Joel Alvarez, MD
Hometown: Wenatchee, WA
Medical school: Meharry Medical College
Joel Alvarez grew up in Wenatchee, Washington where he ran in track and cross country, played baseball, wrestled, and enjoyed cycling around the valley. If he wasn’t trying to be active, he was at home playing video games for most of the day. Joel decided to go to college after having a lot of fun interacting with athletes during a high school sports medicine course. He studied Chemistry at Washington State University (WSU) where he was given the opportunity to travel to Guatemala on a medical/dental mission that would change his perspective of the world and his role in it. WSU was also where life would change for Joel because when he worked as a resident advisor, he met his wife Jasmyn. In the years before medical school, he worked as a medical scribe, worked as at a bicycle shop, and traveled to Guadalajara to learn medical Spanish. Joel attended medical school at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. His drive to become a physician stems from his interest to care for vulnerable and underserved populations such as the poor, homeless, and uninsured. In pursuit of these interests, he has co-founded a Street Medicine organization, received a Health Policy Certificate, and mentors pre-medical students. Joel joined the TFM crew to continue serving vulnerable and underserved populations as a full-spectrum Family Medicine Physician, and to return to the beautiful Pacific Northwest! He is hoping to brush up on his Spanish and Suboxone Training to serve a broader array of patients, as well as enjoy time with his wife Jasmyn, son Mateo, and dog Bob.
Collena Butler, DO
Home Town: Gig Harbor, WA
Medical School: Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
Collena was born and raised in Gig Harbor, WA and has spent her life in the Pacific Northwest. She always had an interest in science and people and knew she wanted to pursue medicine from an early age. At the University of Washington, she was able to combine her interests in healthcare across populations and cultures and completed her major in Medical Anthropology and Global Health, with a minor in Spanish. Prior to entering medical school, she worked as a Health Navigator in a Federally Qualified Health Center in Seattle, WA where she was exposed to and fell in love with primary care. There, she helped patients navigate the ins and outs of the complex medical system and reduced barriers in access to community resources. After moving across the Cascades to attend medical school at Pacific Northwest University in Yakima, WA, she further developed her interest in family medicine and was president of the school's Family Medicine Interest Group. During her third year, she was elected Student Co-Trustee to the Washington Academy of Family Physicians where she brought student interests to the Board and organized student conferences. She is particularly drawn to family medicine for its focus on building lasting relationships with patients and treating the whole family.
Collena is excited to join TFM and train in full-spectrum family medicine, with special interests in women's and reproductive health, global heath, adolescent medicine, and underserved populations. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, running, being a self-proclaimed restaurant critic, cooking, and playing with her dog, Roma.
Jessica Lancaster, DO
Home Town: Lake Tapps, WA
Medical School: Pacific Northwest University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Jessica was born-and-raised in western Washington. She grew up in Lake Tapps, WA with her two younger sisters where she learned to love swimming and all the outdoor activities that abound in the Pacific Northwest. Her interest in medicine dates back to her early childhood years when she would listen to her late grandmother, an Emergency Room nurse, share stories about patient care. She went on to attend Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA majoring in Biology. During these years she had the opportunity to immerse herself in the medical field working as a student athletic trainer, a medical scribe, and a clinical research technician at both Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Each of these experiences along with a medical mission to Nicaragua further ignited her passion for medicine. After graduating, she chose to stay local and attend medical school at Pacific Northwest University in Yakima, WA. Her clinical years took her to rural, eastern Montana where she fell in love with Family Medicine, specifically rural health. Here Jessica was envious of the long-term and meaningful relationships with patients the physicians had, amazed by their scope of practice, and loved seeing what it meant to truly be a part of a community. She knew that Family Medicine was the perfect specialty.
Jessica is thrilled to be heading back to familiar territory and to be close to her family for the remainder of her training. She was drawn to the program for its dedication to full-spectrum training and the opportunity to work with an incredible group of attending physicians, co-residents, and staff. She is confident Tacoma Family Medicine is the perfect fit where she can explore all her medical interests which include obstetrics and women’s health, rural/underserved medicine, pediatric/adolescent medicine, addiction and recovery medicine, and preventative medicine.
Outside the wonderful world of medicine, you will find Jessica hiking through the PNW, catching monster trout on her fly-rod, experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, refinishing furniture, and hosting backyard BBQs galore!
