ZSFG Primary Care Track: Our People - Faculty

Faculty 

Affiliated Faculty & Other Preceptors in the Richard H. Fine People’s Clinic

Faculty

Joan Addington-White

Joan Addington-White, MD
Professor of Medicine
SFPC Program Director

Academic interestsI am interested in residency education, advocacy, and mentorship. I am a practicing general internist with a strong focus on vulnerable populations and those who are or have been incarcerated. My goal as a program director is to graduate well-rounded general internists who have the leadership and research skills to improve our delivery of care to underserved patients and communities. 

Other interestsI grew up in the Midwest and have four nearly grown children who are an ongoing source of joy and fascination. I love reading and hiking, and with all of the book stores and beautiful places to explore in San Francisco, I am finding San Francisco to be a slice of paradise. ​​​​​​

Soraya Azari

Soraya Azari, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Academic interests: I am interested in resident education, substance use disorders, chronic pain, safe opioid prescribing, and HIV medicine.

Other interestsI have two small children who take up most of my time in incredibly fulfilling yet exhausting ways. When I’m not with them, I like to listen to podcasts, go on beautiful hikes, and shop in ethnic grocery stores for ingredients I can’t find in other places.

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS
Professor of Medicine, Lee Goldman, MD, Endowed Chair in Medicine;
Professor and Chair, Epidemiology & Biostatistics;
Vice Dean for Population Health and Health Equity

Academic interests: Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease with a particular interest in the development of chronic disease in young adults. Her work focuses on racial, ethnic and income differences in manifestations of chronic disease and effective clinical, public health, and policy interventions aimed at prevention. 

Other interestsI’m still a basketball mom at heart, and in my free time, I enjoy watching and attending games, particularly if my son is playing (he is a professional player in Europe!).

Robert Brody

Robert V. Brody, MD
Professor of Medicine and Family & Community Medicine
Attending physician Medicine and Pain Services, Medicine and Pain Clinics, ZSFG
Medical Director, Health at Home, SF DPH

Academic interests: End of life care, bioethics, pain management

Other interestsGrandchildren and making mobiles – see samples of work in DGIM suite’s kitchen and hallway

Maria Chao

Maria T. Chao, DrPH, MPA 
Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Director for Health Equity & Diversity
Associate Director of Research, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine

Academic interests: My overarching goal is to investigate how complementary and integrative health approaches can advance health equity and improve quality of life among underserved populations. My current program of research focuses on improving pain management through group-based models of integrative medicine and acupuncture in conventional healthcare settings serving diverse patients.

Other interestsI enjoy time by the ocean with my family. I’m a wannabe surfer who has settled on the joys of boogie boarding and stand up paddle boarding. Sleep is also an elusive though very cherished pastime.

Alice Chen

Alice Hm Chen, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine
Chief Medical Officer, Covered California

Academic interests: My primary interest is in issues of healthcare access, particularly in how poverty, race/ethnicity and policy intersect to produce barriers in care. My work focuses on creating policies and programs to drive improved access, quality and equity in the US healthcare system.

Other interestsHiking, yoga, reading, gardening, community service, but mostly my twins.

Dr. Chen joined the Newsom administration in September 2019, and Covered California in 2021.

Anna Chodos

Anna Chodos, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Academic interests: I am interested in how we care for older adults in the safety net, how we integrate primary care and geriatrics, how we address self-neglect in older people, and how we improve dementia care in a safety net primary care setting.

Other interestsI enjoy food finds, hikes in the incomparable beauty of our immediate surroundings, and walk-and-talks with my incredible colleagues.

headshot of Triveni DeFries

Triveni DeFries, MD, MPH
Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine
Associate Medical Director for Practice Transformation, RFPC
Director of Education & Training, UCSF Health & Human Rights Initiative

Academic Interests: I trained at SFPC/UCSF and worked for the Indian Health Service in Shiprock, NM before returning to San Francisco General for Addiction Medicine fellowship and then back to RFPC! I am interested in addiction medicine, especially alcohol use disorder, immigrant health and primary care.

Other Interests: I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family, introducing my 2 daughters to nature!

 

Alicia Fernandez

Alicia Fernandez, MD
Professor of Medicine
Founding Director, UCSF Latinx Center of Excellence (LCOE)
Director, CVP Program in Latinx and Immigrant Health
Associate Dean, UCSF Population Health and Health Equity

Academic interests: Health care disparities/language barriers/ health communication/diabetes care/obesity prevention/Latin America General Internal Medicine/patient-centered outcomes research.

