Class of 2019
Vincent Giani, MD
Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica
Originally from eastern North Carolina. I graduated from UNC Greensboro where I studied Sports Medicine and played college soccer on a scholarship. Soon after, I moved to Kaua’i with a friend, initially for the surf, but quickly fell in love with the people, food and culture of Hawai’i. Afterwards, I moved to Oahu where I received a degree in Biology from UH Manoa. I worked at Kewalo Marine Lab in the field of genetic research and tissue regeneration for 3 years before going to medical school.
It is a dream come true to be back in Hawai’i and to work with the exceptional physicians, nurses and staff at Hilo Medical Center. I am honored to be here and I look forward to serving the people of Hawai’i for many years to come.
Nataliya Holmes, MD
First Moscow Medical State University
My name is Nataliya Holmes. I moved to Hawaii in 2012 from Russia, where I graduated from First Moscow Medical State University as a physician. The past four years, I have worked as a Research Associate at University of Hawaii at Manoa conducting clinical trials. During that time I was working with patients with HIV/AIDS, methamphetamine addiction, and families with newborns exposed to multiple drugs in utero.
In August 2015, I moved to Hilo and since then I consider it my home. I enjoy Hawai’i Island’s diversity and friendly people. Now, as a new Family Medicine Resident in the Hawaii Island Family Medicine Residency program, I hope to get to know the local community better and further become a part of the ohana.
Ashley Noelani Rodriguez Kong, MD
Boston University School of Medicine, Boston MA
“I was born and raised in Hawaii on the island of Oahu and completed my BA and MD in Boston. As a medical student I was privileged to work alongside individuals who found a calling in serving the underserved. My favorite physician was a fantastic mix of scientist, teacher, counselor, social worker, and friend to his patients – which is what I hope to emulate in my own practice.
Though Boston will continue to hold a special place in my heart, Hawaii is the only place I can truly call home. I am grateful for the chance to move back to the Islands and learn about providing the best care for Hawaii’s unique population.
Outside of medicine and spending time with my wonderfully supportive family, I enjoy running, baking, and kpop. <Just don’t ask me to sing!>”
Tereza Molfino, MD, Chief Resident
University Karlovy, Czech Republic
“I was born in Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic). My Alma Mater is Charles University in Prague, founded in 1348 and one of the oldest universities in Europe. I first came to the Big Island in 2009 for a vacation and fell in love with the Island and my future husband. After graduating from medical school, I was happy to relocate to Kona and call the Big Island my new home. I was excited when I learned about the Hawaii Island Family Medicine Residency Program in Hilo which enabled me to stay with my new family and care for the underserved community of Big Island.
I like to spend my free time exploring the island with my two dogs, enjoying ocean and outdoor activities, discovering new food, and staying active and healthy.”
Class of 2020
Devin Hazama, DO
AT Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona
Dr. Hazama did a rotation at HIFMR and participated in Be a Lifesaver. During his first two years in medical school, Devin worked as a student volunteer at neighborhood clinics in Nanakuli and completed rotations in Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center. He is fluent in Japanese and has roots on Oahu.
Kallan Ross, MBChB
University of Pretoria School of Medicine, South Africa
After medical school, Dr. Ross completed a medical internship in Barbetron caring for complex TB and HIV patients, which was followed by a year of community service working in a rural bush hospital in Mpumalunga, South Africa. She is currently working at a sports medicine clinic in Arizona. While working as a cruise ship physician, she visited Hilo multiple times and wanted to come here to Hawaii to complete her training in the U.S. as a family physician.
Mililani Trask-Batti, MD, MPH
University of California, Davis School of Medicine
Dr. Trask-Batti was born and raised in Hilo and is a graduate of Kamehameha High School – Keaau Campus. She worked for several years conducting research at the Department of Native Hawaiian Health and was the recipient of a Native Hawaiian Scholarship. For her multiple leadership roles in medical school, including co-directing a student run clinic and serving as treasurer for AMSA, she was awarded an AAFP Family Leads Scholarship. Dr. Trask-Batti is now “ready to return home.”
Warren Yamashita, MD, MPH
University of Southern California
Dr. Yamashita visited Hawaii throughout his childhood. His fiance is from Hawaii with family in Hilo. Prior to medical school, He worked with Partners in Health on the Navajo Nation. In medical school, he was interested in working with homeless populations and was awarded an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. Dr. Yamashita also received the United States Public Health Service 2015 Excellence in Public Health Award and is currently an AAFP Emerging Leaders Scholar.
Class of 2021
Henry Cho, MD
St. George’s University School of Medicine
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 Hawaii, to become a community physician and aims to increase health access for our patients.
Deanne Higa, DO
Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
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 majority of her family still in Hawaii, her goal has always been to return to the islands. She is so happy to be here and am eager to contribute to this wonderful community.
Anna Maisu, MD
American University of Integrative Sciences, St. Maarten School of Medicine
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 Hawaii, 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
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Southwestern Medical School
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 my 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
University of Utah School of Medicine
Dr. Steele lived and worked on the Big Island prior to moving to Salt Lake City, Utah for medical school. She and her husband are both originally from North Carolina where she attended the University of North Carolina Asheville, but have once again, made the Big Island their home. Dr. Steele has a background in mental health and an extensive work history with undeserved 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 they’re not at work, Katey and her husband, Alex, enjoy all kine outdoor adventures whether it be hiking in Volcanoes National Park or swimming with turtles.
Alain Takane, MD
University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine
Dr. Takane was raised in Hilo. She was first a Waiakeawaena Menehune, then a Waiakea Titan and Warrior, and then a University of Hawaii 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 Hawaii 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.