Focus on UCSF Fresno Newsletter Winter 2023


Match Day 2023: UCSF Fresno Celebrated First Class of UCSF SJV PRIME Students, All Incoming Residents
Match Day Graphic



By Brandy Ramos Nikaido, UCSF Fresno Communications

In 2019, six students entered the then brand-new UCSF San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME). They were the first cohort in a unique UCSF School of Medicine track for aspiring physicians interested in caring for underserved communities, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley. The students spent the first 18 months at the main campus in San Francisco and the next two and a half years conducting clinical training at UCSF Fresno. Four years later on Match Day, those students marked the first UCSF SJV PRIME students to pursue residencies.

A UC Davis SJV PRIME student also is completing training and participated in the Match along with the UCSF students.

UCSF Fresno celebrated the SJV PRIME students and all incoming residents on March 17 – Match Day – the day when the identities were revealed of 73 medical residents (interns), including three of the UCSF SJV PRIME students, and four oral and maxillofacial surgery residents who will start their residency training this summer at UCSF Fresno

Match Day takes place every year in mid-March and is the time when graduating medical students across the U.S. learn where they will spend the next several years conducting clinical training under faculty supervision, known as their medical residency. Residency training is required prior to practicing medicine independently in the United States. 

UCSF Fresno currently offers residency training in eight medical specialties, one oral and maxillofacial surgery dental residency, fellowship training in 20 medical sub-specialties, one dental sub-specialty as well as two residency programs for physician assistants. 

“Match Day is an important milestone on the path to becoming a physician and is a joyous occasion,” said Stacy Sawtelle Vohra, MD, interim Designated Institutional Official and Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director at UCSF Fresno. “An influx of physicians to care for patients in a region with a well-documented shortage of doctors is always a cause for celebration. It is especially exciting that the first group of UCSF SJV PRIME students participated in the Match. We congratulate them and look forward to welcoming all our interns this summer.” 

Graduating medical students typically register with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) as part of the Match Day process. The NRMP utilizes a mathematical algorithm to place applicants into residency positions. Medical school graduates then begin residency training at the hospital or program where they “matched” as interns. A similar “match” occurs each year in December for physicians entering advanced sub-specialty fellowship training.

The UCSF Fresno residency programs that participated in the NRMP match received 8,041 applications and conducted 998 interviews for 73 positions. UCSF Fresno fellowship programs that took part in the October/December NRMP match received 1,885 applications and conducted 220 interviews for 20 positions. Non-NRMP programs filled available positions through another matching service or through interviews and offers. The UCSF Fresno Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program received 147 applications and conducted 20 interviews for four available spots. 

Training Physicians in the Valley for the Valley 

The six students of the UCSF SJV PRIME Class of 2023 are the first to receive medical degrees from the UCSF School of Medicine, and three will be continuing their medical career journey at UCSF Fresno for residency. SJV PRIME started in 2011 in partnership with the UC Davis School of Medicine, UC Merced, UCSF, and UCSF Fresno as a program to train physicians for the region. In 2018, the UCSF School of Medicine became the medical degree granting institution, paving the way for students to spend most of their time training at UCSF Fresno. 

“We applaud all of the SJV PRIME graduating students and are excited that three of them are staying at UCSF Fresno and one is going to UCSF for residency,” said Kenny Banh, MD, assistant dean for Undergraduate Medical Education at UCSF Fresno. “SJV PRIME students spend the majority of their training in the region. The more time they spend here – learning and caring for the community – the more likely they are to stay to practice.”    

The San Joaquin Valley and Inland Empire have the lowest physician to patient ratios in the state, according to many reports including California Physicians: A Portrait of Practice by the California Health Care Foundation.  

