Current Fellows

Clinical Fellows 

Tamika Bailey, MD  |  Olivia Bernal, MD, MPH  |  Monica Cheng, MD  |  Eddie Lam, MD, MPH  |  Robbie Zimbroff, MD

Tamika Bailey

Tamika Bailey, MD

[email protected] 
Track: Geriatric Medicine
Undergraduate school, degree, and what they studied: Northwestern University, BA in psychology
Medical school: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Residency program name and field: UCSF Internal Medicine, UC Primary Care track


Why geriatrics?: I want to be a geriatrician because focusing on the whole person, in all of their complexity, feels like the best way to provide meaningful patient care.

What are your interests in medicine?: Quality improvement in hospital care for the elderly, continuing medical education for community hospitalists, improving communication and collaboration between nurses and physicians 

What hobbies do you enjoy?: dancing, hiking, yoga, reading 

What is your hidden talent?: I enjoy making beautiful wings and feather collars to wear at festivals and parades.


Olivia Bernal

Olivia Bernal, MD, MPH

[email protected]
Track: Geri-Pal (Year 1)
Undergraduate school, degree, and what they studied: University of Pennsylvania, Bachelor of Arts in Biological Basis of Behavior
Medical School: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Graduate School: University of Pennsylvania, Master of Public Health 
Residency Program: Johns Hopkins Bayview, Internal Medicine/Primary Care Track


Why Geriatrics? I love spending time with older adults! Elderly patients are often defined by their vulnerability when they're actually very resilient and tough. It is humbling to care for people who have lived through a spectrum of experiences and are gracious enough to share their lives and stories with their physician. I find joy in hearing their stories and learning from their wisdom. 

Interests in medicine: I am particularly interested in communication around goals of care decision making and advanced care planning. I also am interested in models of care for older adults that maximize function, independence, and ongoing engagement with the community. 

Hobbies:  I enjoy running outdoors, going on long hikes with my dogs, and finding the best places for happy hour. My husband and I also share a guilty pleasure of bingeing true crime documentaries and podcasts.


Monica Cheng, MD

Monica Cheng, MD

[email protected]
Track: Geriatric Medicine
Undergraduate school, degree, and what they studied: The University of Texas at Austin - BS Biochemistry
Medical school: The University of Texas Health Science Center Houston/ McGovern Medical School
Residency program name and field: The University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, Internal Medicine


Why geriatrics?: I've always been drawn to primary care because I enjoy developing long term relationships with patients and helping people manage their health through different stages of life.  During residency, I developed a particular interest in caring for older adults in a primary care/outpatient setting.  I want to help older adults and their families manage health issues that arise with age in a way that aligns with patients' goals. Additionally, I'm interested in studying health disparities in medicine and how they change as patients age. 

What are your interests in medicine?: Health disparities, LGBTQ Health, Immigrant Health, Wellness

What hobbies do you enjoy?: I try to write, paint and bake pastries as often as possible.  I also enjoy dancing and hiking with my partner and my dog, Archie.  

Hidden talent: I roast marshmallows over campfires with a very high success rate

Eddie Lam, MD, MPH

Eddie Lam, MD, MPH

[email protected]
Track: Geriatric Medicine
Undergraduate school, degree, and what they studied: BS Microbial Biology, UC Berkeley
Medical school: University of California, San Francisco
Graduate school (if any) and what they studied: University of Virginia, MPH
Residency program name and field: Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara, Internal Medicine


Why geriatrics?: I enjoy helping older patients lead fulfilling lives. It's particularly rewarding to see older patients convalesce from serious illness.

What are your interests in medicine? Primary care, post-acute care, chronic conditions management, and disease prevention

What hobbies do you enjoy? Basketball (I'm a lifelong Lakers fan! I also cheer for Cal and UVA.)

What is your hidden talent? I play the flute.

Robbie Zimbroff

Robbie Zimbroff, MD

[email protected]
Track: Geriatric Medicine
Undergraduate school, degree, and what they studied: Stanford - History (BA, 2012)
Medical school: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai - 2019 (MD)
Graduate school (if any) and what they studied: Stanford - History (MA, 2013)
Residency program name and field: Cleveland Clinic Foundation - Internal Medicine, Primary Care Track


Why geriatrics?: At its core, Geriatrics aims to understand patients in context and as whole people in order to provide care concordant with how patients wish to live their lives

The competencies of Geriatricians–centering care around patients’ priorities, managing both the pathophysiology and symptoms of chronic illness, weighing the risks and benefits of medical interventions, facilitating warm transitions of across the care continuum, addressing medical and social needs, supporting patients and their families–align closely with how I wish to practice. I’m thrilled to be pursuing a fellowship in Geriatrics to hone these skills in hopes of better serving older adults.