Ashley Millette Cote, MD
Home Town: Douglas, Massachusetts
Medical School: University of Massachusetts Medical School
Ashley grew up in the small town of Douglas, MA in a family that gave her a great appreciation for nature and the outdoors. Developing an early interest in science, she went on to get an undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Johns Hopkins University. During her time at Hopkins she became interested in medicine after working as a research assistant on a living kidney donors study and realizing that medicine was the perfect mix of science and service. After graduating she went on to get a Master of Biomedical Sciences and then completed a USAID Research and Innovation Fellowship in Indonesia studying medicinal plants. Ashley was then fortunate enough to attend the very awesome UMass Medical School where she cultivated many interests, including lifestyle and preventive medicine, adolescent medicine and pediatrics, mental health, and working with homeless populations. Ashley can’t imagine a more perfect fit than full-spectrum family medicine and is SO excited to be joining the TFM family. Some of her hobbies including exploring the great outdoors with her husband and giant German Shepherd puppy, taking foodcations, nerding out over Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, and practicing her Spanish.
Laurisa Rodrigues, MD, MPH
Home Town: Pueblo, Colorado
Medical School: University of Washington
Laurisa was born and raised in Pueblo CO, a city about 90 minutes Southeast of Denver. After high school she heard the Pacific Northwest calling her name and decided to attend the University of Puget Sound where she earned her BA in Psychology. After graduating she spent a year working for the YWCA Pierce County, an organization still close to her heart. In the summer of 2014 she decided to head back home and work on her MPH in Community and Behavioral Health at the University of Colorado. While completing her MPH she worked as a health educator in the Pueblo City-County Health Department’s Title X Clinic where she was able to work on projects that incorporated women’s health, health equity and social justice, three of her biggest passions. Her time working and learning in the public health field reinforced her desire to become a physician, and she was lucky enough to attend the University of Washington for medical school. During her time at UW she completed both the Latinx and Underserved health pathways and was involved in many organizations focused on advocacy, mentorship, social justice, health equity and improving health care access.
Being able to combine her passion for service and social justice with her love of science and learning is what drew Laurisa to family medicine. After completing her family medicine rotation in Anchorage, AK she knew the specialty was a perfect fit for her. She is thrilled to be able to continue her training in the PNW and is eager to be at a program with such strong full-spectrum training. Her interests include women’s health, public health, healthcare for the underserved, HIV care, palliative care, and increasing diversity in medicine through pipeline programs.
When not in the hospital or clinic Laurisa enjoys traveling, spending time in the mountains and on the water with friends and family, baking, cooking (Mexican is her specialty), working out, reading/studying at local coffee shops and watching live sports (especially Husky basketball and Avalanche hockey) with friends.
Rachel Shober, MD
Home Town: Monroe, Washington
Medical School: University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Rachel was born and raised in Monroe, a small town in the foothills of the North Cascades. Her exposure to medicine started with her mom, who has practiced family medicine in Monroe for nearly 30 years. Growing up, she was active in both organized sports and exploring the outdoors. College took her across the state to Walla Walla. She majored in Psychology at Whitman College and played volleyball there.
Rachel worked at her local YMCA during summers, volunteered in Walla Walla public schools, and wrote her thesis on the effect of poverty on child development. Her experiences during college led her to join Teach For America, which moved her to San Antonio after graduation. In Texas, she taught 6th grade reading intervention and coached middle school volleyball, basketball, and track. After two years she moved to Austin where she continued to teach reading intervention and yoga to 5th-8th graders (there are some great stories from this). While transitioning between teaching jobs, Rachel decided that she would like to pursue a career in medicine in order to continue serving families and communities in a different capacity.
In Dallas, she spent four years at UT Southwestern Medical School surrounded by amazing classmates and mentors. Her most formative experiences came from working in a pediatric foster care clinic and rotating in east Texas for her family medicine rotation. Family medicine was an easy choice due to the variety, long-term relationships, and commitment to serving vulnerable populations. It also helped that she loved every rotation during her third year.