“The aim of SJV PRIME is to increase the Valley’s physician workforce by taking students from the Valley, training them here, and encouraging residency training in the region with the hope they will stay to practice,” said Loren Alving, MD, director of the UCSF SJV PRIME. “We are very proud of our students and pleased that they are staying in California and the region.” Statistics show that physicians tend to practice near where they complete training or where they grew up, which is a rationale for SJV PRIME. Graduating SJV PRIME students in 2023 echo the desire to serve underserved communities and provide care where it is needed most. 


What SJV PRIME Students Are Saying 

Amitoj Singh
“I’m really excited, really blessed to have matched here. I get to stay here and help the community that helped shape who I am.”
Amitoj Singh of Fresno, UCSF SJV PRIME Class of 2023, matched with the UCSF Fresno Psychiatry Residency Program
Marcus Cummins
"I was lucky enough to have matched here at UCSF Fresno in Internal Medicine. The whole point of this program is to train future Valley doctors and hopefully keep us in the Valley. I couldn’t be more excited to continue my training here.”
Marcus Cummins of Fresno/Clovis, UCSF SJV PRIME Class of 2023, matched with UCSF Fresno Medicine Residency Program
Jacqueline A. Leon, MPH
“I’m excited because I get to practice the type of medicine that I believe will serve the community and that is Psychiatry and I’m really excited to move on to the next phase of my journey.”
Jacqueline A. Leon, MPH, of Fresno, UC Davis SJV PRIME Class of 2023, matched with UCSF School of Medicine Psychiatry Residency Program, who wants to serve Spanish-speaking patients and marginalized communities
Mohammad Sani Bukari, MD (second row, right) and sickle cell clinic staff


UCSF Fresno Sickle Cell Clinic is Providing Patients with Timely Preventative Care

       Mohammad Sani Bukari, MD, (second row, right) and sickle cell clinic staff

By Lucero Benitez, UCSF Fresno Communications

In 2020, UCSF Fresno opened a comprehensive adult sickle cell disease care clinic at the Community Cancer Institute in Clovis to provide comprehensive care, including screening for complications of the blood disease, and coordination of care with other specialties such as genetics, counseling, pain management, orthopedics, surgery and obstetrics/gynecology.  

Mohammed Sani Bukari, MD, associate clinical professor and a UCSF Fresno oncologist who is board certified in Hematology, Oncology, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, wrote the grant proposal for the only operating sickle cell disease clinic for adults in the greater Fresno area.  

“Having this clinic in the Central Valley is important because it reduces the time that families and patients have to travel to neighboring counties or cities to get comprehensive care and it allows patients to get care closer to home,” said Dr. Bukari. It also serves as a transitioning of care clinic for children receiving care in Valley Children’s Hospital (VCH) hemoglobinopathies and sickle cell clinic.  

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that causes red blood cells to become misshapen (sickle cell) and undergo premature breakdown. The misshaped blood cells block blood flow through the vessels leading to tissue death and or acute pain episodes. The shortened lifespan of red blood cells causes anemia and associated symptoms like fatigue and weakness.  

Other symptoms of sickle cell include increased risk of infection, strokes, kidney, lungs, and liver failures leading to shortened life spans of affected individuals compared to the general population. 

Available treatments include medications, blood transfusions, bone marrow transplant and evolving novel therapies like gene therapy.

Now, in its third year of operation, Dr. Bukari runs the clinic along with physician assistant Stephanie Harris Mercado, DMSc, MBA, PA-C, who has a doctorate in medical science with an emphasis in sickle cell disease.  

“Sickle cell patients here, have access to the hematologist, a medical assistant or me, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They have access to texting, and we will answer even on the weekends and get them taken care of,” said Dr. Harris Mercado.  

The clinic also provides same day pain management at an ambulatory infusion center in the Community Cancer Institute, helping reduce the utilization of the emergency department for acute mild to moderate pain episodes.  

Calvin Mays is one of those patients. He is 50 years old and grateful to be alive because he has surpassed the life expectancy of an adult male with the disease. He was diagnosed with sickle cell at the age of 12 when he began having excruciating back pain. He remembers the only way to deal with it was by going to the emergency room.  