Other interestsI love to talk about novels, politics, and my daughter. Sometimes in that order.

Liz Goldman

Liz Goldman, MD, MAS
Professor of Medicine

Academic interests: My academic interests are care of complex patients in the safety net health systems and quality of care evaluation. I am the medical lead for the Emergency Department Case Management Program, and the Director of Research and Evaluation Analytics DPH Office Health Informatics. I'm highly familiar with the array of case management, mental health, substance use, and care coordination programs across the city, and how to get data from DPH for QI and Research. Come ask!

Other interestsI love spending time with my two sons and husband hiking, camping, running along the ocean, and eating yummy food in SF.

Reena Gupta

Reena Gupta MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Chief Medical Officer, Performance Improvement, 
Cardiovascular Health, Resolve to Save Lives

Academic interests: Health systems transformation, safety net innovation, Medicaid policy, primary care redesign, and improving care delivery for vulnerable populations in the US and abroad

Other interestsRoad‐biking and hiking, yoga ‐ ask me about fun trails in the bay and good local food and coffee options

Margaret Handley

Margaret Handley, PhD, MPH
Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Academic interests: Dr. Margaret Handley is a public health-trained epidemiologist in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Center for Vulnerable Populations, at the University of California San Francisco, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. She co-Directs the UCSF PRISE Center, Partnerships in Research in Implementation Science for Equity. Dr. Handley’s research focuses on bridging the fields of primary care, public health, and health communication for improving health outcomes and equity in healthcare access. She co-developed and co-directed the UCSF Training Program in Implementation Science for over 10 years, which focuses on translating evidence into practice, policy and public health and teaches courses in intervention development and implementation designs in real-world settings. She is one of the Principal Investigators for the NIH-funded R25 training program in implementation since (RISE, focusing on implementation science and health equity). She currently also teaches a course on “Study Designs for Interventions in Real World Settings” Her areas of interest are: intervention design, linking public health and primary care interventions to address health disparities, implementation and dissemination sciences, chronic disease prevention, safety net innovation, public health literacy, migration and health/trans-national health, and environmental pollution. Dr. Handley has methodological expertise in practice-based research, community-engaged research, quasi-experimental designs, implementation science, and mixed methods. She is committed to implementation science skill-building across a wide range of settings, including under-resourced settings, UCSF-based degree programs, and nationally focused immersion and distance training for junior faculty under-represented in NIH funding. Dr. Handley also works in English as a Second Language (ESL) classrooms in the Bay Area with students and teachers to create effective risk communication materials for community and clinical settings.

Other interestsI’m often found outside hiking around any mountain area I can find or swimming with my family, and inside I’m often reading or doing some kind of art, watercolor most recently.

Claire Horton

Claire Horton, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine 
Chief Medical Officer, San Francisco Health Network (SFHN), SF DPH

Academic interests: Co-directing the QIPSL (Quality Improvement, Patient Safety, and Leadership) curriculum for SFPC residents.  Academic topics of interest:  Women's reproductive health, health of Latino immigrant communities, health systems transformation, leadership development in medical professionals.

Other interestsBackpacking (have lots of gear to lend!) and reading (and books to lend too) and theater (have lots of suggestions about theaters around town.)

Elaine Khoong

Elaine Khoong, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Academic interests: Leveraging informatics and implementation science to operationalize interventions to reduce health inequities in diverse populations

Other interests Eating, participating in book clubs where only 10% of the books are read / 10% of the people read the book, rollerblading, proudly representing my Chicago roots through my “accent”, listening to podcasts at 1.5x as my primary form of news

Leigh Kimberg

Leigh Kimberg, MD
Professor of Medicine
Program Director, Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved (PRIME-US); 
Coordinator, Interpersonal Violence Prevention Programs, SF DPH

Academic interests: Mission‐driven and equitable medical education, healing-centered and trauma‐informed care, abolition medicine, interpersonal violence prevention, building university-community partnerships to prevent violence and promote health equity and social justice.

Other interestsI am happiest when I have my hands in dirt!gardening has been such a blessing during the past year. Love taking walks on the beach. Reading! Mostly non-fiction. Need to find my way back to yoga and crafts that have fallen by the wayside. Sitting in the yard, eating, learning about your journey is a joy and privilege. Looking forward to meeting you!

