Oregon Health & Sciences University
Rita grew up in Redmond, Oregon and her desire to fill the need for family doctors in rural Oregon began during pre-med experiences where she observed inspiring doctor-patient relationships in Burns, John Day, and Hood River. After earning a degree in biochemistry at the University of Oregon, she attended OHSU and was fortunate to participate in its vibrant family medicine department through leadership in the student family medicine interest group. She is grateful to have had the opportunity to spend her last year of medical school at Cascades East as an Oregon FIRST student, and she is looking forward to spending more time finding her niche in the community of Klamath Falls. Outside of medicine, her interests include sewing, singing, painting and gardening.
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
Chris first got a taste of rural life growing up in the mountains of Blacksburg, Virginia, where he developed his love of soccer and the outdoors. After graduating high school, he began his undergraduate college adventure at St. John’s University in Minnesota. There he earned a dual degree in Biology and Hispanic Studies, becoming fluent in Spanish, all while continuing to play soccer and survive the snow. In his spare time, Chris conducted research for a study at the Mayo Clinic and tutored Spanish-speakers in English. After graduating, Chris felt passionate about pursuing a path that combined his background in the sciences with his proclivity towards public service. He was set on medical school, but wanted a year in between rigorous academic study. He began a year of service with Americorp as a nursing assistant at Christ House, a respite center for the homeless population of Washington, D.C. During his time there, he experienced firsthand the positive impact of bringing quality healthcare to disadvantaged populations. This experience further encouraged Chris to pursue his medical degree, so he applied for, and was accepted to, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia.
The next four years practically flew by, but his rotations in Family Medicine, along with some rural stints on the eastern coast of Virginia, confirmed his desire to become a full scope Family Medicine practitioner with a focus on rural medicine. He hopes to make a positive impact in the health of the Klamath Falls community, and looks forward to establishing meaningful relationships with his patients and their families.
Before moving to Oregon, Chris married his best friend, Tricia, this past May. They made the 5-day trek out west with their pet cat, Ramona, and their fish, Freckles. They both love the outdoors, and enjoy hiking, long-boarding, paddle-boarding, gardening, cooking, farmer’s market exploring, having friends over for dinner, and any activity that allows them to spend time together. Chris works in his free time as a master espresso maker in their kitchen, perfecting his foam art little by little. Tricia enjoys baking up a storm and looks forward to sharing her baked goods with anyone willing to try them. They are both extremely excited to become involved in the Klamath Falls community, and feel blessed to be here.
University of Utah
Hanna knew that Cascades East was the place for her after meeting some of the residents and faculty at the Family Medicine National Conference. She immediately felt welcome after being introduced to rich Oregon beer, energetic arcade games, and a group of doctors that were just as excited about enjoying life as they were about teaching and practicing family medicine. After learning more about Cascades East and Klamath Falls, Hanna felt that it would perfectly tie together her love for rural medicine, the outdoors, and a tight-knit community.
Hanna was born in Germany and raised in Livingston, Montana. She studied Spanish and Nutrition at Montana State University, and she hopes to be able to practice Spanish with some of her patients at Cascades East. Before medical school at the University of Utah, Hanna learned how to play Ultimate Frisbee in New Zealand and spent two years teaching adults with disabilities. Hanna’s upbringing has given her a love of small towns and wide open spaces, and she looks forward to serving with the National Health Service Corps after graduating from residency. She also enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, cooking, Spikeball, and spending time with Jaron, Scout, and Moose - her wonderful husband, adorable St. Bernard, and feisty cat.
Wright State University
Hannah spent most of her growing up years in Lancaster County, PA, but has made herself at home in several places since then. She completed her undergrad at Goshen College in Indiana studying environmental science and biology. In the process of getting her degree she ended up spending a summer on the Elkhart River electrofishing with a stream survey crew, practicing her Spanish (still not great) and meringue moves (slightly better than not great) in the Dominican Republic, and rocking some hymns with her fellow Mennonites. After college, she returned to the green pastures of her hometown, working first with small woman-powered bakery in town and then with a local firm doing stream and wetland restoration. Although Hannah knew she would miss the squish of organic muck beneath her gumboots as she seeded acres of riparian buffer, she decided to leave her wetlands to attend medical school at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. During her time at Wright State, she was fortunate to find herself in widespread clinical locations - India, Cambodia, Greece, Alaska; wherever she went, she found that community-focused medicine, wherever the community, was incredibly powerful. This coupled with her decision that deciding was silly because everything was awesome made family medicine her clear choice. Cascade East offered her the opportunity to practice medicine in her hiking boots, and so here she is.