In 2018, he moved from Illinois to Fresno to be close to family, and the emergency hospital visits continued. Unbeknownst to him, he would soon find preventative care.  

After much struggle and dealing with pain, Mays found the sickle cell clinic before one of his worst health episodes. In July 2022, he experienced excruciating knee and elbow pain that sent him to the emergency department. It turned into a one month stay at the hospital. He was bedridden for more than two weeks until he began to regain his strength under the care of Drs. Bukari and Harris Mercado.   

“They figured out everything and worked with me. At first it seemed like nothing was working, but they kept at it, and I started getting better. All my organs were shutting down and then everything turned around,” Mays said.  

Now, Mays is living a better lifestyle and receives preventative care at the sickle cell clinic every three to four months. “I have never had that kind of experience before. It was always pain meds, fill you with fluids, drink plenty of water. That was about it,” he said.  

According to Dr. Bukari, getting treatment from a comprehensive center has several advantages including seeing physicians who provide care for sickle cell patients daily, access to all associated sub-specialist care affiliated with the clinic and focused treatment for patients.  

As the only sickle cell disease clinic for adults in the region, UCSF Fresno cooperates with the children’s sickle cell disease clinic at Valley Children’s Hospital to help teens transition from the pediatric clinic to the adult clinic.   

“Our clinic is still growing, and we are hoping that all patients who are transitioning from Valley Children’s Hospital who remain in the Central Valley will become our patient and those patients moving into the Valley will also have the opportunity to get comprehensive care from our clinic,” Dr. Bukari said.  

The clinic is also part of Networking California for Sickle Cell Care, Pacific Sickle Cell regional collaborative network and is in the process of joining national alliance of sickle cell clinics.  

For information on receiving sickle cell disease care, call 559-387-1900.  



UCSF SJV PRIME Encourages Medical Students to Research Valley Health Problems 

SJV PRIME student Marcus Cummins at the 67th Coccidiomycosis Study Group meeting

SJV PRIME student Marcus Cummins at the 67th
Coccidiomycosis Study Group meeting

By Barbara Anderson, UCSF Fresno Communications

Encouraging inquisitiveness is a core value of the Bridges curriculum at the UCSF School of Medicine, and fourth-year medical students in the San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME) have spent the past few months completing research projects that reflect personal interests and their experiences from two-and-a-half years of clinical rotations at UCSF Fresno. 

SJV PRIME students are given 12 to 20 weeks in their Career Launch year to concentrate on a Deep Explore project of their own choosing. This provides students time to understand a clinical question, create a project and make a change that can have a true impact, said Brian Chinnock, MD, RDMS, UCSF Fresno emergency medicine physician and Inquiry/ARCH Week director for SJV PRIME. 

SJV PRIME is a tailored track at UCSF School of Medicine for students who are committed to ensuring high quality, diverse and well distributed care to improve the health of populations, individuals and communities in the Valley. SJV PRIME students do projects in a wide range of areas but are encouraged to consider research from six topics pertinent to the Valley:  immigrant health, Valley fever, methamphetamine abuse, diabetes and obesity, human trafficking and pre-term birth.  

All UCSF medical school students are expected to conduct research including SJV PRIME students.  The only difference is the subjects of their research emphasize problems that are native to the Valley, said Eyad Almasri, MD, assistant dean for research at UCSF Fresno. 

Most of the SJV PRIME student projects are expected to be published in peer review journals and will add to their fields of study, Dr. Almasri said. 

For his Deep Explore research project, Marcus Cummins chose Valley fever (coccidioidomycosis), a lung infection caused by a soil fungus endemic to the San Joaquin Valley in California and some areas of the southwestern United States. Valley fever can present with lung nodules that are difficult to differentiate from early lung cancer. Cummins studied ways to develop a system to improve the ability to diagnose Valley fever without patients having to undergo invasive tests, such as lung biopsies. 

