties with the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group (HPMG) include serving as the Director of Prehospital Emergency Services, resource steward for Outside Emergency Services, and physician partner for after-hours telephone advice. I have given presentations on wilderness medicine and high altitude medicine in California, Utah, and Hawaii and was named New Speaker of the Year at USC Essentials in 2010. In addition, I am a reviewer for the journal Wilderness and Environmental Medicine and have published papers on wilderness mortalities, high-altitude pulmonary edema, steroid use on Mt. Everest, and other related topics. The best part of practicing with HPMG is having ready access to the resources I need to care for my patients in the best way possible. My philosophy of care is to treat patients and their families as if they were my own family and never to compromise on what I believe is in their best interest. No matter how busy I am, I try to sit for a moment to just “talk story” or to play with a frightened child. It is an honor to have the opportunity to touch peoples’ lives and hearts.
I thrive in the outdoors and enjoy activities in both the ocean and mountains, including outrigger canoe paddling, surfing, backpacking, climbing, and going backcountry skiing. I also try to do an overseas medical assignment each year or two. Caring for people with limited resources makes me grateful for all that we have here.