Rachel was drawn to TFM's focus on community health and excellent training in full-spectrum family medicine. Her interests include women's health, adolescent health, addiction medicine, and sports medicine. She is excited to be close to family and friends in the PNW, and cannot wait to call Tacoma home. In her free time you can find her reading books, cooking/baking new recipes, being active on wheels and foot, and pretending she can still play volleyball.
Erin Steele, MD
Home Town: Snohomish, Washington
Medical School: University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Erin grew up a little over an hour north of Tacoma in Snohomish, WA, surrounded by beautiful evergreen trees, picturesque mountains, and an abundance of lakes and rivers that offered the perfect backdrop for fostering a love of nature and insatiable desire to explore the world around her. Throughout her college years at the University of Washington, this love of the natural world was refined into a passion for learning about human physiology and disease. Following these interests, she pursued volunteer work in the burn unit at Harborview Medical Center, spent time working in a research lab exploring potential treatment options for those with cardiac pathology, and started a job as an Emergency Department scribe. These, among other volunteer and class-related tutoring opportunities, convinced her that her true calling lay in navigating the world of healthcare while serving as a teacher, friend, and advocate to those in need. Medical school took her halfway across the country to the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, where, from the start, she was quickly drawn to the field of family medicine. There, she would be able to form meaningful, lifelong relationships with her patients, advocating for their rights and empowering them to take control of their health and happiness, while exploring a wide range of medical concerns. Her decision was reinforced by experiences volunteering in her school’s mobile clinic and working as a Summer Health Aide for Proteus, a program providing healthcare to migrant farmworkers across Eastern Iowa. Erin knew that she needed to be at the front lines of primary care and preventive medicine, serving not only individuals and families, but the community at large.
After spending the past four years in the Midwest, Erin is overjoyed to return home to the beautiful state of Washington to continue her journey at Tacoma Family Medicine. In her free time, she enjoys cycling, hiking, scuba diving, reading and listening to podcasts, scrapbooking, obsessing over her fur babies (a German Shepherd named Ghost and tabby cat named Marcie—Marceline when she is in trouble), and spending time with her husband Trevor.
Konstantin Tachan, DO
Home Town: Spokane, WA
Medical School: Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine
Konstantin was born in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. At the age of five, he immigrated to America with his family. He grew up in Spokane where he spent a great deal of time outdoors, either biking, swimming, fishing, and camping. For college, he went to Whitworth University where he studied biochemistry. After taking a physiology class he fell in love with the intricacies of the human body. He decided to see where his interests take him by volunteering at a local hospital in the emergency room where he was fascinated with how many medical issues can be solved with basic physiology knowledge and became sold on medicine being the correct path for him. After graduation, he wanted to venture outside of America and was fortunate to pursue a Fulbright grant in South Korea. Konstantin spent the next year learning a new language, traveling, and volunteering. Upon his return to America, he moved back to Washington to attend medical school at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences. During his clinical rotations, he came to appreciate the valuable role a family physician plays in public health; working with underserved communities, and also creating long-lasting relationships with patients. He is beyond ecstatic to start residency training in Tacoma where he is looking forward to learning full-spectrum family medicine.
Outside of medicine, he is passionate about: learning new languages, traveling, woodworking, cooking, making sushi, play board games, and having quality time with loved ones and friends. Now that he is near the coast, he is also planning to pick up sailing, a long time passion of his and to hopefully sail around the world someday.
Kayley Alden, MD
Home Town: Atlanta, Georgia
Medical School: Emory University School of Medicine
Kayley was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. While completing a degree in Music Performance on the viola at the University of Georgia, Kayley's interest in medicine started when she was volunteering at a local cancer center. She began to dream of medical school after witnessing how physicians cared for and loved their patients. As a student at Emory University School of Medicine, Kayley was struck by the impact of health disparities on patients. Throughout medical school, she had many opportunities to confront these challenges and give back to the community where she was raised, including coordinating a student-run clinic dedicated to providing gynecological services to underserved women in Atlanta and volunteering with a Street Medicine team tasked with caring for our homeless community members. She also seized chances to travel and explore global medicine by providing medical care to children at risk of human trafficking in Thailand and learning about Tibetan medicine and meditation at the Dalai Lama’s residence in India. Through all of these experiences, Kayley became passionate about family medicine, a specialty that would allow her to form close bonds with her patients while exploring her broad interests, including women’s health and maternity care, integrative and preventive medicine, physician wellness, LGBTQ+ care, social medicine, and palliative care.