“I wanted (my research project) to be specific to the Valley first of all,” Cummins said. “And I wanted it to be related to pulmonary and critical care because those are potential interests of mine.” Cummins Matched with the UCSF Fresno Medicine Residency Program this March. 

Cummins’ research included working closely with the UC Merced Biostats Center for statistical analysis. “I had the opportunity to be involved in every phase of the project, right from project design to data collection, data analysis. I got to be involved in the statistical analysis as well,” he said. 

UCSF Fresno provides support for research and that commitment includes supporting the SJV PRIME students in their research projects, Dr. Almasri said. “We needed for example, statistical support and we teamed up with UC Merced to have time carved out for the medical students every month to connect and communicate with PhD statisticians at UC Merced.” 

A commitment to research is what makes UCSF and its regional campus at UCSF Fresno stand out from different medical schools or training programs, Dr. Almasri said. “The amount of support we provide to research and of course the amount of mentoring we provide is very important because we always are after the quality of the training.”  

His Deep Explore experience has given Cummins confidence he will need to carry out projects during residency and beyond. And he is excited that the Valley fever research project “has the potential to be directly applied to patient care and reduce costs for the health care system and cost to patients; and hopefully reduce some complications for patients.” 

The Valley fever research is an example of a medical student who is a Valley native (Cummins is from Fresno/Clovis) who has decided to continue his medical training in the Valley and will hopefully stay to practice medicine, Dr. Almasri said. “That is the whole point of having medical students here.” 

Research is part of the well-rounded education that SJV PRIME students receive, Dr. Almasri said. They learn how to look at published data and learn the advantages and flaws of research methodology – skills they can apply in the future as practicing physicians, he said. 

SJV PRIME student, Amitoj Singh, developed clinical skills during his two-and-a-half years at UCSF Fresno, and he values the time he has spent doing research. “We want medicine to continue to grow and expand so that we can ultimately provide better care for our patients,” he said. “Research allows you to not only impact the patient in front of you, but it allows you to impact patients you never see. It allows you to reach people beyond the four walls of your clinic or your office visits.” 

Singh chose to research the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea using positive airway pressure and its effects on anxiety and depression for patients in the Valley. The project combined a personal interest in psychiatry and an affinity for sleep medicine that developed during an elective two-week rotation at UCSF Fresno. Singh, who is from Fresno and a graduate of the UCSF Fresno Doctors Academy, matched with the UCSF Fresno Psychiatry Residency Program in March. 

Singh’s research has yet to be published, but already it is having an impact on patient care by raising awareness of how mental health is improved when you get better sleep, said Lynn Keenan, MD, director of the UCSF Fresno Sleep Medicine Fellowship program. Dr. Keenan was Singh’s faculty mentor for his research project. Each SJV PRIME student works with a faculty mentor for their Deep Explore project. 

“We now get a screening for anxiety and depression for all the patients before they get started with sleep treatment; and then we track that (improvement of anxiety and depression) as their sleep disorder gets better,” Dr. Keenan said. 

“SJV PRIME Deep Explore not only fosters inquisitiveness, but it gives students a chance to contribute to the body of literature to change the way we practice medicine,” she said. 

Dr. Almasri agreed, adding, “here at UCSF, we don’t train just doctors, we train leaders of health care.”  h


Rural Mobile Health event at Terranova Ranch


Fresno County, UCSF Fresno Partner to Provide Mobile Rural Health Care

       Rural Mobile Health event at Terranova Ranch

By Barbara Anderson, UCSF Fresno Communications

Agricultural workers lined up inside the equipment barn at Terranova Ranch in southwest Fresno County on a cold February morning for staff of UCSF Fresno Mobile Health and Learning (Mobile HeaL) to take blood pressures, screen for diabetes and give flu and COVID-19 shots. 

More than 200 people were screened at the launch of the Fresno County Department of Public Health’s Rural Mobile Health Program, an initiative to make health care more accessible and equitable for people living in rural areas of Fresno County. 

