Class of 2023
Andrew Chang, MD
Dr. Chang was born and raised in Queens, NY. He fell in love with the island life when he went to medical school in the beautiful Caribbean nation of Antigua. There, he developed an interest in rural and preventative medicine by working in local clinics for underserved communities. He considers it his kuleana to connect with his patients in order to provide the best care possible. He is fluent in Korean and has been attempting to learn pidgin during his time here. When not at work, he enjoys watching the NBA and MLB (Go Knicks and Mets!), cooking, exercising and going on as many hikes as he can.
Laura Hernandez, MD
Dr. Hernandez grew up on a farm in Northern Michigan before moving to Oahu. She attended UH Manoa and worked as an Elementary/Special Education teacher in Honolulu before attending medical school. She had the opportunity to train around the world, from St. Martin to England to Florida, but her goal was always to return to Hawaii as part of the answer to the Island’s physician shortage. She is honored to serve as a primary care physician for the people of Big Island. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time at the beach or in the ocean with her husband and dog.
Shelley Kirkham, MD
Dr. Kirkham comes to Hilo from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. She has a special interest in serving indigenous populations and in improving the delivery of rural health care. She and her husband raised their children during her sixteen year career as a paramedic. She worked as a flight medic and also as a firefighter paramedic. When she’s not at work, she and her husband enjoy hiking, snorkeling, and spending time with their cats, Maui and Kikimau.
James Finney, MD
Dr. Finney grew up in a rural New England town where he worked in engineering, politics, and business. He attended Dartmouth College with a degree in Cognitive Science and married the love of his life. After a few years of work and travel, he and his wife decided life needed more purpose. They travelled to Nepal to a small community of former slaves where they saw how much suffering exists in places with no doctor. Determined to become a physician, Dr. Finney then completed a post-baccalaureate pre-med program at Harvard University. With his wife and daughter, he worked for a year at a clinic in Belize. He attended Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and had two sons. Now here on Hawai’i Island, he is so grateful that his family is blessed to enjoy the wonderful people, ocean life, and culture of the Big Island. As a physician, Dr. Finney particularly enjoys helping people achieve a healthier weight, helping parents train their children, and assisting patients who want to live tobacco-free.
Class of 2022
Daniel Iqbal, DO
Originally from the tiny town of Sunnyvale, Texas, Dr. Iqbal graduated from New York University with a degree in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies in 2014. After spending a year working at a bariatric surgeon’s office in Brooklyn, he moved to Las Vegas to attend Touro University Nevada for medical school and then relocated to the Big Island for residency. A first generation American with roots in Lahore, Pakistan, Dr. Iqbal is fluent in Punjabi and Urdu and is proficient in Spanish; in his spare time, he is learning Hawaiian these days! He is thrilled to call Hilo home and falls more in love with this charming island and its wonderful people every day.
Kalinda Matthews-Harris, MD
Dr. Matthews-Harris grew up in Eugene, Oregon. After earning a degree in culinary arts, she moved to the Big Island 15 years ago. As a cook and waitress, she loved working with and serving the people of Hawai`i, and she decided to go back to school to further those goals. She attended the community college in West Hawai`i and then UH Hilo and Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. She is thrilled to come back home to live and work in the place, and with the people, she loves.
Jaime Parra, MD
Dr. Parra is originally from San Antonio, Texas. He had the opportunity to undergo his undergraduate studies at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, where he ultimately decided he wanted to pursue a career in medicine. He was fortunate to study medicine in his hometown at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. During medical school, he had the opportunity to work at student-run clinics where he treated refugees from all over the world, homeless individuals, and even those affected by addiction. Those experiences helped him decide he wanted to not only pursue medicine, but serve in an underserved part of the country where he can have an impact. He is excited to begin his training in Family Medicine in the welcoming and vibrant community of Hilo and hopes to serve the community in the most impactful way.
Khushbu Patel, MD
Dr. Patel was born and raised in Limdi, Gujarat, India. She attended medical school in Vadodara, Gujarat, India before relocating to the USA. Medicine has always been the center of Dr. Patel’s life as a second generation physician in her family. She loves to practice patient-centric medicine with focus on women’s health. Being a foreign medical graduate, it has been a long journey for Dr. Patel and she is excited to continue her journey on the Big Island serving the community. Moving to Hawai`i has been a magical moment for her. Mahalo no kēia manawa kūpono.