Margot Kushel

Margot Kushel, MD
Professor of Medicine
Division Chief, Center for Vulnerable Populations
Director, Center for Vulnerable Populations at ZSFG
Director, UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative                                                                

Academic interests: I study homelessness: causes, consequences, and solutions especially in older adults and medically complicated individuals. My research, funded by the NIH and various foundations, provides an evidence base for policy‐makers and program planners to end homelessness and mitigate the negative health effects.

Other interestsWhen not working, I like to swim outdoors, go for walks, read, support my favorite political candidates, and hang out with my family (husband and twins). 

Kate Lupton

Kate Lupton, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Clerkship Director, SPAN (Specialty Practice Ambulatory sub-iNternship)
Curricular Component Liaison, UCSF Anti-Oppressive Curriculum Initiative

Academic interests: Medical education, anti-racism and equity in medical education, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, ambulatory education.

Other interestsI can usually be found spending time with my family, including my 3 small kids who love to make messes, explore the variety of parks and playgrounds around SF and the Bay Area, and make us laugh.

Courtney Lyles

Courtney Lyles, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Academic interests: Patient-provider communication for chronic disease management; Digital Health user-centered design and intervention development (including work on patient portals, telemedicine, texting, apps); Implementation science.

Other interestsI spend most non-working hours chasing my children around various San Francisco public parks (can give detailed reviews of playgrounds upon request).

Lisa Ochoa-Frongia

Lisa Ochoa-Frongia, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Medical Director for Resident Education, Richard Fine People’s Clinic

Academic interests: My academic and clinical interests include: primary care of vulnerable and under-resourced populations, graduate medical education, clinical systems improvement and practice transformation, primary care‐behavioral health integration and evidence‐based treatment of depression and other common mental health conditions in primary care.

Other interestsI love spending time with my husband, Eric, and sons, Alexander and Henry, hiking and exploring the astonishingly beautiful Bay Area and enjoying Karl the Fog (or occasionally wishing he would take a hike).

Nynikka Palmer

Nynikka Palmer, DrPH, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Urology and Radiation Oncology
Helen Diller Family Chair in Community Education and Outreach for Urologic Cancer

Academic interests: As a cancer disparities researcher, I am dedicated to unraveling the mechanisms of prostate cancer disparities and achieving health equity for high-quality cancer care, with a depth of knowledge in cultural influence and patient-centered communication. My work aims to identify, develop, and implement strategies to enhance the delivery of high-quality prostate cancer care – including utilizing peer support and navigation – to ultimately eliminate disparities. Fundamental to my ability to make a meaningful difference in cancer health equity is patient and community engagement, and mentoring and training underrepresented minorities in research.

Other interestsIn my free time, I enjoy bowling for fun (not competition), kayaking, learning to golf, and spending quality time with my new puppy who’s bringing me lots of joy. 

Needa Ratanawongsa

Neda Ratanawongsa, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine
Chief Medical Informatics Officer for SFDPH

Academic interests: I am strategizing how innovations in health IT / EHR design, implementation, and policy can support compassionate, effective health care for diverse patients and sustainability among their care teams.

Other interestsI work on my negotiating skills with my twins Rosie & Tessa and their older brother Benji. We love hiking, rock climbing, and singing musicals together.

Anne Rosenthal

Anne Rosenthal, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director, Richard Fine People’s Clinic

Academic interests: I’m a primary care provider who has been practicing in the Bay Area safety net for nearly 30 years. I’m interested in health equity, healthcare systems improvement, clinical quality improvement, and developing the public health primary care pipeline. My goal for RFPC is to integrate mental health and substance use treatment into a truly team-based model of care. Clinically, I have a current interest in medical care for patients with serious mental illness.

Other interestsI live in SF with my partner, a tween, a teen, and a new kitten. I love hiking, camping, road tripping, running, gardening and, new since the pandemic, bike riding on the less crowded Bay Area roads. 

Urmimala Sakar

Urmimala Sarkar, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine
Director, UCSF Primary Care Research Fellowship
Associate Director, Center for Vulnerable Populations at ZSFG
Associate Chair of Faculty Experience, Department of Medicine

Academic interests: I study how digital tools, including social media, can improve outpatient safety and quality, especially for diverse patients whom we care for in safety-net health systems.