An $8 million allocation of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, approved by the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, allows the county to contract for two years with UCSF Fresno Mobile HeaL, Saint Agnes Medical Center, Fresno State’s Mobile Health Unit and others for medical services at no cost to agricultural workers and rural residents. The county also is contracting for Community Health Workers (CHWs) to assist in providing health education in a culturally and linguistically sensitive manner and to help link individuals without a primary care home to a nearby physician or clinic. 

Partnering with the Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH) is a good match for UCSF Fresno, which has been taking health services into communities since 2018. Kenny Banh, an emergency physician and UCSF Fresno assistant dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, started Mobile HeaL five years ago to provide care outside hospital and clinic walls. From its beginnings, Mobile HeaL has provided vaccinations, urgent care and health screenings to patients while providing learning opportunities for medical and pre-health students under the guidance of residents and faculty physicians. 

“We are very happy to partner with Fresno County to provide mobile health care services to agricultural workers in our rural communities,” said Dr. Banh, UCSF Fresno Mobile HeaL director. “The No. 1 driver of business in the San Joaquin Valley is agriculture and we should be providing health care services to our essential food and ag workers. We can’t operate our Valley without them.” 

Terranova Ranch General Manager Don J. Cameron said, “we’re just really excited that UCSF Fresno is a partner in this program. We look at them as a strong partner in the rural community and that they care enough to be out here and work with us to provide health care to those who usually aren’t able to get the care that they need.” 

A UC Merced Farmworker Health Study, released in February, highlighted the state of farmworker health. Of 1,200 farmworkers surveyed for the study, 49% reported being without health insurance. Only 43% of the farmworkers reported having visited a doctor’s office or clinic in the past year, and between one third and one-half reported having at least one chronic health condition (diabetes 20% and hypertension 19%). 

County health officials recognized a need to develop a preventive health program two years ago during the pandemic when it held rural COVID-19 vaccine clinics for agricultural workers. “A lot of patients had chronic diseases that they hadn’t managed or were unaware of, especially Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. And this was another reminder of why we need to do a better job of getting out in the community, getting people screened, getting these people established into a medical home so we can find these things sooner before it’s a crisis and they go into our hospitals,” said FCDPH Director David Luchini at the Rural Mobile Health Program launch. 

Fresno County Supervisor Brian Pacheco, (District 1), is proud that Fresno County and local health care partners are again on the cutting edge in providing health services for farmworkers and rural residents. “This program is similar to two years ago when Fresno County took the lead in working with our agricultural and health care partners in getting rural farmworkers some of the earliest COVID-19 vaccinations in California,” he said. “Our farmworker model was duplicated by many other counties as I suspect this Rural Mobile Health model will be, too.” 

Terranova Ranch was among agricultural employers in Fresno County to host vaccine clinics during the pandemic. All its employees voluntarily were vaccinated, a feat that drew the attention of Gov. Gavin Newsom, Cameron said, and it came as little surprise that his employees embraced the Rural Mobile Health Program in February. “It just shows how strong the need is for health care in the rural community and how lacking it is for (agricultural workers) to take the time to come over and be a part of this to get screened.” 

Some of the people in line for health screenings at the ranch divulged they had not been to a doctor’s office in years, said Trinidad Solis, MD, Fresno County deputy public health officer. “And many expressed their gratitude,” she said. “It just shows that meeting the community where they are at is an effective approach to health care.” 

Kenny Banh, MD with patientDuring the February launch event, Dr. Banh shared an interaction he had had with an agricultural worker. “I took the blood pressure of a man, who was probably in his 30s. His blood pressure was pretty high, and I asked him, ‘has your blood pressure been high in the past?’ He said, ‘I don’t know. I’ve never gone to the doctor. I’ve never had my blood pressure checked.’” And Dr. Banh added, “if I’m seeing this farmworker five or 10 years later with a stroke or a heart attack, we’ve already lost the game.” 

