Current Fellows

Clinical Fellows 

Diana Anderson

Diana Anderson, MD, M.Arch

[email protected]
Track: Geriatric Medicine
Medical School: University of Toronto
Residency: New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center

Bio

Diana grew up in Montreal, Canada and completed architecture at McGill University and medicine at the University of Toronto. She completed her internal medicine residency at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center. As a “dochitect”, Diana combines educational and professional experience in both medicine and architecture. She has lived in Montreal, Toronto, Houston, Brisbane, New York City and Boston before moving to San Francisco! Diana is a frequent writer and speaker about the impacts of healthcare design on patient outcomes and care delivery. She recently completed a fellowship at the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics, where she explored the ethics of healthcare architecture. In addition to working with patients, she hopes to conduct evidence-based design research to demonstrate the impact of the built environment.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given was:

Some great advice was received during residency by a mentor who recommended daily writing and sketching to record and blend observations and ideas!

 

Analiese Diconti-Gibbs

Analiese Diconti-Gibbs, MD

[email protected]
Track: Geriatric Medicine
Medical School: University of Southern California
Residency: LAC+USC

Bio

Analiese was born in Glendale, CA a suburb of Los Angeles into a large Italian-American family that loved to cook, eat and talk over each other. She decided to leave the nest and cross the country to Boston, MA for college where she studied Bioengineering at MIT. She quickly realized that she hated snow, missed loud family gatherings, and had a passion for medicine so moved back to Los Angeles and worked in stem cell research at Children's Hospital LA for a year before starting medical school at USC. She really loved the LAC+USC population so stayed for her Internal Medicine residency. She just completed her year as chief resident where she was the keeper of 165 resident schedules which really spoke to her love of detail-oriented tasks and spreadsheets. While at LAC+USC, she did quality improvement research which mainly focused on reduction of unnecessary lab draws in the inpatient medicine services. She hopes to have a career in primary care, quality improvement and medical education in the future. When not at work, she and her husband love international adventures (they've visited 20 countries together and Analiese has detailed spreadsheets itineraries from each trip if you need travel advice). On the local level she loves cooking and learning how to make new dishes. She also plans to explore all the great hiking trails the Bay Area has to offer. Her pug Leia prefers when she is sitting on the couch reading history books, listening to history podcasts, or watching NCAA football on Saturdays.

What would your back-up career be?

“If I weren't in medicine, I would have wanted to be a Computer Scientist. My favorite programming language is Python and I love sneaking programming puns into conversations with unsuspecting humanities majors.”

What’s something about you that would surprise most people?

“I played water polo at MIT and was named to the North Atlantic Division First Team all 4 years of college and to the Collegiate Water Polo Association All-Club Second team once.

 

Jocelyn Ko

Jocelyn Ko, MD

Jocelyn.Ko@ucsf.edu
Track: Geriatric Medicine
Medical School: UCSF School of Medicine
Residency: 
UCSF School of Medicine

Bio

Jocelyn was born and raised in Cupertino, CA. She attended college at Stanford University, where she majored in Human Biology. She subsequently moved to Honolulu, HI where she worked on research in health disparities among Native Hawaiians and Pacific islanders and spent many weekends exploring the beautiful island of Oahu with her now husband Trevor.  Jocelyn subsequently moved back to the Bay Area to attend the UCSF School of Medicine and stayed at UCSF to do her internal medicine residency in the UC Primary Care Track. While in residency, she was a participant in the Health Systems and Leadership Pathway, and she also worked on the UCSF Hip Fracture Protocol, a multidisciplinary quality improvement initiative aimed at improving the care of older adults hospitalized with hip fracture. Many of her most educational and meaningful clinical experiences have involved caring for homebound patients through her continuity clinic in the UCSF House Calls program, which she is looking forward to continuing during fellowship. Outside of work, she enjoys exploring new restaurants or cooking at home with her husband and friends, staying active with outdoor jogs/hikes or spin classes, and cuddling with her cross-eyed cat Nemo.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given was:

“from her favorite history teacher Mr. Near, when he quoted John Watson during his final speech to her middle school class: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

 

Teresa Kuo

Teresa Kuo, MD

Teresa.Kuo@ucsf.edu
Track: Geriatric Medicine
Medical School: Ohio State University
Residency: Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco

Bio

Teresa grew up in Loveland, Ohio where she played clarinet from 6th through 12th grade and worked as a carhop at a certain drive-in fast food restaurant. While getting her BS and MD at Ohio State she ran her first (and so far only) half marathon, traveled solo around the Balkans, worked as a chemistry teaching assistant, and learned to stand up paddle board. Her interest in geriatrics began at her internal medicine residency at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco. It led her to join a research project examining the outcomes of elderly patients who develop delirium in the hospital, the findings of which were published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine in April 2019. After completing residency she worked in skilled nursing facilities and urgent care and she plans to continue practicing in nursing facilities after fellowship.