Chad L.M. Ahia, MD
Dr. Ahia is an off-cycle resident, slated for residency completion at the end of 2022! Dr Ahia was born and raised in Hilo, graduating from Hilo High School. He went on to graduate from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, University of Queensland School of Public Health, and University of Queensland Faculty of Medicine in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. He is humbled and honored to return home and serve his Big Island community.
Class of 2021
Henry Cho, MD
Dr. Cho was raised in Los Angeles and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Prior to medical school, he studied in health management, policy, and health law. In medical school, he was intrigued by the patient-centered medical home model, community medicine and preventive health education. After medical school, Dr. Cho volunteered aboard to work with the underserved population. Dr. Cho wants to plant his roots in Hawai`i, to become a community physician and aims to increase health access for our patients.
Deanne Higa, DO
Dr. Higa was born and raised on the island of Maui, in the little town of Paia. She moved to Washington state to attend Seattle University where she earned a degree in Biology. She later moved to Yakima, Washington to earn her master’s in medical science and attended medical school. With the majority of her family still in Hawai`i, her goal has always been to return to the islands. She is so happy to be here and is eager to contribute to this wonderful community.
Anna Maisu, MD
Dr. Maisu grew up in Vista, CA. She has always been drawn to the Pacific Islands because of her Samoan heritage. During college, she did a summer internship at LBJ Medical Tropical Hospital in American Samoan which ultimately solidified her decision to pursue medicine. She lived on Oahu and worked at Tripler Army Medical Center before attending medical school. When she left Hawai`i, she was determined to one day return home. It has been a long road. Now, with a husband and 2 young boys, she is so happy to be back and she looks forward to serving her community.
Antoinette Moore, MD
Dr. Moore says she took the long road to a career in medicine with careers in the nonprofit and film industries before finding her role in the healthcare field as an advocate and physician. A native Texan, she did her medical training in Dallas, Texas at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and dreamed of making Hilo her forever home. She has a strong background in community health and loves working with populations needing comprehensive, patient-centered care, including LGBTQ populations, domestic violence survivors, and patients with multiple chronic conditions. She looks forward to immersing herself in the vivid culture of this beautiful place, and she says she keeps pinching herself to make sure this isn’t all just a dream.
Katelyn Steele, MD
Dr. Steele lived and worked on the Big Island prior to moving to Salt Lake City, Utah for medical school. She is originally from North Carolina where she attended the University of North Carolina Asheville, but has once again made the Big Island her home. Dr. Steele has a background in mental health and extensive work history with underserved and incarcerated populations. She continues to have a strong interest in women’s health, reproductive justice, and health equity. After leaving mountain biking, rock climbing, and skiing back on the mainland, when she is not at work, Katey enjoys all kine outdoor adventures whether it be hiking in Volcanoes National Park or swimming with turtles.
Alain Takane, MD
Dr. Takane was raised in Hilo. She was first a Waiakeawaena Menehune, then a Waiakea Titan and Warrior, and then a University of Hawai`i at Hilo Vulcan. As a graduate of the John A. Burns School of Medicine, she is grateful for the opportunity to return home to work and train with the awesome people at Hilo Medical Center and the Hawai`i Island Family Health Center. She is especially interested in geriatric care. Her favorite places are near the ocean and at home with her dogs and family. She is honored to be able to serve the people of the Big Island.
Class of 2020
Devin Hazama, DO
Dr. Hazama grew up on the island of O`ahu and attended AT Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona, training in large part on the Waianae Coast of O`ahu. He is recognized for his excellent OMT skills. He served as Chief Resident, and quietly and humbly led residents, while role modeling compassionate care and professionalism.
Dr. Hazama is currently pursuing a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at University of Hawai`i at Manoa.
Warren Yamashita, MD, MPH
Dr. Yamashita attended Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Over the course of his residency, he demonstrated leadership as Chief Resident and outside the clinic as an active member of his church and by organizing a multi-disciplinary training attended by representatives from several health systems in our community. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Society. Having been inspired by the complexity of his patient panel in Hilo, Dr. Yamashita joined Stanford University’s Addiction Medicine Fellowship program after completion of his residency. With the contacts, knowledge and experience he gains during this fellowship year, he plans to return to Hilo in order to advocate for foster youth and to offer enhanced Addiction Medicine services to our patient population.