Kayley fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and Tacoma while driving along Ruston Way on the way to spend an afternoon in Point Defiance Park. When she’s not thinking about medicine, Kayley enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and 2 big dogs, being in the kitchen trying new recipes, spending time gardening, and hiking to gorgeous views. She can’t wait to explore the beautiful PNW and find her community in Tacoma.
Laura Bauleke, MD
Home Town: Ventura, California
Medical School: University of Washington School of Medicine
Laura was born and raised in the beautiful coastal city of Ventura, CA. Always inspired by nature, she majored in Geology at Scripps College with the hopes of one day obtaining a fulltime job doing fieldwork by the sea. Armed with perpetual luck, she landed the opportunity to do exactly that and worked with a coastal erosion research study at the Washington State Department of Ecology in Olympia, WA. After a series of serious injury and illnesses within her own family, she decided to switch gears and pursue a career in healthcare. Watching her loved ones navigate repeatedly through difficult medical decisions caused her to consider a career in family medicine –a field where she could provide holistic care to individuals and families. She returned to school to acquire prerequisites for medical school while simultaneously obtaining a license as a medical assistant. Prior to entering medical school at University of Washington, she worked for several years as a medical assistant at Sea Mar Community Health Centers in Bellingham, WA and then later at Family Health Centers in Brewster, WA. These experiences served to cultivate and reinforce her conviction to practice full spectrum family medicine in a rural and underserved community.
Laura is incredibly excited to remain in the Pacific Northwest and join the team at Tacoma Family Medicine. She was drawn to the program for its dedication to full spectrum training, and she has particular interests in obstetrics, women’s health, pediatrics, mental health, and rural and underserved medicine.
She lives life with a side of silly and approaches her day with the mindset that everyone she meets has something to teach her. Outside of medicine, Laura enjoys spending as much time as possible with her amazing husband and acrobatic toddler son. Together they like to adventure outside on trails, visit local parks and library story times, and experiment in the kitchen. Her family tolerates her novice accordion skills and her long list of unfinished sewing projects
Jeneeca Bruce, DO
Home Town: Chula Vista, California
Medical School: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine - Midwestern University
Jeneeca grew up in Chula Vista, CA, with her younger brother and parents. Throughout her childhood, she enjoyed taking dance classes (tap & jazz), playing sports (volleyball and track& field) and spending time with her extended family during game nights. Minor injuries suffered through these activities (except for game night) gave her early exposure into the field of medicine. After graduating from San Diego State University with her Bachelor of Arts in Biology, she set her sights on medical school. With her experience of taking care of her father during his cancer treatments and working as a caregiver, Jeneeca fell in love with family medicine. Throughout medical school, she developed a commitment and appreciation for caring for the underserved by volunteering at several homeless shelters with the Homeless Outreach through Medicine & Education (H.O.M.E.) program. She is excited to utilize her compassion, leadership, and dedication that will allow her to serve her new community.
Jeneeca looks forward to the full-spectrum family medicine training at TFM and the opportunity to explore her interests in women's health, palliative care, addiction medicine, and geriatrics. Outside of medicine, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and two cats (Bagheera & Kali), watching movies, couponing, knitting, and hiking.
Kiera Hayes, MD
Home Town: Seattle, Washington
Medical School: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Kiera grew up in the University District in Seattle, Washington enjoying both the peace and beauty of Ravenna Park and the urban excitement of the U District. As a child, she planned to be an artist and/or a zoologist, cherishing Zooper Day Camp and Discovery Park Camps, but gradually realized that she was far more interested in the intricate relationship between humans and parasites than just the animals. Contemplating how human behavior interacts with disease risk and health systems, she decided to pursue Anthropology at Beloit College. For her semester abroad, she traveled to South Africa to study public health and the relationship between Western, Faith, and Traditional medicine in a rural village. During her time on this project, she worked in the clinic and realized that as much as she loved public health and anthropology, she wanted to be able to provide health care on a day to day basis as well as to work long term on preventative medicine and health systems. She could not shake her love of parasites though and decided to pursue a Masters in Control of Infectious Disease at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. After a year of tropical infectious diseases, program development, and vector control, she completed her thesis in India evaluating new point of care diagnostics for Visceral Leishmaniasis. While explaining why an interest in neglected tropical diseases would be best served by pursuing Family Medicine, she returned to the United States to attend medical school, enjoying participation in Family Medicine and Geriatrics activities. She spent the majority of her free time learning about homeless health issues and partnering with local groups to work towards coordination between medical and social work outreach teams and eventually advocating for housing programs. She also developed an interest in the health needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and worked on advocacy campaigns with local medical groups. She continued her interest in global health with a rotation on the Hopi Reservation, and completed her last medical school rotation in Bolivia evaluating the impact of a handwashing education program.