 

Evie Kalmar

Evie Kalmar, MD

[email protected]
Track: Geri-Pal (Year 2)
Medical School: University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
Residency: UCSF Primary Care Internal Medicine

Bio

Evie is a native Californian who has lived near-equal amounts of time in the Bay Area and San Diego, where she spent most of her childhood. She ventured to the East Coast to study at Bryn Mawr College, where she learned she loves the spring and loves the sun even more. After college, she took a few years to explore career options, which included teaching English as a Foreign Language to elementary school students for a year in Taiwan. She ultimately chose to go into medicine, and moved back to the Bay Area to attend the UC Berkeley - UCSF Joint Medical Program. She stayed at UCSF for residency in primary care internal medicine. Before starting geriatrics & palliative care fellowship, she worked for a year doing housecalls for a dual-eligible population in San Mateo County with Landmark Health. When she's not working, she enjoys being outdoors (particularly if the sun is shining), hiking with friends, walking across SF with her girlfriend, dancing, and experimenting with vegan and vegetarian cooking.

Complete this sentence: In another life, I’m pretty sure I was…

“a pigeon!”

If you were a pasta shape, what shape would you be and why?

“I would be fusilli because I love the texture, spirals, and absorption of tomato sauce.”

 

Adi Shafir

Adi Shafir, MD

Adi.Shafir@ucsf.edu
Track: Geri-Pal (Year 1)
Medical School: University of Pittsburgh
Residency: University of Pittsburgh

Bio

Adi grew up in California (first Sacramento then Cupertino), and went to undergraduate at University of California Berkeley where she studied Molecular and Cellular Biology. She then spent 2 years working as a data analyst for the Continuum of Care department at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco where she first discovered her love of home-based primary care and worked closely with geriatrics and palliative care providers. She then spent 2 years working in health policy in Washington DC, before attending medical school at University of Pittsburgh. While in medical school she did home-based primary care research with Dr. Christine Ritchie, and led the geriatrics and palliative care interest groups. She completed internal medicine residency at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where she participated in the geriatrics and medical education tracks. She is very excited to be a geriatrics-palliative care fellow at UCSF, which has been her dream since graduating college. She hopes to practice home-based primary care and inpatient palliative care. During her free time, you’ll find her with her husband Jay and geriatric pug Milhouse, exploring the city and trying new food. She also enjoys cooking and baking (and gardening when she has a yard or community garden lot!). Her ultimate dream is to have an urban farm and pug ranch, where geriatric pugs, goats, and chickens will live happily ever after.

What would your back-up career be?

“Pastry chef!”

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten?

“If you keep putting one foot in front of another, it eventually feels like you’re walking (just keep going to get through hard times!)”

If you were a pasta shape, what shape would you be and why?

“I’d be gemelli or bucatini. They have the best mix of cool shape and texture!”

What’s something about you that would surprise most people?

“I spent 3 years volunteering at a wildlife rescue in high school, taking care of injured birds, squirrels, and other creatures. My favorite bird is the titmouse.”

