SANTA ROSA - Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa has welcomed 12 new residents to its residency program.

The class of 2016 is comprised of top medical school graduates and were selected from a group of 713 applicants. The three-year program in collaboration with UCSF and one of 450 family medicine training programs in the United States has trained hundreds of family physicians since its inception in 1938.

Sutter’s  residency graduates comprise nearly half of family physicians in Sonoma County. They fill private practices, community clinics and large medical groups such as Sutter Medical Group of the Redwoods, The Permanente Medical Group, local community health centers, Sonoma County Health Services and leadership positions throughout the medical community.

“Health care is changing in this country and the old models of family medicine, where a physician sits in the office and waits for patients to come to them, are outdated. In our recruiting, we have positioned ourselves as one of the innovators in the world of family medicine education,” said Jeff Haney, the residency program director.  

The new residents are:

[caption id="attachment_96734" align="alignleft" width="139"] Alisa Awtry[/caption]

Alisa Awtry, M.D., University of California, San Diego School of Medicine; Dr. Awtry grew up in Ventura the home-schooled daughter of two chiropractors. While teaching the deaf in rural Mexico, she discovered her passion for medicine and returned to the United States and went to the University of California, San Diego. She managed the student-run free clinics and addressed access-to-care issues in the deaf community.

[caption id="attachment_96735" align="alignright" width="173"] Nathalie Boittin[/caption]

Nathalie Boittin, M.D., Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Boittin grew up in Switzerland and France before moving to the United States in high school. She studied astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago, then joined the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso, West Africa, and focused on girls' education as well as working on a number of health-related projects. She returned to the United States and spent two years working as an HIV counselor in a community health clinic in Washington, D.C.

[caption id="attachment_96812" align="alignleft" width="122"] Margot Brown[/caption]

Margot Brown, M.D., University of California, San Francisco; Dr. Brown was born and raised in Mendocino and majored in community studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she pursued her passion for social justice activism. After college, she served as an AmeriCorps volunteer and worked at a public health organization dedicated to preventing violence against women and children.

[caption id="attachment_96738" align="alignright" width="167"] Joel Charles[/caption]

 Joel Charles M.D., M.P.H., University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health; Dr. Charles grew up in Wisconsin the son of a carpenter and community-organizer. After finishing his undergraduate degree he traveled to a subsistence farming community in Oaxaca, Mexico, where he promoted the cultivation of amaranth and catalyzed the creation of a library. He spent the next year as a coordinator with Habitat for Humanity in the Mississippi Delta.


[caption id="attachment_96739" align="alignright" width="134"] Phoebe Mar Devitt[/caption]

Phoebe Mar Devitt, M.D., University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health; Dr. Mar Devitt was introduced to medicine by her father, a family medicine doctor, who took her on house calls to the Amish community. During medical school she spent time in rural Ecuador assisting with house calls in mountain villages to provide basic health care needs. 

[caption id="attachment_96740" align="alignleft" width="173"] Serena Edwards[/caption]

 Serena Edwards, M.D., University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine; Dr. Edwards grew up in North Carolina and found her way to patient care through her work as a massage therapist. Before traveling to the Midwest for medical school, she completed a masters in cellular and molecular biology at Appalachian State University


[caption id="attachment_96741" align="alignright" width="157"] Sevy Gurule[/caption]

Sevy Gurule, M.D., University of New Mexico, School of Medicine; Dr. Gurule grew up in rural New Mexico. She attended the University of New Mexico, where she studied biology and sign language and became interested in working with language minorities. She studied Spanish and worked in Ecuador and El Salvador.

[caption id="attachment_96742" align="alignleft" width="154"] Laura Kromann[/caption]

 Laura Kromann, M.D., Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine; Dr. Kromann is from Austin, and studied biology at Southwestern University, where she studied the nearly extinct Georgetown salamander. During this time, she made her first international medical trip to Mexico, helping to deliver health care to the remote interior region. 

[caption id="attachment_96743" align="alignright" width="190"] Andrew Luckett[/caption]

Andrew Luckett, M.D., University of Louisville School of Medicine; Dr. Luckett’s focus is on integrative medicine, with a special interest in the mind-body connection and lifestyle behaviors. He spent his first year of residency at Loma Linda University in Southern California, which spurred an enthusiasm for health care systems and delivery models.

[caption id="attachment_96744" align="alignleft" width="192"] Edna Carolina Prieto[/caption]

Edna Carolina Prieto, M.D., University of California, San Francisco; Dr. Prieto was born in Bogota, Colombia, but grew up in Long Beach. She studied psychology at University of California, Berkeley, and while volunteering at a homeless youth clinic, she discovered her passion for working with underserved and adolescent populations. After graduation, she traveled twice to El Salvador to work on a children's dental health project.

[caption id="attachment_96745" align="alignright" width="192"] Tania Rezai[/caption]

Tania Rezai, M.D., M.S., Stanford University School of Medicine; After graduating from the University of Southern California, Dr. Rezai moved to Spain for one year to investigate the experiences of North African women in the healthcare system, with a focus on access to prenatal care and cultural competency. In medical school she continued to pursue her global health interests through research projects in Mexico and rural Nepal.

[caption id="attachment_96746" align="alignleft" width="207"] Deanell Whiteside[/caption]

Daniel B. Whitesides, M.D., M.P.H., University of North Carolina School of Medicine; Born and raised in North Carolina, Dr. Whitesides studied biology and Spanish as an undergrad at UNC-Chapel Hill. While there, he traveled to Argentina and spent time providing medical care in rural, underserved communities.

[caption id="attachment_96747" align="alignright" width="156"] Ellie Wiener[/caption]

Ellie Wiener, M.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Dr. Wiener spent her college years at Wesleyan University where she developed an interest in food systems and nutrition as well as global health. She has strong interests in integrative medicine, reproductive health, obstetrics, palliative care and working with underserved populations in this country and other parts of the world.