Kiera is excited to return to the Pacific Northwest and be closer to her family. She was drawn to the program in Tacoma due to the focus on both urban and rural underserved populations and opportunities to continue working with these populations during residency. In her free time, she is a “maker” (sewing, drawing, cooking, 3-D printing, knitting) and enjoys hiking, soccer, and yoga. She is most often found drinking tea, eating chocolate, and reading a book, playing a game (most recently Dungeons and Dragons), or critiquing a movie with friends. She is excited to join the community at Tacoma Family Medicine!
Kristin Hildebrandt, MD
Home Town: Yorkville, Wisconsin
Medical School: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
Kristin grew up in Yorkville, Wisconsin. Her curiosity in the health of living beings started by raising and showing chickens through 4-H. She studied Human Biology Health and Society at Cornell University and learned more about the integration between nutrition, human development, and policy. She also completed a research honors thesis on Anti Mullerian Hormone (a reproductive hormone) in chickens.
Before starting medical school, she worked at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) helping patients understand and navigate the new changes with the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and other financial assistance programs.
While at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Kristin participated in the Wisconsin Academy of Rural Medicine (WARM). She also completed the path of distinction in public health and earned a certificate in global health with a project looking at agricultural occupational injuries in Guatemala.
Kristin’s professional interests include rural medicine, obstetrics and women’s health, wilderness medicine, and public health and preventative medicine. She enjoys listening to patients and empowering them to make lifestyle changes, in addition to utilizing medication management, to help them reach their goals.
When not in the hospital or clinic, you can find her outside kayaking, hiking or backpacking in the backcountry, completing running or cross country skiing marathons, biking, or snowshoeing. Kristin also enjoys playing the flute, working with Girl Scouts, and bringing a smile to someone’s day.
Courtney Horton, MD
Home Town: Newport, Maine
Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine
Courtney grew up and spent most of her life as a Mainer. She is excited to start a new adventure in the Pacific Northwest and Tacoma! She was raised in a rural town in central Maine. She then attended the University of Maine for undergrad where she studied Biology. During her time at UMaine, she applied and was accepted into an early assurance program with Tufts University and Maine Medical Center where she eventually attended medical school. In her free time (while not applying to medical school) she participated in various volunteer organizations like Circle K International and Partners for World Health and studied abroad in Costa Rica. She even shaved her head twice to raise funds for pediatric cancer research! Interested in rural and global health, she pursued a dual-degree as an MD/MPH candidate at Tufts and completed some of her public health coursework in India as well as at the CDC in Maryland. As a third-year medical student, she completed her core clinical rotations in a longitudinal curriculum at a rural site on the coast of Maine where she further developed a passion for primary care.
Once applying to residency, Courtney's sights turned westward where she could find full-spectrum training in Family Medicine. She is particularly interested in surgical obstetrics, reproductive health, palliative care, and rural/underserved medicine. When not studying or working, Courtney enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, reading, various "arts & crafts", and taking care of her numerous houseplants. She is thrilled to be joining the Tacoma Family Medicine community!
Eunice Marpaung, MD
Home Town: Loma Linda, California
Medical School: Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Eunice was born in San Bernardino, CA to Indonesian immigrant parents and was raised in Southern California until she moved to small-town Berrien Springs, MI in high school. She completed a degree in English at the University of Michigan and a Master of Biomedical Sciences degree at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Scranton,
PA. The assimilation experiences of her family and of the people she met motivated her to find ways to serve immigrant communities and other vulnerable populations. Eunice volunteered and studied in Panama, Costa Rica, and Guatemala, where she gained working
proficiency in Spanish. While in medical school, she was involved in the student-run mobile clinic visiting shelters and parks and mentored minority high school students.