T32 Research Fellows

Li Wen Huang

Li Wen Huang, MD

[email protected]
Track: T32 Research
Medical School: Duke
Residency: Duke

Bio

Li-Wen was born in Taiwan the youngest of 3 sisters and moved to Atlanta, Georgia with her family when she was 7. She moved to Boston to attend college at Harvard and has been on the move since. As a neurobiology major, she dabbled in basic science research and quickly learned working in the lab with mice brains was not a good fit for her, and then she switched to working in a sleep lab investigating the effect of a nap on memory and fell in love with clinical research (what college student doesn't like talking about naps!). She moved to Durham to attend medical school at Duke, where she met this wonderful group of people called geriatricians who taught her to appreciate the challenges and rewards of taking care of older adults, and she pursued cognitive research with an aging focus--in delirium. She stayed at Duke for Internal Medicine residency, where she realized that she was most drawn to the difficult decisions and conversations involved in taking care of older adults with cancer. She also realized there was so much room for improvement and investigation in the budding field of geriatric oncology. She moved to SF for hematology/oncology fellowship at UCSF knowing there were opportunities to pursue concurrent aging research training through the geriatrics T32 fellowship, which is what she is doing now! After fellowship, she hopes to become a clinician-investigator in geriatric oncology with a focus on cognitive function in older adults with hematologic malignancies. Outside of work, she likes to read (especially science fiction or mysteries), dabble in photography, explore different hiking trails in the Bay Area, and nap.

What’s something about you that would surprise most people?
I worked as a Starbucks barista at some point.

 

Alexandra Lee

Alexandra Lee, PhD

[email protected]
Track: T32 Research
Graduate: MPH, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University;
PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Undergraduate: Amherst College

Bio

Alex was raised in the sunny East Bay and attended Amherst College in Massachusetts. She received her Masters of Science in Public Health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. While in Atlanta, she also worked part-time for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. Missing California, she moved to Sacramento and spent one year as Cal-EIS fellow in the Chronic Disease Control Branch of the California Department of Public Health. She then traveled back across the country for her PhD in Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where her dissertation focused hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetes. She is excited to be back in the Bay Area and is looking forward to continuing her research on aging, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Outside of the post-doc, you can find her swimming, hiking, skate skiing, or cooking/eating.

If you were a pasta shape, what shape would you be and why?

If she were a pasta shape, she would be orecchiette, because she's all ears!

 

Anna Parks

Anna Parks, MD

[email protected]
Track: T32 Research
Medical School: UCSF
Residency: UCSF

Bio

Anna grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and then went to Yale University for college, where she studied History. Between college and medical school, she went to culinary school in Buenos Aires. She moved to SF for medical school at UCSF and stayed for residency, a Chief Resident year at the SFVA, and now Heme/Onc fellowship. Her clinical and research interest is in Non-Malignant Hematology in the geriatric population. She is a recipient of the National Institute on Aging-sponsored Aging Research T32 Fellowship through the Division of Geriatrics at UCSF. Her research focuses on improving cancer-associated thrombosis outcomes in older adults. Prior to Hematology/Oncology fellowship, she also served a two-year term as a junior editor for JAMA Internal Medicine during residency. In her spare time, she hosts dinner parties, reads fiction and hikes with her husband, son and misbehaved dog. 

If you were a pasta shape, what shape would you be and why?

If I were a pasta shape, I would be orecchiette- the perfect pillowy vessel for any sauce.

 

Yaoyao Pollock

Yaoyao Pollock, MD

[email protected]
Track: T32 Research
Medical School: Johns Hopkins
Residency: Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Bio

YaoYao is from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Went to college at U of M (go blue!). After graduation, she was tired of the cold and the snow and moved to LA and joined Americorp for a year. She then moved across the county to Baltimore for medical school at Hopkins, trading perfect sunny So Cal weather for the humid summers of Maryland. But Baltimore grew on her and she ended up spending the next 7 years there completing medical school and residency. She had always known that she will be a geriatrician, but during residency she found herself also loving oncology, and that's when she discovered the new field of Geriatric Oncology. During residency she worked on incorporating geriatric assessment to the oncology care of older breast cancer patients. After residency she moved back to Michigan for her geriatric fellowship at U of M before finally moving to the bay area for her oncology fellowship at UCSF. She's currently in her 3rd year of oncology fellowship and 2nd year of her T32 aging research fellowship. Her current research interest is in older adults with advanced prostate cancer. Outside of fellowship, she enjoys playing hide and seek with her daughter and eating good food with her husband. 