Other interestsI love to receive book, recipe, and restaurant recommendations, will work for coffee and chocolate, and enjoy hearing and sharing the most colorful ZSFG stories out there. I spend most of my time on my “ongoing fellowship projects,” my son Nikaash and daughter Mika.

Dean Schillinger

Dean Schillinger, MD
Professor of Medicine in Residence
Director, UCSF Health Communications Research Program
Co-Director, NIDDK DREAMS Center for Type 2 Diabetes Translational Research

Academic interests: Dr. Schillinger carries out clinical and policy research related to the health and healthcare for vulnerable populations and is an internationally recognized expert in health communication science. His work focuses on literacy, health communication, and chronic disease prevention and management. Dr. Schillinger is the founding director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations and is currently the director of the center’s Health Communications Research Program.

Other interestsI swim in SF Bay (nearly) every day and my pride and joy is a border collie named Luna.

Eleanor Bimla Schwarz

Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, MD, MS
Professor of Medicine in Residence
Chief, UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine at ZSFG

Academic interests: Health equity, Reproductive Justice, Women's Health, Preconception Counseling, Postpartum care, Patient Centered Outcomes Research, Health Policy, Health Services Research, Community-oriented Primary Care.

Other interests: Dancing, baking bread, orchards in bloom.

Hilary Seligman

Hilary Seligman, MD, MAS
Professor of Medicine
Director, UCSF National Clinician Scholars Program, School of Medicine
​​Director, Food Policy, Health, and Hunger Research Program, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations
Director, CDC’s Nutrition and Obesity Policy, Research and Evaluation Network

Academic interests: I am a health disparities researcher who studies food insecurity and food policy as they relate to the development and management of chronic disease in the US. My expertise is in federal nutrition programs (such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), the charitable food system, food affordability and access, and income-related drivers of food choice.  I direct the Food Policy, Health, and Hunger Research Program at the Center for Vulnerable Populations and direct the CDC’s Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network, known as NOPREN. My team at ZSFG runs EatSF, a healthy fruit and vegetable voucher program for low-income residents of San Francisco. I direct UCSF’s National Clinician Scholars Program. aims to offer unparalleled training for clinicians as change agents driving policy-relevant research and partnerships to improve health and health care. The goal of NCSP is to cultivate health equity, eliminate health disparities, invent new models of care, and achieve higher quality health care at lower cost by training nurse and physician researchers who work as leaders and collaborators embedded in communities, healthcare systems, government, foundations, and think tanks in the United States and around the world.

Other interestsI live in San Francisco with my husband, three daughters, and a very large dog. I am always up for a conversation about books you are reading, especially fiction.

Wagahta Semere

Wagahta Semere, MD, MHS
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Academic interests: My main academic interest is developing strategies to improve communication between culturally and linguistically diverse older patients, their caregivers, and providers to manage chronic disease. I also enjoy having the chance to work with residents and students. 

Other interestsI love playing sports and having impromptu dance parties with my daughter, sons, and husband. 

Christy Soran

Christy Soran, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Medical Director, OBIC Substance Use Clinic
SFPC Associate Program Director

Academic interests: I love being a primary care clinician for patients in the safety net setting. My academic interests include integration of substance use treatment into primary care, the overlap of chronic pain and substance use, and resident education. I am particularly drawn to how we empower and communicate with patients who engage in traditionally stigmatized health behaviors..

Other interestsThese days I get much joy listening to my toddler’s jokes and infant’s belly laughs. I find pleasure in crunching leaves and the smell of fresh cut cucumbers. I love exploring the outdoors through hiking, kayaking, camping, biking on flat-ish ground, and Minnesota lake sports.

Scott Steiger

Scott Steiger, MD
Associate Professor, Medicine and Psychiatry
Deputy Medical Director, Opiate Treatment Outpatient Program

Academic interests: My main academic interest is improving the health of patients with substance use disorders, particularly through integrating medical treatment into substance use treatment (and vice versa).  I also focus a lot of my energy on teaching students, residents, and providers in practice about addiction and addiction treatment.

Other interestsMy fave activity combines time outside, with my family and friends, cooking, and adventure: mushroom foraging. I also have a weakness for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Vanessa Thompson

Vanessa Thompson, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Internal Medicine Residency Associate Program Director
UCSF SOM Bridges Curriculum Coach

Academic interests: Medical Education, Coaching and Advising, Support for Struggling Learners, Women’s Leadership Development, Women’s Health, Gender Equity, Health Disparities, Primary Care Transformation 

Other interestsI love spending time with my 3 kids and husband in San Francisco and the surrounding area. Anything to do with water is a big hit and favorite spots include Pacifica Beach for surfing, Sebastopol, CA for swimming and the Potomac River in Maryland for canoeing and kayaking. I hate to cook so finding creative solutions to feeding a family of 5 is a part‐time hobby. 