She was drawn to full-spectrum family medicine because of its potential to meet diverse health needs and promote continuity of care. She is excited to train with physicians who also wish to maximize their skill set and work with underserved populations. Aside from
learning medicine, she enjoys writing, playing the piano, singing Disney songs, solving escape rooms, trying new foods, and growing in her relationship with God.
James McAllister, MD
Home Town: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Medical School: Tulane University School of Medicine
James was born in Massachusetts and moved out west with his family at five years old. He grew up in Bainbridge Island, WA, where he learned to love swimming in cold water and walks in evergreen forests. For college, he went to the University of Washington, where he majored in political science, and after graduation found a job at the Federal Election Commission in Washington, DC. After deciding he didn't want to work in law or politics, and after many rewarding volunteer experiences in and out of health care in DC, James decided to pursue a medical degree. He went to the University of Virginia to complete his prerequisites for medical school, and found his way down to New Orleans to attend the Tulane University School of Medicine. During his preclinical years, James spent time in student-run clinics, and learned more about the social disparities of health and the need for care among marginalized populations in New Orleans. He also had many leadership positions in student groups that worked to help students deal with mental health and wellness issues, and was active in Tulane's Family Medicine Interest Group. He found all of his clinical rotations interesting, but he particularly enjoyed his family medicine rotation in Ville Platte, LA, deep in the Cajun prairie. James appreciated the long-term relationships with patients and loved the variety of clinical situations he saw in with his preceptor in Ville Platte. He knew that family medicine was the perfect specialty, and that Washington state would be the perfect place to find a residency program.
James has interests in mental health, adolescent medicine, addiction and recovery medicine, medical education, public policy, and care for underserved populations. He is excited about the full-spectrum training he will receive at Tacoma Family Medicine and is thankful for the opportunity to work with an incredible group of attending physicians, co-residents, and staff. Outside of medicine, James likes running, cycling, and playing soccer. He is excited to get back to the Pacific Northwest of his youth to explore all that the region has to offer, particularly in the great outdoors. He is lover of all foods (except raisins), loves to cook, and spends his free time with good friends or enjoying a novel on a cozy couch. Additionally, during his time in New Orleans, he discovered a passion for crafting and costuming, which will surely be a useful skill at TFM.
Kyla Halsor, MD
Home Town: Dallas, Pennsylvania
Medical School: Penn State College of Medicine
Kyla was born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania. As a child she enjoyed being outside hiking and camping with her family, spending any time she could with her older sister, and traveling to visit her extended family in Oregon and Michigan during the summers. After high school Kyla stayed close to home and attended Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Kyla began her college career working towards an elementary education major until she began working at a local rehabilitation hospital as a nursing assistant. It was here working hands-on with brain injury and stroke patients she cultivated her interest in medicine and realized this was the path for her. She soon changed her major to biology and began taking classes to fulfill a pre-med track. After graduating from college, she attended medical school at Penn State in Hershey, PA. Here she enjoyed being involved in and leading the Family Medicine Interest Group in many community outreach and educational events. One of her most rewarding experiences was being involved in Penn State’s Global Health Scholars Program, a 4-year longitudinal global health curriculum, which included travel to Ecuador during both her first and last year of medical school. This experience allowed her the opportunity to not only improve on her Spanish but to fully immerse herself in the health care system in both a very urban and rural setting in Ecuador. This program sparked her interest in global health work as well as reinforced her interest in underserved and rural medicine.
Though Kyla has spent her whole life on the East Coast, she is excited for a new adventure moving to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and joining TFM! She looks forward to the full-spectrum family medicine training at TFM and the opportunity to explore her interests in women’s health, rural and underserved medicine, and global health. In her free time, she enjoys running, baking, doing puzzles, traveling, and many outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and backpacking.
