I grew up in Connecticut. In school, I was mostly interested in science and math. I majored in physics at Harvard and then worked in Japan for two years for Mitsubishi Electric as a semiconductor design engineer. After returning to work as an engineer in North Carolina for two more years, I switched careers and got my medical degree at the University of Connecticut, did my internal medicine residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, and completed my nephrology fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. After training, I moved around and worked in a lot of different settings, including a few months at the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group (HPMG), where I met many terrific people, both colleagues and patients. I really appreciated how Kaiser Permanente took a systematic approach to making sure that members received excellent care. I worked for a year in Massachusetts in private practice. But when a permanent opportunity to return to HPMG full-time arose, I jumped at the chance.
I enjoy taking care of people with kidney disease. I am especially interested in the prevention of kidney failure. Back in 2003, I began to look at risk factors for kidney failure. I did research here at HPMG that showed the risk could be predicted based on two lab tests. We used this knowledge to write guidelines to manage chronic kidney disease. Since 2009, I have been a member of the international Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Prognosis Consortium, a group that has contributed a large number of papers to major journals. The 2012 Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes guidelines for CKD were a major advance and were largely based on this work. Interestingly, the 2012 guidelines turned out to be similar to the Kaiser Permanente guidelines we wrote years before! Within HPMG, I developed a system to oversee the care of people with kidney disease who were not already seeing a kidney specialist. This work was published in the U.S. and internationally and has been cited by leaders both in nephrology and in the medical informatics field, and received the 2012 James A. Vohs Award for Quality. I am very interested in improving systems within Kaiser Permanente, particularly within specialty care. I worked with a number of specialty chiefs to develop a way to use Kaiser Permanente's electronic medical record, KP Healthconnect, to evaluate patients and answer other clinicians' questions without needing to see them in person. I believe we are entering the age of "Big Data" and we will have many opportunities to use our own historical patient data to improve care. I also like to help my colleagues in other specialties with database research. I am Chair of the HPMG Research Symposium and Medical Director of Analytics, and have been on the board of directors of the Hawaii National Kidney Foundation.
We've lived in Honolulu for over ten years now and love it here. I enjoy reading, hiking, and movies. My son has plenty of activities and keeps me busy on the weekends! Our family likes to travel, especially to the Mainland to see grandparents and other relatives.