Kallan Montgomery, MD
Kallan Montgomery, MD, graduated from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 2010. She then spent 3 years working both in private practice in South Africa and as a Ship Physician onboard Princess Cruise lines. While onboard, she met her now husband who is a flight paramedic. She moved to Arizona in 2015 and then to Hawaii shortly after to complete her residency here at Hawaii Island Family Medicine Residency Program. She currently works as a family physician at the East Hawaii Health 1285 clinic and enjoys precepting residents in both the outpatient and inpatient. Dr. Montgomery has a special interest in HIV medicine. In her free time, she thoroughly enjoys the outdoors – swimming, paddleboarding and hiking with her husband and dogs.
Mililani Trask-Batti, MD, MPH
Having grown up in Hilo, Dr. Trask-Batti attended medical school at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine, and is a Native Hawaiian Health Scholar. Prior to medical school, Dr. Trask-Batti completed an MPH in health policy and management, graduating with Honors from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. Throughout residency, she continued the work she started with the Department of Native Hawaiian Health, presenting an excellent Grand Rounds presentation on cultural competency and la`au lapa`au.
Dr. Trask-Batti is currently serving the families and individuals of East Hawaii as a private practice physician.
Class of 2019
Vincent Giani, MD
Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica
“Originally from eastern North Carolina, Dr Giani moved to Kaua’i for surf and quickly fell in love with the people, food, and culture of Hawai’i. After completing a degree in Biology at UH Manoa, medical school in the Caribbean, and residency in Hilo, Dr Giani joined private practice on the North Shore of Oahu.”
Nataliya Holmes, MD
First Moscow Medical State University
“Dr Holmes moved to Hawaii from Russia, where she graduated from First Moscow Medical State University as a physician. After conducting clinical trials at UH Manoa, Dr Holmes joined Hawai`i Island FM Residency.
She now lives on Oahu and serves the Mililani community as a full spectrum family medicine physician.”
Ashley Noelani Rodriguez Kong, MD
Boston University School of Medicine, Boston MA
“Born and raised on the island of Oahu, Dr Kong completed her BA and MD in Boston. As a medical student, Dr Kong was privileged to work alongside individuals who found a calling in serving the underserved. She now serves the Waianae Coast on Oahu as a full spectrum family medicine physician.”
Tereza Molfino, MD, Chief Resident
University Karlovy, Czech Republic
“Originally from the Czech Republic, Dr Molfino completed her medical education at Charles University in Prague, founded in 1348 and one of the oldest universities in Europe. She first came to the Big Island in 2009 for a vacation and several years later, began her residency in Hilo. Dr Molfino is currently working in Mesa, Arizona, as a full spectrum family physician.””
Class of 2018
Will Chapple, MD
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
Dr. Chapple graduated from the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health. Upon graduation, he joined a private practice in Waimea on Hawai‘i Island where he cares for patients of all ages.
Tuy-Ngoc Nguyen, MD
University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
Dr. Nguyen graduated from the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. Dr Nguyen is currently serving the Puna community through practicing outpatient family medicine in Rural Health Clinics in East Hawai`i.
Ross University School of Medicine
Dr. Yamaguchi graduated from Ross University School of Medicine in Roseau, Dominica. He currently serves as a family physician at Hui Malama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi, a nonprofit organization in Hilo, Hawaii whose mission is to uplift the health of the Hawaiian nation.
Class of 2017
Dr. Kā’ohimanu Dang Akiona
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Dr. Akiona was born and raised in Hawaii and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She is currently working diligently with Premier Medical Group Hawaii to address the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the Hawaiian islands.
Dr. Svetlana Schchedrina
Russian State Medical University, Moscow, Russia
Dr. Shchedrina graduated from the Russian National Research Medical University. She currently serves as a family physician with Rural Health Clinics in Hilo, Hawaii in both the outpatient and inpatient setting.
Dr. Seren Tokumura
University of Hawaii John A Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, Hawaii
Dr. Tokumura was born in Honolulu and attended the John A Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii. She is currently in private practice on Oahu.