Megan Hatch, MD
Home Town: Portland, Oregon
Medical School: Oregon Health and Science University
Megan was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and earned her degree in Economics and Mathematics from Boston College. After graduation, Megan was ready for an adventure and joined the Peace Corps as a Community Health and Economic Development Volunteer. She spent the next two years living and working in a tiny, Ugandan village that lacked both running water and electricity. In the village, she provided HIV/AIDS and malaria education and helped local women to start a small business. Next, Megan moved to South Korea to teach English and while there decided to pursue her life’s goal of becoming a doctor. Upon her return, Megan completed a Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical program at Bryn Mawr College and then moved home to Portland to attend medical school at Oregon Health & Science University. During a rural rotation in Enterprise, Oregon, Megan watched the family docs do it all and knew she had found her calling. Megan is thrilled to have matched into a program with such strong training in full-spectrum care. On her days off, Megan enjoys spending as much time as possible with her husband, daughter and dog, eating delicious food, running and daydreaming about her next travel adventure.
Elizabeth Karin, MD
Home Town: Scarsdale, New York
Medical School: Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Elizabeth grew up in a New York City suburb and has spent most of her life on the east coast. She is very excited to be joining the TFM family and living in the Pacific northwest! Growing up, she was involved in sports (soccer, basketball, softball), music, and activism and loved spending time with her family. She earned her BA in development studies at Brown University focusing on health care and human rights then spent a year working in the Boston area before returning to NYC for medical school at Mount Sinai. Throughout medical school, Elizabeth continued to learn and work at the intersection of healthcare and human rights. She conducted an international research project in Kenya on palliative care and participated in domestic work involving healthcare access, border healthcare, medical evaluation for asylum seekers, and addressing bias and racism in the healthcare system. She is also proficient in Spanish having kept up her skills with formal education and informally through friends and travel abroad. Elizabeth was drawn to family medicine for its focus on treating patients with holistic consideration of all that affects their health and wellness and the opportunity to develop lasting relationships as a primary care doctor. Within family medicine her interests include women’s health, healthcare access, and palliative care to name a few.
Outside of medicine she enjoys music, movies, cooking, travel, reading, crossword puzzles, and quality time with friends and family. She took up roller derby during medical school and is hoping to keep that up in Tacoma. She is also looking forward to having more opportunities to explore the outdoors in the PNW with hiking, kayaking, and whatever new activities she can find.
Lucas Labine, MD
Home Town: Arden Hills, Minnesota
Medical School: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Lucas is a born-and-raised Minnesotan, growing up in the Minneapolis area with his two younger sisters and parents. His childhood consisted of many scenic camping adventures in MN and throughout the continental US, foreshadowing his choice to move closer to the mountains for residency training. At the University of Minnesota, he pursued a degree in Bioproducts Engineering, with an interest in biorenewable resources. However, he quickly learned through a clinical research internship at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation that medicine was a better career fit for him. Before he knew it, he was a first-year medical student at the University of Minnesota, where he learned how much he values patient-orientated care, strong relationships, and variety of both patient populations and medical pathology, especially during his 3rd-year clerkships as a Rural Physicians Associate Program (RPAP) student in the town of Waconia, MN.
In his 4 years of schooling, he picked up many interests in medicine, such as hospital medicine, obstetrics, clinical research, palliative care, sports medicine, point-of-care ultrasound, and other niches in the field, making family medicine an ideal choice of specialty. He also enjoyed being involved in the medical school and surrounding community, including having leadership positions in the Student Council and Gold Humanism Honors Society. Lucas is beyond thrilled to be starting his career at Tacoma FM to learn full-spectrum care in the beautiful western United States. He is also looking forward to spending time running, hiking, sailing his small 2-seater sailboat, being with loved ones, and exploring the coast.
Matt Novack, MD
Home Town: Kemmore, Washington
Medical School: University of Washington School of Medicine
Matt Novack grew up in Kenmore, Washington, where he enjoyed hiking the trails of St. Edward State Park and swimming in the Seattle Summer Swim League. He attended the University of Washington for undergraduate where he studied Biochemistry with a Minor in Music and played trumpet in the marching band. Prior to starting medical school, he worked as a chemist for a clean drinking water technology company, but quickly realized he liked patients more than polymers.
Matt returned to the University of Washington for medical school and took advantage of opportunities to experience different cities in the Northwest. He spent the first 2-years of medical school in Spokane where he savored the affordable housing and lack of traffic. During his clinical years, he did rotations in Eastern Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho where he developed his interests in addiction medicine and obstetrics, while also finding time to ski. Outside of class, he spent time volunteering with Crisis Text Line as a crisis counselor and House of Charity Homeless Shelter. Matt is grateful to be in Tacoma surrounded by like-minded colleagues who are dedicated to full-spectrum family practice, rural medicine, and primary care in underserved communities.