 

VA Quality Scholars 

Irene Cole

Irene Cole, RN, PhD, COS-C

[email protected] or [email protected]
Track: VA Quality Scholars Program
Nursing School: UCSF, Community Health Systems Department

Bio

I obtained my undergraduate nursing degree from Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, where my interest and skills developed for community health settings.  I quickly transferred my clinical practice to home health and hospice care where I eventually developed and coordinated a multidisciplinary diabetes specialty program.  This program operated in the SF Bay Area and included cross-over to hospice and palliative care during the AIDS crisis and early liver transplant recovery programs.  In 1998, I graduated with my Master’s degree from UCSF School of Nursing, Community Health Systems, having performed original research as a thesis regarding the incidence of hypoglycemia in home bound elders receiving skilled home health care.  Obtaining a Master’s degree stimulated career change toward quality management, working in directorships in large home health organizations and a few years as a contractor to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, with a focus on home health quality for California.  In 2017, I graduated again from the UCSF School of Nursing, Community Health Systems department, with my doctorate, performing a secondary analysis of clinical data from one home health agency, investigating home health operations variables and influence on readmissions to the hospital during skilled home health services.  Post-fellowship, I wish to continue work in quality/performance improvement using population health principles, in larger healthcare settings.  I also wish to continue performance of health services research and publication to influence policy.

Fun Facts:

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?

I love being with friends and family, preparing beautiful vegetarian food, visiting museums, gardening, dreaming of travel, watching British shows with my mom, and absolutely love getting neck deep in thoughts of home renovation and interior design.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?

 I could make a long list of hard-learned lessons and wonderful advice.  Here is one of my professional principles after years of practice:  Be solution oriented – do not arrive with complaints or issues without suggestions or a positive attitude of improvement and an open mind to start the process.

Who is someone you admire, and why?

I had the pleasure of hearing Catherine Alicia Georges, EdD, RN, FAAN speak at the American Academy of Nursing Policy Conference last year.  She is a member of the AARP Board of Directors and their National Volunteer President.  Her dynamic, outspoken views on ageism in the workforce, her courage in blazing trails throughout her life as an African-American woman in healthcare and her tireless energy to improve life for elders, is outstanding.

What would you like to accomplish at the end of your fellowship?

A successful completion of the fellowship will include results of one or more improvement projects worthy of presentation and implementation, to benefit the care to veterans.  A personal goal is to have my dissertation published (several articles).  After which, I would love to be able to position myself in a system that values quality, in a commensurate position working or teaching population health.

What are some causes you care about?

Professionally, causes/topics of interest are readmissions to the hospital from the community (and reduction there-of), elder mental health, caregiver burden in the community, infection/sepsis and single mothers in the workforce.  In the world at large, causes I care about are environment/climate change, single moms, promoting diversity, improving support regarding mental health in our communities, and affordable healthcare.

What would your back-up career be?

I would have LOVED to work for the CDC, donning the hazmat suits and studying major infectious diseases from a US or global perspective.  A completely alternate career would be design – my own business in home renovation or print-making.

 

Kenneth Lam

Kenneth Lam, MD

Kenneth.Lam2@ucsf.edu
Track: VA Quality Scholars Program
Medical School: Western University (Ontario, Canada)
Residency: University of Toronto (Ontario, Canada)

Bio

Kenneth Lam is a board certified internist in Canada and the United States with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American Board of Internal Medicine. He recently completed a two-year fellowship in Geriatrics at the University of Toronto, Canada. As a geriatrician with education in engineering, he is interested in health system navigation and how services are deployed for and accessed by complex, frail and disabled older adults.

Fun Facts:

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?

Climbing outside with friends. It’s less about the actual climbing and more about being outside, challenging yourself and also encouraging each other, and having plentiful opportunity to catch up over an activity.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?

I’ve been musing recently on two pieces of complementary advice. The first is to be grateful, enjoy and appreciate how far I’ve come in my career – you’re a doctor, you’re very fortunate, and you have a lot to offer. The second is to swing big – now’s the time to take a risk, try, and make a difference using the security that you have.

What would you like to accomplish at the end of your fellowship?

The fellowship is a short two years! The issue that really bothers me is the friction that frail and disabled older patients face when they try to get care. There will always be an intrinsic difficulty to sickness and aging, but I think there is an indignity and subtle cruelty with how the system treats older adults and I firmly believe many of their wishes are modest but left unmet. I think the way out is better recognition of common patterns in how people struggle with aging, followed by a clustering of services around those patterns but that’s a big project. By fellowship end, I just want to establish a small foothold in figuring out this space.