Hearing of Dr. Banh’s encounter with the farmworker at his ranch, Cameron said it made him realize how vitally important health care accessibility is in rural Fresno County. “We’re probably saving lives by doing this.” 

By the time many farmworkers seek health care, they are seriously ill and need to go to the hospital for emergency care, said Supervisor Buddy Mendes, (District 4). The Rural Mobile Health Program is beneficial to everyone living in Fresno County because farmworkers’ illnesses can be diagnosed early, reducing the need for visits to overwhelmed emergency departments, he said.  “If you have to go to the ER because of an accident or an emergency and it’s not completely life-threatening, right now you have to wait in line and the line could be six hours long or 10 hours long.” 

Agricultural workers forego seeing a doctor for many reasons, lack of insurance, unreliable or no transportation to get to a clinic, and potential language barriers. By providing health screenings and refilling necessary prescriptions for agricultural workers, UCSF Fresno is working to be a bridge – an intermediary – until a federally qualified health center (FHCQ), a rural health clinic or a primary care physician’s office can be found to take over and provide continuing care, Dr. Banh said. 

“UCSF Fresno has really been a great partner to help us with vaccines in the community and educate the population,” said Dr. Solis, the deputy health officer. “And the importance of UCSF is to be there to bridge individuals to a primary care doctor. We are also addressing the social needs with our partnership with FCHIP HOPE (Pathways Community HUB),” she said. The HOPE HUB provides Community Health Workers to be at any Rural Mobile Health Program event. 

The lack of access to primary care for farmworkers is a health disparity that is familiar to Liliana Rosales Garcia, a UCSF Fresno Mobile HeaL staff member who helped screen at the Rural Mobile Health Program at Terranova Ranch. Rosales Garcia, 23, of Fresno, is a medical assistant who earned a degree in biology at UCLA and has plans to apply to medical school. But growing up, the daughter of farmworkers, she watched her parents go without health care because they did not have health insurance. 

“When it does come to even having just access to something like free blood glucose or checking blood pressure, my mom specifically gets very excited. And that’s why when I do (provide health screenings) for other people who come from the same background, I feel like I am giving back to them because I see my parents not being able to have health care.” 

The Rural Mobile Health Program will make a difference for farmworkers in Fresno County, Rosales Garcia said. “It is a community that never really has access to health care and a community that will usually not seek health care because they don’t have insurance, so being able to provide them with free access, I think it will teach them more about their health and also motivate them to eventually take care of themselves, too.” 

For more information about the Fresno County Rural Mobile Health Program or to schedule an event, call 559-600-4063 or visit the Fresno County Department of Public Health website.


UCSF Fresno
People Spotlight

Uzoma Dmitri Ezeuko, MD

Uzoma Dmitri Ezeuko, MD        

UCSF Fresno’s success and growth are a direct result of the dedication and inspiration of our faculty, staff, residents, fellows, students, alumni, partners, donors and friends. In each issue of Focus, we introduce you to the people who contribute to the greatness of UCSF Fresno through informal interviews.

This month, please meet Dmitri Ezeuko, MD, third-year resident in the Family and Community Medicine Residency Program.

What is your name? Nickname?  

My name is Uzoma Dmitri Ezeuko, MD. Typically, I go by my middle name Dmitri.

What is your hometown? Where did you go to school? High School? Undergrad? Medical School?

I was born in Nigeria. I lived there until I completed high school at Nigerian Turkish international College. After that, I relocated with the family to Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. I completed undergraduate education with a bachelor’s in Psychology at MacEwan University, Edmonton. I earned a medical degree from Ross University.

Where are you in your residency training at UCSF Fresno? Program and Year? 

I am currently a PGY3 resident in Family and Community Medicine.

Why did you decide to train at UCSF Fresno? 

My interview with UCSF Fresno Family and Community Medicine was the most authentic of all my interviews. In addition, being in the Central Valley, which is driving distance to many places and outdoor activities, was a major boost as well.