Maya Vijayaraghavan

Maya Vijayaraghavan, MD, MAS
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Academic interests: My work focuses on tobacco use with an emphasis on vulnerable populations. I am particularly interested in the intersection of tobacco use with mental illness and substance use disorders. Through my work, I have intervened at the individual, community, and policy levels to increase access to cessation services and smoke-free housing.

Other interestsSpending time with my children, gardening, hiking

Margaret Wheeler

Margaret Wheeler, MD
Professor of Medicine
Site Director, Internal Medicine Student Clerkships ZSFG
Co-director MODEL SFGH
Director Emerita, SFPC

Academic interests: Care of the underserved; teaching care of the underserved; immigrant care

Other interestsRead, hike, open water swimming; bird-watch....

Affiliated Faculty & Other Preceptors

Susan Buchbinder

Susan Buchbinder, MD
Clinical Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Director, Bridge HIV, SF DPH

Academic interests: HIV prevention including vaccines, PrEP, microbicides, home testing, combination prevention, addressing disparities, Getting to Zero SF

Other interestsTennis, dancing, hiking, reading great books!

Sophia Chang

Sophia Chang, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Chief Clinical Informatics Officer, Clover Health

Academic interests: Complex care, population health, health informatics

Other interestsCooking, long walks, and great food 

Beth Harleman

Beth Harleman, MD
Professor of Medicine and Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
Vice Chief of Medicine at ZSFG

Academic interests: Dr. Harleman has extensive experience developing and delivering curricula to a wide range of learners. Her focus in medical education is on the development of the physician identity, particularly at transition points in training. She co-created and ran the highly-rated UCSF School of Medicine capstone course, Coda, for nine years. As former APD for the Internal Medicine Residency Program, Beth oversaw all formal curricula and program evaluation and improvement. She has mentored hundreds of residents and students and previously held a role as an Advisory College Mentor for the UCSF School of Medicine. She currently serves as the Vice Chief of Medicine at ZSFG where she is responsible for the clinical operations of the Inpatient Medical Service, co-sponsors Medical Grand Rounds, and coordinates faculty development for ZSFG’s DOM faculty. Beth is jointly appointed in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and cares for pregnant patients with medical illnesses in the High Risk Obstetrics clinic.

Other interestsLong bicycle rides, experimental cooking, and playing on the beach with my three kids and dog.

Albert Liu

Albert Liu, MD, MPH
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCSF
Clinical Research Director, Bridge HIV, SF DPH

Academic interests: HIV prevention, PrEP, microbicides, HIV testing, combination prevention, mobile health, technology, LGBT health, Getting to Zero SF

Other interestsSwimming, music, cooking, playdates with my son.

Rachel Stern

Rachel Stern, MD
Volunteer Assistant Professor of Medicine
Chief Medical Quality Officer, Ambulatory Care for Ventura County Healthcare Agency

Academic interests: My primary interest is in making public health care systems safer, higher quality and more equitable. Other interests include value based care, Medicaid transformation, teaching QI, developing the next generation of safety net leaders and high quality chronic disease care, especially for heart failure, diabetes and hypertension

Other interestsI spend as much time as I can outside - hiking, biking, and running slowly.

Emily Wistar

Emily Wistar, MD
Primary Care Provider, Potrero Hill Health Center, San Francisco Health Network, SF DPH

Academic interests: Safety net systems transformation, especially around care transitions from the inpatient to outpatient setting, improving advance care knowledge and planning for underserved populations, creating patient-centered models of primary care delivery, improving care for older adults.

Other interestsI enjoy long-distance running, thrift shopping, fancy coffee, and hiking in the redwoods with my husband, two children, and dog.

Dan Wlodarczyk

Dan Wlodarczyk, MD
Professor of Medicine
Attending Physician, Positive Health Clinic at ZSFG Ward 86
Street Outreach Services and SF Homeless Outreach Team Van Physician

Academic interests: Providing care to homeless persons, trying to connect with difficult-to-reach vulnerable populations, providing low-barrier care

Other interestsHiking and art