 

Amy Lu

Amy Lu, MD

[email protected]
Track: VA Quality Scholars Program
Medical School: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Residency: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center- Presbyterian

Bio

I am a general internist and virtual primary care physician interested in leveraging telehealth technologies to redesign primary care delivery in ways that augments physician workforce retention while improving patient access and quality of care. I am currently engaged in a national evaluation of diabetic quality of care in veterans who have participated in longitudinal virtual primary care through an enterprise-wide VA program aimed to increase primary care workforce support to rural and underserved areas. Locally, I am also spearheading efforts to implement use of VA Video Connect, a videoconferencing telemedicine platform, in primary care practices within the San Francisco VA Health Care System. My career goal is to build and evaluate innovative clinical programs that deliver high-quality primary care to underserved populations. 

Fun Facts:

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?
I love rock climbing (mostly bouldering) and spending time in the great outdoors.

Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about you?
I danced ballet for almost 14 years and spent a good chunk of my teen years competing in national dance competitions. I’ve since discovered that many aspects of ballet can be easily translated to climbing—both are incredibly powerful yet graceful endeavors. 

What would your back-up career be?
I’d probably start my own stationery and calligraphy studio.

 

Melissa Mazor

Melissa Mazor, RN, OCN, PhDc

[email protected]
Track: VA Quality Scholars Program (2nd Year)
Graduate School: ​​​​​​University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing

Bio

I am a PhD trained nurse with a background in oncology symptom science. My doctoral training focused on quantitative research and secondary data analysis of persistent symptoms in female cancer survivors. During my predoctoral education, I also gained extensive experience in qualitative interviewing and conducted over 200 qualitative semi-structured interviews assessing symptom experience, functional status, and quality of life in cancer survivors. During my first year at VAQS, I focused on a breast cancer screening QI project at the VA, a community-based project working with lay navigators and underserved breast cancer survivors, a qualitative study of older patients with metastatic lung cancer, and publications on symptoms in cancer survivors. 

Fun Facts:

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?

  • Spending time with family
  • Hiking through the SF Bay Area hills
  • Drinking wine and listening to music while cooking
  • Reading an engaging novel

What are some causes you care about?

  • Programs that focus on equality in education in healthcare
  • Integration of integrative health for patients with chronic conditions and their families/caregivers
  • Environmental advocacy

What would your back-up career be?

  • Working at my favorite worker-owned, cooperative bakery in Oakland!!

 

Anna Oh

Anna Oh, BSN, MSN, MPH

Anna.Oh@ucsf.edu
Track: VA Quality Scholars Program
Graduate School: University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing

Bio

A Bay Area native, Anna completed her undergraduate studies at Wellesley College and master’s studies in nursing and public health at Johns Hopkins. Anna will receive her PhD in nursing with a focus on health policy from UCSF in August 2019. Anna has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings as a nurse in neurosciences, hematology oncology, and clinical services research.

Anna wants to apply her clinical and research background in outcomes research and program evaluation to maintain and improve the health and quality of life in community-residing older adults and make tangible, sustainable improvements in the delivery of and access to health care services.   

Fun Facts:

What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?

Have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you.

Who is someone you admire, and why?

Leana Wen. An intelligent, articulate, and thoughtful woman dedicated to improving health outcomes and access to health care for vulnerable and underserved populations

Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about you?

Oboe player, competitive figure skater, flying trapeze.

 

Joanna Sells

Joanna R. Sells, M.S., Ph.D.

[email protected]
Track: VA Quality Scholars Program
Specialty: Addiction and chronic pain
Graduate School: Uniformed Services University Medical & Clinical Psychology Program
Internship: San Francisco VA Health Care System Clinical Psychology Doctoral Internship

Bio

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Joanna has seen how systems in both Canada and the U.S. can serve the public good and is passionate about improving them.  Following the completion of her B.A. in Psychology from American University, she worked in non-profits supporting people with serious mental illness and conducted cultural diversity studies at the University of Southern California.  She was then awarded a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health where she spent two years coordinating an inpatient clinical trial to treat comorbid alcohol use disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Following her work at NIH, she completed her M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, MD.  During graduate school, Joanna completed an internship in the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Obama.  She has published and presented articles that promote student engagement in policy. Her dissertation was an NIH F31 funded collaboration with investigators at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism using smartphones to examine impaired control in binge drinking.  Joanna enjoys playing soccer, hiking, and cooking vegetarian treats with her husband, Kyle.

Fun Facts:

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?

Walking on the beach, bicycling through Golden Gate Park, or traveling.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?

 “Life is what happens while you’re making plans”

What would your back-up career be?

Travel writer