She is excited to explore Klamath Falls with her guy Jonathan and her two sassy kittens, Harriet and Widget. Hannah loves farmers markets and gardening, hiking and not-too-hot yoga, and cooking with good friends and good wine.
University of Washington, WWAMI program in Alaska
Kyleen hails from a rainy island in southeast Alaska. She got a taste of city life completing undergraduate studies at the University of Denver and medical school in Seattle at the University of Washington. She decided Klamath Falls was the perfect place to get back to her rural roots. Her goal is to get the full-spectrum training needed to serve a rural community like the one she grew up in. She developed an interest in integrative medicine while practicing yoga in India and taking every mind-body medicine elective available, and hopes to translate this into a holistic approach to patient care and community health. She is also excited about the wilderness medicine opportunities at Cascades East, which will complement her many outdoor adventures with her partner Josh and their dog, Oliver. Her hobbies include anything outside, especially mountain biking, kayaking, skiing, and gardening.
Oregon Health & Sciences University
Lisa was raised in and around the mountains and lakes of Eastern Washington. Her passion for both the outdoors and medicine started at a young age, when she got to shadow her father's work as a volunteer ski patroller at a local ski area. She came to Oregon to attend college at the University of Portland, where she studied biology, chemistry, and music. After college, she decided to follow her love of skiing and worked as a ski instructor at Mt. Hood Meadows. Although Lisa loved being a ski instructor, several injuries and long summers made her realize this was not a sustainable career choice and she decided to attend medical school at OHSU. It was here where she found that she could unite her love of rural and wilderness life with family medicine and she is thrilled to continue her training at Cascades East Family Medicine. When she isn’t working, Lisa loves to travel, ski, hike, backpack, and cook. She also enjoys spending time with her family and playing with her dog Pokey.
University of Washington, WWAMI program in Idaho
Matt considers himself a native of Eagle, ID, though technically he spent 3 years as a beach baby in St. Croix USVI before moving to the Boise area. While he became interested in serving others through medicine at a young age, this passion has grown over time as he's learned more about health disparities and their broad-reaching impact on population health. He completed his undergraduate education at Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, WA), earning a BA in Sociology with minors in Biology and Chemistry. He is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Medicine WWAMI program, where he was involved in the underserved pathway and numerous service opportunities. During his first year of medical school, Matt was privileged to help found a free clinic in Pullman, WA. Later, he became actively involved in organized medicine at the state and national level with the AAFP and IAFP, where he became more interested in leadership, advocacy, and activism. His interests in medicine include addiction medicine, point-of-care ultrasound, surgical obstetrics, outpatient procedures, and physician advocacy. Outside of medicine, he enjoys mountain biking, skiing, running, hiking, swimming, and spending time with his wife and puppy. Matt is thrilled to be joining the Cascades East family, where he can pursue his passions at work and in the beautiful Southern Oregon outdoors.
Thomas was born and raised in Portland, OR, and is an enthusiastic fan of the Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns. He received a Spanish degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. He then spent two years as an AmeriCorps member in a L’Arche community in Jacksonville, FL, sharing life with adults with intellectual disabilities. The disabled people in that community showed him the beauty and importance of embracing our struggles and weaknesses through connectedness and laughter. It was in Florida that he met his wonderful wife, even though she’s also from Portland! He received his MD and MPH from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. And after all that, he and his wife were ready to bring their energetic little boy home to Oregon.
Thomas decided that family medicine was right for him when he asked a family doc why he had gone into the field. He replied, “I know a little bit of everything, and none of it well.” That resonated with Thomas, whose professional interests include caring for disadvantaged and marginalized people, especially Spanish-speaking populations, geriatrics, palliative care, end-of-life medicine, medical education. He also enjoys public health, particularly community medicine, health systems, and health economics. He still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up.
Thomas applied to Cascades East on a whim and was astonished when he and his wife both fell in love with the town and the residency program. It could offer us the greatest quality of life of any program in the Northwest: affordable housing in a charming and engaged small town with plenty to offer (and no traffic!), exceptional outdoors opportunities, and a robust community of interesting people who loved us from the moment they met us. Coupled with a hands-on rural training experience, strong reputation, and the program’s support from OHSU, it was obvious to us that the residents at Cascades East get the best training and have the most fun doing it.