Why did you become a physician? Why did you pick your specialty? 

I hate to sound cliché, but ever since I can remember, I never wanted to be anything else. I never saw myself as anything else other than a doctor. There was no big moment in life that made me decide. I just knew deep in my being that medicine was for me. 

I picked family medicine because of the versatility.  

What other specialty do you deliver a laboring mom, care for baby and manage a septic adult all in one shift, then volunteer on the sidelines for a high school football game? And it is just another regular day. 

In addition, I love the idea of being able to hone down on the preventative aspect of medicine (i.e., lifestyle), which I believe is severely lacking and family medicine provides me with the tools to address that. 

What are your plans after completing residency? 

I am keeping my options open. However, I would love a setting where I am able to have a steady balance of inpatient and outpatient medicine. 

What, if any, obstacles did you encounter on the path to becoming a physician? What advice do you have for students who are interested in becoming doctors? 

Phew! That is a whole thesis of obstacles. However, one thing I would say is that it is doable and very rewarding. The passion for the profession is the major driving factor.

My advice for upcoming student doctors is focus on one step after the next and before you know it, you’ll be at the finish line. 

Live every moment and work to enjoy the journey as much as the anticipation of the destination. 

Above all, never let your self-care and sanity suffer. Nothing and no one in this world are worth that. Always make time for yourself and loved ones.  It is on you to define your reasonable boundaries to be the best version of yourself. Your patients would thank you. After all, you cannot pour from an empty cup. 

The zombie apocalypse is coming. Which three people from UCSF Fresno would you pick to be on your team and why?   

Oh boy. OK, first person I’d pick based on people I know would be Marie Mihara, MD. I’d need her smartness and wilderness survivability. We know that is a requirement.

Second person would potentially be Luis Cruz, MD, for his wittiness.  I need the laughs, and someone to lighten the mood like “calm down, it’s not that serious.”

Third person, hmm that’s tough. Possibly M. Shoaib Khan, MD. He knows everything about everything, medically and life wise. I feel like at least one attending would be needed. A voice of reasoning if you must, and to keep the medical knowledge alive. 

You put me in a tight spot. Should’ve said a team of 10. Now I must face the blowback of the ones I did not pick!

What do you like to do in your off time?  

​ I love grilling, hiking or anything that puts me out in nature. I like travelling when time and funds permit. Occasionally, I Netflix binge and I say Netflix as a blanket for all streaming services. Lastly, I enjoy mindless trash TV.

What is the most important thing you would like people to know about you? Or what else would you like to add about you, your background, family or career?  

I want people to know some of my many life philosophies:

In this life, control what you can and is necessary, and work to stress not on what you cannot. At the end of the day, many of our fears and worries do not exist in the now, but our perceived doom, which most times is not as bad as the eventual reality. 

In everything you do, strive for open-mindedness while not losing thyself, as well as control of the ego. Those two things would solve most problems we as humans face, in my humble opinion. 

Lori Weichenthal, MD and Gene Kallsen, MD

Lori Weichenthal, MD, and Gene Kallsen, MD                        


Supporting UCSF Fresno

Honoring the Legacy of Two Emergency Medicine Trailblazers at UCSF Fresno  

By Kathleen Smith, Development and Alumni Relations, UCSF Fresno  

Compassion motivated by knowledge. A drive to collaborate and a passion to serve. These are the qualities that exemplify UCSF Fresno faculty leaders as they advance our mission to improve health in the Central and San Joaquin Valley through teaching, patient care, research and community partnerships.  

Lori A. Weichenthal, MD, FACEP and Gene W. Kallsen, MD were two such exemplary faculty physicians in the UCSF Fresno Department of Emergency Medicine. Together they provided 74 years of combined service to UCSF Fresno and are considered trailblazers in the field of Emergency Medicine (EM). Their leadership directly influenced and inspired countless faculty members, residents, fellows and medical students, and laid the foundation for the revolutions in medical education, advancements in patient care and scientific progress that define UCSF Fresno today. 