What are your interests in medicine?: Home-based primary care, transitions of care, Home-based care continuum

What hobbies do you enjoy?:

  • Slow runner (NYC Marathon 2015-2018, Cleveland Marathon 2021)
  • Avid reader (recent favorite: The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson)
  • Past-his-prime tennis and basketball player
  • Amateur cook and baker (and dinner party organizer)​​​​​​
  • '30 Rock' and 'Arrested Development' quoter​​​​​​

If you were a type of pasta, what would it be: Lasagna. I like to think of myself as a team player / "glue guy" that cares about making the whole better than the sum of its parts. Lil Wayne may have put it best: "Real G's move in silence like lasagna."

T32 Research Fellows

W. James Deardorff, MD  | Lingsheng Li, MD, MHS  |   T. Richard Parenteau, MD, PhD  

James Deardorff

W. James Deardorff, MD

[email protected]
Track: T32 Research
Undergraduate school, degree, and what they studied - UCLA, BS in Biochemistry
Medical school - St. Louis University in St. Louis, MO
Graduate school (if any) and what they studied - N/A
Residency program name and field - Duke, Internal Medicine


Why geriatrics? - Love the patient population, interdisciplinary team approach, and focus on function, quality of life, and deprescribing

What are your interests in medicine? - Cognitive impairment, frailty, deprescribing

What hobbies do you enjoy? - Running, basketball, tennis

Lingsheng Li, MD, MHS

Lingsheng Li, MD, MHS

[email protected]
Track: T32 Research
Undergraduate schoolJohns Hopkins University, Bachelor of Science in Biology with minor in Psychology
Medical school: University of Oklahoma College of Medicine 
Graduate school: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Master of Health Science in Mental Health 

Residency: Johns Hopkins Bayview, Internal Medicine Primary Care Track 
Fellowship: UCSF Integrated Geriatric and Palliative Medicine Fellowship


Why geriatrics? This is an amazing field that lets us take care of people who've cared for us and to help people like our grandparents meet their goals of care as they grow older! 

What are your interests in medicine? Narrative medicine, patient-caregiver relationship, resilience in chronic illness 

What hobbies do you enjoy? Visiting used bookstores, searching for that perfect bubble, doodling in a sketchbook 

Richard Parenteau

T. Richard Parenteau, MD, PhD

[email protected]
Track: T32 Research
Undergraduate school, degree, and what they studied: California State University, Fullerton, BS, Biology (major) and Chemistry (minor)
Medical school: University of California, San Francisco
Graduate school (if any) and what they studied: University of California, San Francisco, PhD in Biomedical Sciences
Residency program name and field: UCSF Internal Medicine (Molecular Medicine program)


Why geriatrics?: My goal is to improve the lives of the elderly through both medical care and scientific research

What are your interests in medicine?: Translation research on the biology of aging; care for underserved and marginalized populations

What hobbies do you enjoy?: Dancing, art, and new adventures

VA Quality Scholars 

Karen de Sola-Smith  |  Debra Hemmerle, RN  |  Christina Keny, MS, RN, CPHQ, CMBBLSS   |  Swap Mushiana, MS, PsyD  |  Katherine Sanders, MD   |  Evan Zasowski, Pharm.D., M.P.H., BCIDP, BCPS

Karen de Sola-Smith

Karen de Sola-Smith, RN, PhD, MA

[email protected]
Track: VA Quality Scholars Program
Undergraduate School: The American University, BA with double major: Psychology and Literature
Nursing School: UCSF School of Nursing, MS in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Concentrations in Palliative Care and Geriatrics
Graduate School: UC Davis Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, PhD in Nursing Science and Healthcare Leadership, USF, MA in Counseling Psychology
NP Residency program name and field: UCSF Care at Home, Kaiser Home Based Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Residency
Fellowship program name and field:

  • UCSF/SFVA Gerontology NP Scholars, Home Based Care Leadership Scholarship
  • UC Davis Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing Family Caregiving Institute Graduate Research Fellowship

Why VAQS? 