Marissa Robinson, MD
Home Town: Spanish Town, Jamaica
Medical School: University of Iowa Roy. J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
Marissa was born and raised in Jamaica where she grew up in Spanish Town and spent an inordinate amount of time at the beach. She attended high school in Kingston and it was here that she was spring-boarded into a life of science and dreams of medical school. One of the biggest motivators for Marissa’s interest in medicine was her time caring for her grandmother who lived with her throughout high school. She became profoundly aware of the disparity in healthcare resources between her home town and the more urban areas of her school, which sparked a desire to work in underserved medicine. At eighteen, she was filled with a need to explore more of the world and decided to complete her undergraduate studies in Biology at Grinnell College in Iowa. Her passion for medicine never waned in college but rather became more informed as she learned more about sociological forces of inequity, volunteered in Jamaica and Nicaragua, studied in Denmark and immersed herself in a myriad of mentorship and supportive initiatives for underrepresented students.
A true Midwest convert, Marissa stayed in Iowa to attend medical school at the University of Iowa. She continued to explore opportunities to work in underserved communities both in Iowa City and Jamaica, volunteered in STEM activities across the state, and worked through the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) to develop both recruitment and supportive initiatives for underrepresented students at the University of Iowa. Marissa states that she did not start on the path of Family Medicine, but it was clear by the end of her core year that it was where she belonged. She wanted to move closer to her family on the west coast and realized early on that her goals aligned with those of TFM-a dedication to working with underserved populations, true community involvement and most of all, dedication to full spectrum practice. She is particularly interested in women’s health, family planning, global health and procedural medicine. In her spare time, Marissa enjoys reading, swimming, karaoke, dancing, watching movies and playing with her 2-year old cat, Sir William von Snuggleton.
Audra Stallard, MD
Home Town: Olney, Illinois
Medical School: University of Missouri School of Medicine
Audra grew up in the small town of Olney, Illinois (known for its albino squirrels). She lived in St. Louis during her high school years, then went to the University of Missouri-Columbia for college. There she majored in Biology and Spanish, worked in an ophthalmology research lab, and led several service trips through Mizzou Alternative Breaks. She stuck around for medical school, and when she wasn’t studying she was involved in MedZou (the student-run free health clinic), SIGHT (MU’s global health interest group), and American Medical Women’s Association, among other things. Audra continued practicing her Spanish throughout medical school, and spent a month studying medicinal Spanish in Ecuador. She has a passion for all areas of family medicine, including obstetrics/women’s health, newborns, underserved medicine, LGBTQ health, geriatrics, palliative care, and everyone in between. She loves the social aspect of medicine, and she is always excited to get to know her patients and their families.
Audra fell in love with the Pacific Northwest when she became acquainted with a friendly seal on the edge of Point Defiance Park. She then found that the people were even nicer than the seals, and she loved the idea of working with this community. She is excited for a new adventure in beautiful Tacoma. Outside of medicine she spends her time swing dancing, reading, playing rugby, doing any outdoor activity, listening to music, cooking, and playing board games.
Manisha Thuparani, MD
Home Town: Hyderabad, India
Medical School: University of Washington School of Medicine
Manisha was born in India. She moved to Seattle when she was 13, and stayed in Seattle for undergrad and medical school at the University of Washington. She wanted to be a physician since she was five years old because of her grandfather's experience with the healthcare system in India after an accident. While exploring various aspects of medicine during high school and college, Manisha enjoyed the idea of forming long term relationships with patients in primary care. She completed her third-year clerkship at Tacoma Family Medicine and loved the program for its full-spectrum family medicine training. She is excited to be at Tacoma Family Medicine and continue learning from a dedicated group of faculty. Manisha is interested in full-spectrum family medicine with a focus on underserved medicine, women's health, and international medicine.
When she is not working, Manisha likes to hike, watch tennis, cook, bake, and play board games. She identifies herself as a huge foodie and likes exploring restaurants around town. Manisha also loves traveling and traveled to Kenya, Italy, and France right before starting residency.