Dr. Weichenthal, UCSF Fresno Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Clinical Affairs and UCSF Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine, passed away on Feb. 3, 2023. She was one of only two women in the UCSF Fresno Department of Emergency Medicine when she began her residency in the 1990s. For the next 28 years, Dr. Weichenthal was held in the highest esteem as an innovator, leader and role model in the fields of Emergency Medicine and Wilderness Medicine and a vanguard for physician wellness.  

The Lori A. Weichenthal, MD ’94 Physician Wellness Fund at UCSF Fresno was established in her honor to help address physician burnout and depression which impacts not only health care providers and their families, but also the patients they care for. As the fund takes shape, our medical education community can have an even greater impact on the positive long-term mental, physical and emotional health of UCSF Fresno learners and physicians and continue UCSF Fresno’s long-standing commitment to physician wellness. 

Dr. Kallsen, former chief of the UCSF Fresno Department of Emergency Medicine and Professor Emeritus of Clinical Emergency Medicine passed away on March 4, 2023. When Dr. Kallsen joined USCF Fresno as a resident in 1977, Emergency Medicine was yet to be officially recognized as a specialty. Starting on the ground floor of EM, he became a pioneer and leader in the field, and is known as the “father” of emergency medical services in Fresno County. Before his retirement in 2018, Dr. Kallsen dedicated four decades to EM at UCSF Fresno advancing the specialty of EM through educational innovations, scholarship and state-of-the-art EM care. 

Dr. Kallsen’s legacy continues through the Gene W. Kallsen, MD, Endowed Chair in Emergency Medicine. The ongoing, dependable funding provided by the Kallsen Endowment helps us recruit and retain outstanding faculty members, attract the best and brightest students and perform research that may someday lead to a revolutionary treatment in the emergency room.  

Your support honors the contributions of Dr. Weichenthal and Dr. Kallsen and helps ensure dedicated faculty members at UCSF Fresno have the resources they need to do their finest work, whether they are mentoring promising young physicians, advocating for their patients or conducting groundbreaking clinical research, which then translates to improved treatments for patients.  

To learn more about how your gift to UCSF Fresno can inspire a healthier future for the Valley and beyond, please contact Kathleen Smith, Assistant Director of Development for UCSF Fresno at 559-499-6426 or



UCSF Fresno

Danielle Campagne, MD

Danielle Campagne, MD       

Kudos to UCSF Fresno Interim Chief of Emergency Medicine Danielle Campagne, MD, for being named among Fresno State Alumni Association 2023 Top Dog honorees, specifically the Distinguished Alumna, College of Science and Mathematics (class of 2000). The Top Dog awards recognize Fresno State alumni who have made significant contributions to society, and whose accomplishments, affiliations and careers have honored Fresno State. Dr. Campagne has been saving lives and educating leaders in medicine for more than 18 years in the Fresno area.

Kenny Banh, MDCongratulations to Kenny Banh, MD, assistant dean for Undergraduate Medical Education and medical director of UCSF Mobile HeaL and its COVID-19 Equity Project for receiving the Star of Community Achievement Award from the American Association of Medical Colleges Group on Regional Medical Campuses. The Star of Community Achievement award goes to a campus that has developed a program which has positively impacted the community it serves. The GRMC is particularly interested in innovative educational and research programs which position the Regional Medical Campus to serve as a model for transformational change in either (1) improving the health status of its community or (2) achieving its social mission through collaboration with its community.

Alli GomezCongrats to Alli Gomez (SJV PRIME Class of 2024) who will be attending the 2023 Association of Biochemistry Educators Conference April 30 – May 4, 2023, in South Carolina, following her submission entitled, “Bringing Gender and Sex Equity and Inclusivity into Your Classroom: A Framework for Medical Educators.” This conference is being held by ABE, a non-profit society of educators who are committed to furthering scientific discovery and passion for education in the field of biochemistry.