The providers and faculty from whom I learned this past year during the Gero-Scholars program were inspirational, innovative, and generous as teachers. The commitment of the SFVA to Geriatrics and Palliative Care is unparalleled. I am so looking forward to working alongside this team and learning how to find and scale smart and needed solutions to healthcare delivery problems affecting older adults and those with serious illness.

What are your interests in Quality Improvement?

I am interested in age-friendly innovation in primary and emergency care, particularly in including family caregivers in health care interventions and plans, supporting health with upstream social medicine policies, and broadly in equitable access to health care across abilities, ages and demographic distinctions. I am interested in effective palliative care interventions for older adults and family caregivers in the settings of dementia, heart failure, and cancer, palliative care communication tools for Geriatric Emergency Departments, and issues, tools, and metrics in Geriatric Emergency Departments and home-based care models

What hobbies do you enjoy?

I love to sing! I play guitar, love to hike, bike, explore… love to hang out with family and friends laughing and playing games.

What is your hidden talent?

It isn’t hidden exactly, since I am nearly always doing it, but I can harmonize pretty well.

If you were a type of pasta, which would you be and why?

I guess a delicious ravioli… carefully filled with goodness and maybe a surprise.

What is the funniest place you've ever fallen asleep?

I have tried to watch a particular Spider-Man movie with my kids several times, more than 4, and cannot make it past the first 15 minutes without falling asleep. Other movies, no problem.

Debra Hemmerle

Debra Hemmerle, RN

[email protected]
Track: VA Quality Scholars Program
Graduate School: 



Christina Keny

Christina Keny, S, RN, CPHQ, CMBBLSS                 

[email protected]
Track: VA Quality Scholars Program
Nursing School: University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing
Graduate School: Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of California, San Francisco(UCSF)
Fellowship: UCSF Symptom Science T32 fellow


Christina Keny has been a Registered Nurse for almost 20 years. She holds an undergraduate degree in Nursing and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of California, San Francisco(UCSF). Christina is currently a doctoral student at UCSF. She is also a predoctoral NIH T32 Fellow in the UCSF Symptom Science program. Early on in her career as a Registered Nurse, she developed a fond passion for improving patient safety and clinical outcomes. Christina was fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to serve as a Clinical Quality Nurse Consultant, and eventually as a Risk and Patient Safety Director at Kaiser Permanente. Although her time spent in these roles was primarily related to hospital quality regulatory efforts, she became interested in improving surgical patient outcomes through participation in the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) and the Geriatric Surgical Verification program. This experience inspired her to further pursue doctoral preparation at The University of California, San Francisco. Her goal is to expand her quality improvement training and leadership skills so that she may continue to contribute toward improving surgical patient outcomes on a local and national level, while concurrently advancing her research area of interest. Her current research passion is focused on decreasing the postoperative pain symptom burden experience while minimizing the consumption of opioid medications in older surgical adults through novel interventions, such as interactive patient-centered technology. Christina believes the VAQS program will give her the opportunity to work alongside a variety of mentors, leaders, and experts from a multidisciplinary team who possess expertise in quality and patient safety, clinical research, and leadership. Christina would like to focus on quality improvement initiatives geared towards improving surgical outcomes in older adults during her time in the VAQS Fellowship.

Christina loves to travel, hike, and bake. She also participates in weekly pilates, running, and barre classes in her local community. She also enjoys spending time with her family and her gigantic Saint Bernard dog, “Jasper Jax.” Christina believes her “hidden talent” is baking homemade giant cinnamon rolls from scratch! She discovered this secret recipe while volunteering at an orphanage in Mexico.

Swap Mushiana

Swap Mushiana, MS, PsyD

[email protected]
Track: VA Quality Scholars Program​
Undergraduate School: University of California, Irvine
Graduate School: University of San Francisco

Katherine Sanders

Katherine Sanders, MD

[email protected]
Track: VA Quality Scholars Program
Undergraduate School: Dartmouth College
Medical School: Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine
Residency: UCSF Surgery​​​​​​


Evan Zasowski

Evan Zasowski, PharmD, MPH, BCIDP, BCPS

[email protected]
Track: VA Quality Scholars Program
MPH: Wayne State University
Pharmacy School: Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Residency: University of Chicago Medicine
Postdoc Research: Wayne State University